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Max Verstappen Clinches A Home Pole Position For 2021 Dutch Grand Prix


(Image credit: Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen clinched pole position for 2021 Dutch Grand Prix in front of his home fans at Zandvoort, as title rival – Lewis Hamilton joins him on the front row.

Verstappen dominated FP3 and blitzed Qualifying with exception of Q1 as he eased to pole position relatively unchallenged, as Hamilton fought off Valtteri Bottas to secure second on the grid as the Brit finished 0.038 seconds off Verstappen.

Elsewhere, Antonio Giovinazzi secured a shock seventh place for Alfa Romeo despite experiencing a teammate change, as Kimi Raikkonen tested positive for Coronavirus prior to FP3 which meant that Robert Kubica took his seat for remainder of the weekend.

Now here is a full roundup of Saturday’s action across FP3 and Qualifying.

 

FP3

(Image credit: Lars Baron/Getty Images)

A quiet start saw Kubica head straight out on track to acclimatise himself with Circuit Zandvoort, having stepped into Raikkonen’s car for rest of this weekend.

Hamilton set the initial benchmark of 1m 12.010 ahead of Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo until Fernando Alonso went top by 0.014 seconds, only for the Spaniard to further lower his time to 1m 11.705 ahead of Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez come the end of the opening 20 minutes of this session.

Carlos Sainz brought the session to a 12 minute halt after he lost control of his Ferrari out of Gerlachbocht and spun into the entry of Hugenholtzboch, heavily damaging his Ferrari despite the barriers absorbing the impact to prevent him sliding back onto the racing track.

Once the session resumed, Valtteri Bottas went top with 1m 11.217 on soft tyres ahead of Max Verstappen by 0.008s, only for the latter to improve by 0.515s on his second medium tyre flier.

Attention soon afterwards switched to soft tyre Qualifying simulations with Bottas improving to 1m 10.179 as Hamilton found himself 0.228s slower than his Mercedes teammate, yet Verstappen was able to maximise a tow from Perez to post a session-topping 1m 09.623.

Bottas, Hamilton and Perez rounded out the top four as Alonso, Norris, Lance Stroll, Sebastian Vettel, Leclerc and Pierre Gasly completed the top ten.

Position
Driver
Team
Time

1
Max Verstappen
Red Bull
1m 09.623

2
Valtteri Bottas
Mercedes
+ 0.556

3
Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes
+ 0.794

4
Sergio Perez
Red Bull
+ 0.903

5
Fernando Alonso
Alpine
+ 1.047

6
Lando Norris
McLaren
+ 1.158

7
Lance Stroll
Aston Martin
+ 1.219

8
Sebastian Vettel
Aston Martin
+ 1.249

9
Charles Leclerc
Ferrari
+ 1.273

10
Pierre Gasly
AlphaTauri
+ 1.382

11
Daniel Ricciardo
McLaren
+ 1.390

12
Nicholas Latifi
Williams
+ 1.460

13
Esteban Ocon
Alpine
+ 1.557

14
George Russell
Williams
+ 1.651

15
Antonio Giovinazzi
Alfa Romeo
+ 1.676

16
Carlos Sainz
Ferrari
+ 2.317

17
Yuki Tsunoda
AlphaTauri
+ 2.357

18
Nikita Mazepin
Haas
+ 2.513

19
Robert Kubica
Alfa Romeo
+ 2.539

20
Mick Schumacher
Haas
+ 2.743

 

Qualifying

Q1

Everyone except for Hamilton and Bottas opted for soft tyres throughout Q1 as both Mercedes drivers ventured out on medium tyres, which left them sixth and eighth fastest come the end of session.

Verstappen set the initial pace on 1m 10.036 as Yuki Tsunoda, Sainz, Nikita Mazepin, Schumacher and Kubica found themselves in the elimination zone, after the opening ten minutes as the track soon afterwards began to rapidly evolve.

Traffic consequently became a serious issue which proved costly as Perez found out to his cost after missing out on a final flier, having missed the line as the checkered flag begun to wave which left the Mexican knocked out in Q1 in 16th position.

Vettel was 17th quickest as Kubica outqualified Schumacher and Mazepin in 18th position in his first Qualifying session since the 2019 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Leclerc meanwhile topped Q1 with 1m 09.829 ahead of Ferrari teammate, Sainz.

 

Q2

Q2 saw everyone opt for soft tyres as Verstappen quickly set an ultimate Q2 topping benchmark of 1m 09.071 after opening runs, as George Russell, Stroll, Norris, Nicholas Latifi and Tsunoda occupied the five elimination spots after opening runs.

Williams opted to send Russell and Latifi early for banker second fliers but Russell unfortunately pushed too hard into Kumhobocht and spun on entry, with his right rear tyre luckily absorbing the impact as just an advertising hoarder was blown off the barriers.

Stewards however swiftly threw a red flag just as Russell regained control and slowly returned to the pits, with the stoppage lasting ten minutes as marshals pounced on the chance to ensure track was swept whilst the barriers were checked over.

Once the session resumed, Latifi led the pack except for Russell out for their final fliers but lost control on entry into Scheivlak and smashed sideways into the barriers at heavy speeds, leaving the Canadian winded but otherwise fine.

Stewards opted to not resume the session despite there being 1m 38s left on the clock, which meant that Russell, Stroll, Norris, Latifi and Tsunoda were all knocked out, as Russell sustained minor suspension to his rear suspension but no penalty is expected to be incurred for repairs.

 

Q3

Following a 19 minute delay until the start of Q3 due to barrier repairs, all ten drivers held back in the pits until Verstappen was sent out first to bank an early flier, in case of red flags during final runs towards the end of this session.

Verstappen proceeded to set the early benchmark of 1m 08.923 as Bottas found himself 0.299s slower in second place ahead of Hamilton, as Gasly produced a stunning lap to go fourth ahead of Leclerc by 0.182s upon completion of the opening runs.

Leclerc though was first out with several drivers opting to crawl out of the pit-lane to create gaps for their final fliers, which irked Verstappen who complained of near stalling over his team radio.

Come the checkered flag, Verstappen improved further to deliver a 1m 08.885 to secure pole position in front of his home fans, as Hamilton knocked Bottas off the front-row as he matched Verstappen’s first provisional pole time.

Bottas settled for third ahead of Gasly, Leclerc and Sainz as Antonio Giovinazzi qualified a surprise seventh ahead of Esteban Ocon, Alonso and Daniel Ricciardo.

Position
Driver
Team
Time

1
Max Verstappen
Red Bull
1m 08.885

2
Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes
+ 0.038

3
Valtteri Bottas
Mercedes
+ 0.337

4
Pierre Gasly
AlphaTauri
+ 0.593

5
Charles Leclerc
Ferrari
+ 0.642

6
Carlos Sainz
Ferrari
+ 0.652

7
Antonio Giovinazzi
Alfa Romeo
+ 0.705

8
Esteban Ocon
Alpine
+ 1.048

9
Fernando Alonso
Alpine
+ 1.071

10
Daniel Ricciardo
McLaren
+ 1.281

11
George Russell
Williams
1m 10.332

12
Lance Stroll
Aston Martin
+ 0.035

13
Lando Norris
McLaren
+ 0.074

14
Nicholas Latifi
Williams
+ 0.829

15
Yuki Tsunoda
AlphaTauri
+ 0.982

16
Sergio Perez
Red Bull
1m 10.530

17
Sebastian Vettel
Aston Martin
+ 0.201

18
Robert Kubica
Alfa Romeo
+ 0.771

19
Mick Schumacher
Haas
+ 0.857

20
Nikita Mazepin
Haas
+ 1.345

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