Verstappen beats Leclerc to pole position at Zandvoort

Verstappen beats Leclerc to pole position at Zandvoort

After the three free practice sessions of the Dutch Grand Prix, it was difficult to see clearly the forces present. However, the moment to reveal their game came with the qualifications in Zandvoort, putting three teams in contention.

In fact, Mercedes F1 dominated Free Practice 1 and showed a form closer to that of Hungary than that of Belgium. Ferrari set the fastest time in FP2 and FP3 with Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, while Red Bull came close in the final session on Saturday morning.

It is difficult to say which team of these three is the favorite for pole position. From behind it is not clearer since we find four teams in EL3 between seventh and tenth place. Alpine F1 was quick throughout the weekend, as were McLaren and, to a lesser extent, Aston Martin.

The key to this qualifying will obviously be not to make any mistakes on the fastest laps, because the walls are so close at Zandvoort. Also, it is imperative to get the timing right, because red flags could interrupt the session.

Q1 – 18 minutes

The Haas F1 drivers were the first to hit the track in this Q1, with Kevin Magnussen posting a 1’12.680, and Mick Schumacher falling 0.145 behind his team-mate. Alex Albon scored the third and Nicholas Latifi the fourth.

Guanyu Zhou did the best lap with 1’12″641, and Valtteri Bottas only took fourth position. Yuki Tsunoda, not very animated this weekend, came between the Williams, just ahead of Pierre Gasly, but the Japanese’s time it was canceled for not respecting the limits of the track.

Sebastian Vettel beat the best reference in 1’12″563, immediately surpassed by his teammate Lance Stroll in 1’12″505. It was when Max Verstappen came out on the track, along with Sergio Pérez, to mark his first time.

Daniel Ricciardo then improved the fastest time to 1’12.490s, but Verstappen took the lead in 1’11.317s. Pérez missed 1.003 behind his teammate, while Charles Leclerc was second fastest at 0.808 behind the Dutchman. Carlos Sainz closed within 0.450 of Verstappen as the Mercedes F1s were on their fastest lap.

George Russell was in second place, two tenths behind Verstappen, and Lewis Hamilton was 0.019 behind his teammate, ahead of the Ferraris. Magnussen improved to sixth place, one thousandth of a second ahead of the Ferrari Pérez .

Note that Lando Norris was released right in front of Tsunoda in the pits, and race management will investigate the incident after the session. The McLaren F1 driver set the fifth fastest time. Bottas moved up to seventh and Zhou to fifth.

Fernando Alonso was fourth and Esteban Ocon seventh, in the fast first lap of the alpines. Tsunoda moved up to sixth place, Gasly to eighth, edged out by Stroll. Vettel only signed the 16th time.

Fifteenth after just one lap, Pérez improved to take fourth position 0.324 behind his teammate. Leclerc snatched the second half 0.126 from Verstappen. The first 13 were then in 0″799, and they were 15 in 1″002.

Albon moved up to seventh place, while the drivers between ninth and last place were all on track. Russell and Hamilton, along with Pérez, also took to the track, as did Sainz, who was only eighth, and Alonso, who was sixth. In the end, only Verstappen and Leclerc did not return to the track.

Magnussen was 12th and Schumacher was 8th. Zhou moved up one place to 10th and Bottas to 12th. Stroll took 4th, Ricciardo only moved up to 17th under the checkered flag, with Vettel getting a start on his fastest lap! Norris took the third position and Tsunoda the second! Gasly moved up to 11th position.

Those eliminated are Bottas, Magnussen, Ricciardo, Vettel and Latifi.

Q2 – 15 minutes

Slow motion showed Vettel making a mistake in the penultimate corner, which was unfortunate as he was improving a lot. The differences are difficult for him, but also for Ricciardo and Latifi, who saw their teammates finish Q1 in the top 10.

The red flag was raised while Albon was alone on the track, having dropped a smoke bomb on the track. However, these are banned, but some brought them to the track and obviously thought it was fun to send them out onto tarmac…

The Red Bull drivers immediately came out on the restart. Verstappen set a time of 1:10.927, 0.387 ahead of Pérez and a second ahead of Albon. All the other drivers except Alonso were on their starting lap.

Russell posted the third fastest time, with Hamilton setting the second fastest time 0.148 behind Verstappen. Norris posted the absolute best first sector and eventually posted the fifth fastest time.

The Ferraris were also on the track but failed to shine. Leclerc was sixth after that first attempt, eight tenths behind Verstappen, and Sainz overtook him. Ocon positioned himself behind Albon but ahead of Zhou, Tsunoda and Schumacher. Paseo then moved up to fourth place!

Alonso went off track to get a clean track and took eighth place, among the Ferraris. After this first attempt, it was worrying to see the Ferrari in the second part of the top 10, with Leclerc two places from elimination.

Definitely in high spirits, Albon improved his time but failed to gain position, falling 0.075s off Leclerc’s time. There were then three minutes left and all the drivers were back on track except Verstappen.

Please note that the person who blew the smoke onto the track at the start of Q2 was identified and evacuated from the circuit for safety. The FIA ​​warns that this sanction will be irrevocable in similar cases.

On the track, Leclerc improved his time and was 0.061 behind Verstappen, Norris was fourth, Schumacher eighth and Sainz the fastest lap with 1’10.814. Ocon took the tenth time and Russell the second.

Tsunoda moved up to 10th place, knocking out Ocon. Gasly improved but fell 0.084 short of Q2. Alonso could not do better and fell eight thousandths short of Ocon.

Those eliminated were Gasly, Ocon, Alonso, Zhou and Albon.

Q3 – 12 minutes

Verstappen was immediately on the attack of the clock, with a turn 3 exit at the limit. The Dutchman signed a 1’10″515 as the first reference, and Pérez failed at 0″562.

Schumacher set a time more than two seconds behind the reigning world champion. Norris was fourth to set a time, with the McLaren F1 driver falling 1.635 seconds behind Verstappen.

The Mercedes drivers then went on their first lap and Russel took third position just behind Perez. Hamilton, on the other hand, posted a 1’10” 648 to within a tenth of Verstappen!

But Leclerc improved the first two sectors and set a 1’10.456 which gave him provisional pole. Sainz was a little behind in fourth position. Again a Ferrari/Red Bull/Mercedes trio preceded another similar trio.

Behind, Tsunoda stood between Norris and Schumacher, while Stroll encountered a mechanical problem that prevented Aston Martin F1 from getting him back on track for this Q3, sealing his tenth position.

A smoke bomb landed on the track again, but rolled under the barrier towards the first corner, and Leclerc attacked his second stint improving on the best time of all time in the first sector. Verstappen was 0.030 behind in this first part of the circuit.

Leclerc was behind in the second sector, setting a tenth of his time, while Verstappen improved. Leclerc signed a 1’10″363, he keeps improving!

Verstappen took pole position by 21 thousandths of a second! Sainz improved to third and Pérez crashed in the last corner! He therefore ruined the last sector of the Mercedes drivers, who were in the process of improving their best lap.

So Verstappen is on pole ahead of Leclerc, then Sainz and Hamilton. Pérez and Russell will share the third row at the start ahead of Norris, Schumacher, Tsunoda and Stroll.

position Pilot Car time Q1 time Q2 time Q3
01 max verstappen Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:11,317 1:10,927 1:10,342
02 Charles Leclerc ferrari f1-75 1:11,443 1:10,988 1:10,363
03 Carlos Sainz ferrari f1-75 1:11,767 1:10,814 1:10,434
04 Lewis Hamilton mercedes w13 1:11,331 1:11,075 1:10,648
05 Sergio Perez Red Bull RBPT RB18 1:11,641 1:11,314 1:11,077
06 george russell mercedes w13 1:11,561 1:10,824 1:11,147
07 lando norris McLarenMercedes MCL36 1:11,556 1:11,116 1:11,174
08 Mike Schumacher Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:11,741 1:11,420 1:11,442
09 yukitsunoda Alpha Tauri RBPT AT03 1:11,427 1:11,428 1:12,556
10 spear ride Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:11,568 1:11,416 -:—-
—————- ————— ———- ———- ———-
eleven pierre gasley Alpha Tauri RBPT AT03 1:11,705 1:11,512
12 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault A522 1:11,748 1:11,605
13 Fernando Alonso Alpine Renault A522 1:11,667 1:11,613
14 Guanyu-Zhou alfa romeo ferrari c42 1:11,826 1:11,704
fifteen alex albon Williams Mercedes FW44 1:11,695 1:11,802
—————- ————— ———- ———- ———-
sixteen Valtteri Bottas alfa romeo ferrari c42 1:11,961
17 kevin magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-22 1:12,041
18 Daniel Ricciardo McLarenMercedes MCL36 1:12,081
19 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22 1:12,391
twenty Nicholas Latif Williams Mercedes FW44 1:13,353


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