Max Verstappen storms to pole for Red Bull in home Dutch Grand Prix

Max Verstappen took pole for the Dutch Grand Prix, delivering a mighty lap for Red Bull at his home race in Zandvoort to beat the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz into second and third place. Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were in fourth and sixth for Mercedes, with Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez in fifth.

On his first run in Q3 Verstappen went out first as he had earlier in the session, wanting to stamp his authority on the lap from the off. He was once more quick through the opening two sectors, pushing to the limit through the banking of Hugenholtz. He set a time of 1min 10.515sec but Leclerc followed him and found even more. Especially strong in the opening third, he took the lead by just six-hundredths of a second, with Hamilton two-tenths back.

It was an immense lap to answer Verstappen’s effort but with the track still evolving the final runs were crucial and impossibly tense. Leclerc led the leaders out, bettering his first sector time. Verstappen behind him went better in the middle sector and by the tiniest margin enjoyed the best of the run to the line, taking pole by just two-hundredths of a second with a time of 1min 10.342sec in a magnificent finish. Behind him Pérez spun through the final corner causing a yellow flag, ending the laps of those behind him, including Russell who was improving at the time.

This is Verstappen’s 17th pole position and his second at Zandvoort, after he also converted the top spot to a win last year when the circuit returned to the calendar for the first time since 1985. It is his first race at home since becoming world champion and a capacity crowd of 105,000 will be hoping for another celebratory win on Sunday.

It comes after a dominant win from 14th on the grid at the last round at Spa but on a track with vastly different characteristics and where the Dutchman had been on the back foot on Friday. In contrast to Spa’s long, high-speed straights, Zandvoort’s tight, twisty, short-track demands high downforce and pace through the corners, something the Red Bull has also demonstrated this season but on Friday Verstappen had a gearbox problem in first practice and then in the afternoon could manage only eighth. When it counted, however, he was once again on top.

Verstappen has an absolutely commanding position in the championship race. Having taken nine wins he has a 93-point lead over Pérez and is 98 clear of Leclerc. With another decent haul of points he could potentially close out his second title as soon as Singapore or Japan.

Quick Guide

How do I sign up for sport breaking news alerts?


  • Download the Guardian app from the iOS App Store on iPhones or the Google Play store on Android phones by searching for ‘The Guardian’.
  • If you already have the Guardian app, make sure you’re on the most recent version.
  • In the Guardian app, tap the yellow button at the bottom right, then go to Settings (the gear icon), then Notifications.
  • Turn on sport notifications.
Was this helpful?

Lando Norris was seventh for McLaren, Mick Schumacher eighth for Haas, Yuki Tsunoda ninth for AlphaTauri and Lance Stroll 10th for Aston Martin. Pierre Gasly was 11th for AlphaTauri, Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso 12th and 13th for Alpine, Zhou Guanyu 14th for Alfa Romeo and Alex Albon 15th for Williams.

Valtteri Bottas was in 16th for Alfa Romeo, Kevin Magnussen 17th for Haas and Daniel Ricciardo 18th for McLaren. Sebastian Vettel was 19th for Aston Martin and Nicholas Latifi 20th for Williams.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button