The Dutch Grand Prix is back on the Formula 1 calendar in 2021. Scheduled for 2020 and postponed due to the pandemic, finally, the race takes place this Sunday, in an “old school” Zandvoort.
And there’s nothing better than pole position to stay with the host. Max Verstappen took the 10th pole of his career and the seventh of the 2021 season. Lewis Hamilton completes the front row of the grid, after just 38 thousandths behind the Dutchman in Q3. Valtteri Bottas completes the top three.
Pierre Gasly starts in fourth position followed by the Ferrari duo. The third row of the grid will be formed by Charles Leclerc, in fifth, and Carlos Sainz, in sixth.
Antonio Giovinazzi had a spectacular day in Zandoort. The Italian starts in seventh position, sharing the fourth row of the grid with Alpine driver Esteban Ocon.
Fernando Alonso, in ninth, and Daniel Ricciardo, complete the fifth row and the top 10.
It was a disappointing session for Sergio Perez. Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate failed to open his last quick lap attempt in Q1 and was eliminated prematurely. Along with him, Sebastian Vettel stayed behind the traffic and also didn’t progress to Q2. Perez started 16th ahead of Vettel.
The session was marked by accidents with Williams cars. First, George Russell escaped at turn 13 and crashed back into the protections, the Brit still managed to return to the pits but did not return to the track. With the session restarted, Nicholas Latifi lost control at the entrance to turn 7 and also ended up in the protections, bringing the second red flag of the session and the end of Q2.
Check out how qualifying for the Formula 1 Netherlands Grand Prix happened.
Q1 – 18 minutes of track, the last five are eliminated
Verstappen scored 1:10.036s to lead the session on the soft tyres. Hamilton was second, just 0.147s behind, but using medium tyres.
Bottas was third and Gasly was fourth.
With five minutes left in Q1, the eliminated were: Stroll, Schumacher, Vettel, Kubica and Mazepin. The Pole replaces Raikkonen at Alfa Romeo, which tested positive for Covid-19.
Vettel improved and moved up to P12. Russell also improved his lap time, taking fifth place. With the improvements, Ricciardo occupied the elimination zone, while his teammate at McLaren, Lando Norris, was P12.
Several riders opened fast laps just before the clock was reset, including the Australian McLaren.
Leclerc scored 1:09,829 and took the lead. Sainz also improved and was second. Giovinazzi managed a good lap, enough for fourth position. Latifi also did well on his last stint and took fifth place.
Vettel was hampered by heavy traffic on his last attempt and was eliminated in Q1. The confusion was for investigation by the commissioners. Along with him, Perez, Kubica, Schumacher and Mazepin were also out of Q2. The big disappointment in Q1 was undoubtedly the Red Bull Perez’s Mexican, who was unable to open a lap in the final stages.
Q2 – 15 minutes of the track, the top 10 qualify for the pole position
Latifi was first on the track when the green light was given for Q2. Verstappen followed the Brit. Russell and Norris soon began their installation rounds. Next, the Mercedes pair with Bottas ahead of Hamilton.
Latifi scored 1:11.161s, but was quickly overtaken by Verstappen with a time of 1:09.071s.
Russell jumped into P2 before Bottas scored 1:09,769 and took second place. Hamilton passed next and was 33 milliseconds faster than his teammate. Both, six tenths behind Verstappen’s time.
Giovinazzi, almost a second behind the leader, took fourth position ahead of Russell.
Leclerc moved up to second position after a lap 0.366s slower than Verstappen’s. Gasly, 0.470s behind the Red Bull driver, took third position ahead of the Mercedes.
Ricciardo found a good enough lap for sixth position. Meanwhile, Norris was only 13th after the first stint in Q2.
With five minutes to go, Russell, Stroll, Norris, Latifi and Tsunoda were out.
Russell spun around turn 13 and backhanded into wards, bringing the red flag and Q2 interruption with almost four minutes to go.
The session was restarted, but with less than two minutes to go, Latifi spun and crashed out of turn 7. The red flag was again waved and Q2 ended.
The eliminated were Russell, Stroll, Norris, Latifi and Tsunoda.
Q3 – 12 minutes that define pole position
With the green light given, a queue formed at the exit of the pit-lane. Ricciardo, Gasly and Verstappen were the first.
Ricciardo scored 1:10.524, quickly overtaken by Giovinazzi and then Verstappen. The Red Bull driver clocked 1:08.923, the weekend’s best time so far.
Bottas was 0.299s behind Verstappen in second place, while Hamilton was third 0.345s behind the Dutchman.
When they returned to the pits after the first stint of Q3, Gasly was fourth ahead of Leclerc, Sainz, Alonso, Giovinazzi, Ricciardo and Ocon.
Leclerc was first on track for the last attempt in Q3. Sainz and Gasly, respectively, followed the Monegasque.
Verstappen passed and made the first sector better, almost two tenths better than Bottas and Hamilton. The Dutchman’s second sector was also flawless. The Red Bull driver improved his lap to 1:08,885s. Hamilton also improved and was only 38 thousandths behind Verstappen. The Mercedes driver will start in the front row next to pole Verstappen. Bottas starts in third, followed by Gasly and Leclerc completing the top five.
Check out the starting grid for the F1 Netherlands Grand Prix:
1) Max Verstappen (Red Bull/Honda) 1’088885
2) Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1’08.923
3) Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 1’09.222
4) Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri/Honda) 1’09,478
5) Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 1’09,527
6) Carlos Sainz Jr. (Ferrari) 1’09,537
7) A. Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo/Ferrari) 1’09,590
8) Esteban Ocon (Alpine/Renault) 1’09,933
9) Fernando Alonso (Alpine/Renault) 1’09,956
10) Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren/Mercedes) 1’10.166
11) George Russell (Williams/Mercedes) 1’10,332
12) Throw Stroll (Aston Martin/Mercedes) 1’10,367
13) Lando Norris (McLaren/Mercedes) 1’10.406
14) Nicholas Latifi (Williams/Mercedes) 1’11.161
15) Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri/Honda) 1’11.314
16) Sergio Pérez (Red Bull/Honda) 1’10.530
17) Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin/Mercedes) 1’10.731
18) Robert Kubica (Alfa Romeo/Ferrari) 1’11.301
19) Mick Schumacher (Haas/Ferrari) 1’11.387
20) Nikita Mazepin (Haas/Ferrari) 1’11,875