Dutch Grand Prix – Red Bull driver Max Verstappen has claimed pole position at his home race, with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton narrowly missing out on on the top spot.
The home hero set a time of 1:08.885 which was just 0.038s faster than Mercedes driver and championship leader Hamilton. Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas was in third 0.3s off Verstappen’s benchmark.
It was advantage to Red Bull after their first Q3 runs as Verstappen was nearly a quarter of a second ahead of the two Mercedes drivers. But in the last runs, Hamilton managed to improve his time to slot alongside the Dutch driver on the front row.
The red flags were brought out in Q2 to deal with an incident with George Russell who spun his Williams at the final corner. The Briton dropped it on the entry of the corner and spun into the barrier clipping his rear right wheel. There were hopes of Russell getting back out to do another lap, however damage to the suspension curtailed the Briton’s running. The Williams driver set the 11th fastest time.
After a lengthy stoppage, the drivers got back onto track for the remaining few minutes, however, the red flags were brought out again for the other Williams of Nicholas Latifi who lost the car at Turn 8 and ploughed into the barriers. There was heavy damage to the Canadian’s car and the session was not resumed. Latifi starts in 14th for tomorrows’ race.
Pierre Gasly continues to impress in the AlphaTauri and set the fourth fastest time, ahead of both Ferrari’s of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.
Antonio Giovinazzi set the seventh fastest time, just 0.7s off the polesitters’ time, with the two Alpines of Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso in eighth and ninth. Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top ten for McLaren.
Lance Stroll was in 12th place for Aston Martin, ahead of the McLaren of Lando Norris in 13th. The Briton was caught out by the red flags and was unable to improve his time in Q2.
Yuki Tsunoda was in 15th place in the other AlphaTauri. There was a shock result for Red Bull as Sergio Perez was knocked out in Q1. The Mexican starts down in 16th place, ahead of four time world champion Sebastian Vettel in his Aston Martin.
Robert Kubica, who is deputising for the covid-19 hit Kimi Raikkonen starts in 18th place.
There may be a penalty coming Haas’s way as, during Q1, Nikita Mazepin moved across the track trying to pass his teammate Mick Schumacher in the second to last corner. However, Vettel was quickly coming up behind and had to take avoiding action to narrowly miss hitting the Russian driver. The Haas drivers round out the back of the grid with Schumacher in 19th and Mazepin in 20th.