F1 Dutch GP – Formula 1 returns to the Netherlands for the first time in over 30 years as it takes to Zandvoort. Max Verstappen edged out Formula 1 title rival Lewis Hamilton by just 0.038s in a tight and truncated qualifying session for the returning Dutch Grand Prix.
The Red Bull driver appeared to be in a league of his own as he dominated qualifying and held a three-tenth advantage after the first runs in Q3 before Hamilton fought back on the final runs.
A huge improvement from the seven-time world champion ensured he joined Verstappen as the only drivers to dip under the 1m09s, but it was not enough to deny his main rival a home pole as he delighted the Dutch crowd.
Full Q1, Q2 and Q3 results from qualifying at the Dutch Grand Prix, Round 13 of the 2021 Formula 1 world championship.
Verstappen also found time on his second lap to move onto a 1m08.885s, which proved enough to pip Hamilton and secure his sixth sixth pole in the last seven races as he topped qualifying for the 10th time in his career.
Valtteri Bottas ended up over three-tenths adrift of the 2021 title protagonists in the second Mercedes, while a stunning lap from Pierre Gasly saw the AlphaTauri driver take fourth on the grid.
While George Russell was able to recover to the pits after sliding off the track at the final corner, Nicholas Latifi was not so fortunate as he suffered a heavy crash with an off at Turn 7.
The disruption meant the session was not resumed, preventing drivers from being able to improve their Q2 times.
Russell was 11th ahead of Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin and McLaren’s Lando Norris, who struggled for pace throughout qualifying and was left a disappointing 13th in what marked just the second time this season the Briton not made it into Q3.
Having ended his qualifying rearwards in the barriers, Latifi was classified 14th, though given the high-energy impact it is likely he will have to take a new gearbox and subsequently trigger a grid drop.
Yuki Tsunoda was unable to replicate the pace of his AlphaTauri teammate and was knocked out with the slowest time of Q2.
The big shock in Q1 saw Sergio Perez eliminated after the Red Bull driver was caught up in a late rush to improve amid dramatic track evolution and ran out of time to complete a second lap, leaving the Mexican only 16th on the grid.
Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel also failed to progress into Q2 having been impeded by the Haas cars as he prepared for his final flying lap. Both Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin have been summoned to the stewards over the incident.
With Kimi Raikkonen ruled out of the rest of the weekend thanks to a positive COVID-19 test, Alfa Romeo reserve driver Robert Kubica stepped in and qualified 18th on an unexpected return to grand prix racing.
As they have been for much of the season, Haas’ rookie pairing occupied the bottom of the qualifying timesheets, with Schumacher half a second clear of Mazepin as he once again got the better of his teammate.
F1 Dutch GP – Verstappen claims pole position F1 Dutch GP – Verstappen claims pole position