Relentless Verstappen storms to pole at F1 Dutch GP; Albon stars with a stunning P4

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Heavy rain spells had been the story of Saturday in Zandvoort and qualifying started with all drivers on inters.


A 1:31.315 from Alex Albon kicked things off in Q1. However, Albon, Hülkenberg and Verstappen all had trips through the gravel in the opening 5 minutes but could continue.

Logan Sargeant logged a 1:24.760 to be quickest at that point, ahead of Piastri, Tsunoda, Hamilton and Ocon.

The McLarens continued their strong form as a 1:23.260 from Norris put him 0.476s clear of Piastri. Albon and Sargeant then made it a Williams 3-4, ahead of Alonso and Russell.

After struggling to get heat in his tyres for a while, Max Verstappen set a 1:22.786 that put him top. But the McLarens responded again as Piastri did a 1:22.059.

The first driver into the 1:21s was Norris as he banged in a 1:21.434, 0.6s clear of the field at that point. Piastri then lowered it to a 1:21.254, but home hero Max Verstappen narrowly beat that by 0.024s.

An excellent lap by Alex Albon on new inters put him to the top with a 1:20.939. Verstappen improved on his used tyres got within 0.026s.

Leclerc, Bottas, Ocon, Hamilton and Lawson was the bottom five with a minute and a half remaining.

As Hamilton moved himself out of the relegation zone, Charles Leclerc was scrambling to get out as well. The Monegasque made it by just 0.048s despite a huge slide on the kerb between turns 13 and 14. He was far from happy with his engineer as he asked him to focus on traffic and getting the tyres into the window in Q2.

Magnussen blew his last attempt as he went off the track at turn 1.

There will be multiple investigations after the session with Hamilton getting impeded by Stroll, with Sainz and Piastri almost colliding for a second straight event as the Spaniard exited the pits.

Zhou, Ocon, Magnussen, Bottas and debutant Lawson dropped out.


A 1:21.961 from Max Verstappen at the start of Q2 put him over a second clear of Logan Sargeant in the very early stages. He improved on the next flier as a 1:20.690 meant the best time of Q1 was quickly beaten.

The McLaren of Lando Norris did a 1:20.629 to be fastest halfway through from Verstappen, Albon, Piastri, Stroll and Alonso.

Verstappen responded to the McLaren as a 1:20.292 put him ahead of Norris, Hamilton, Piastri, Albon, Russell, Leclerc, Stroll, Alonso and Sargeant.

Perez, Tsunoda, Hulkenberg, Gasly and Sainz found themselves in the relegation zone with 5 minutes remaining.

The World Champion was the first into the 1:19s as the Dutchman smashed in a 1:19.652 to put himself 0.9s clear of teammate Perez and Norris.

A cracking lap from Alex Albon once again moved him to the top of the charts as a 1:19.399 put him to the top on fresh inters, 0.221s ahead of Russell.

Piastri then sneaked ahead of the Williams by 0.007s as the Aussie showed strong pace in mixed conditions once again.

However, it was Max Verstappen who ended the session quickest as a 1:18.856 put him over half a second clear of Piastri, Albon and Alonso.

Leclerc (despite another turn 1 excursion), Russell, Norris, Perez, Sainz and Sargeant also made it through. It’s the first time in his career the American driver has made the final segment of qualifying.

Lewis Hamilton was the massive shock of Q2 as the Brit completed his push lap before almost everyone else. He was out of sequence and paid the price as Norris, Sainz and Sargeant all improved to knock the seven-time World Champion out.

Stroll, Gasly, Hamilton, Tsunoda and Hulkenberg dropped out. The bottom five all missed out on Q3 by less than 0.2s.

Tsunoda faces a post-qualifying investigation as he potentially impeded Hamilton in the final corner.


With the track drying rapidly in most parts, all ten drivers eventually put on softs in Q3.

A 1:15.743 from Alex Albon was a strong first lap to put him over a second clear of teammate Logan Sargeant. Unfortunately for the American, he got on a damp patch at turn 2 and lost the rear, causing him to hit the barriers. Luckily he could get out and was absolutely fine.

Albon, Sargeant, Sainz, Russell, Piastri, Alonso, Verstappen, Leclerc, Norris and Perez was the order when the session resumed with 8:13 to go.

The delay allowed the track to dry out even more and the times started to tumble massively.

A 1:12.049 from Lando Norris put him 0.199s clear of Piastri, as Verstappen slotted into P3. Russell, Leclerc, Perez, Albon, Sargeant, Alonso and Sainz completed the order.

With 4:05 to go, a second red flag was required as Charles Leclerc crashed at turn 9 as he understeered off and hit the barrier quite hard. A gearbox change could be required.

On the final runs, Max Verstappen stamped his authority on the field as a stunning 1:10.567 to take pole position by 0.537s from McLaren’s Lando Norris. The home crowd understandably went wild as their hero took pole for a third straight year at Zandvoort.

George Russell crossed the line last and took P3, although he was 0.727s off pole.

Photo credit: Red Bull Content Pool

Behind the top 3, the star of qualifying was Alex Albon as the Williams driver put himself P4 on the grid for tomorrow’s Ditch Grand Prix, equalling his best ever qualifying performance in F1.

Alonso, Sainz, Perez, Piastri, Leclerc and Sargeant completed the top 10. It was a disappointing end to qualifying for Perez and Piastri as they both underperformed on the last run.