Home town delight for Verstappen in orange overload of front row
Max Verstappen has picked up where he left off at the Dutch Grand Prix, taking a dominant pole position as Formula 1 returns from the summer break.
The Red Bull driver cantered to pole in front of his adoring home fans by more than half a second in a wet/dry session that saw plenty of action.
He will share the front row with Lando Norris, who showed pace in the McLaren all throughout qualifying to ensure the front row will be dominated by orange, or shall we say papaya in the case of Norris’ car.
(Photo by Grand Prix 247)
Amazingly six different teams are represented in the top six, showing the tightness behind Verstappen in the fight for the remaining podium places.
George Russell will start third for Mercedes, ahead of the start of qualifying Alex Albon who put in a mega lap to start fourth for Williams.
Fernando Alonso will start fifth for Aston Martin ahead of countryman Carlo Sainz for Ferrari.
Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez languishes down in seventh, a whopping 1.3 seconds behind, adding further questions to the safety of his seat moving forward. Aussie Oscar Piastri was on the pace all session but couldn’t find the time in the final disrupted Q3 and will start in eighth.
The disruptions in the final session were caused by two accidents which brought out red flags. The first was brought out by the Williams of Logan Sargeant, who made it into Q3 for the first ever time but promptly spun into the barriers at the start of the session.
The other red flag was brought out by the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc who also found himself in the barriers in the session. Leclerc will start from ninth, ahead of Sargeant in 10th.
Outside the top 10, Lance Stroll was unlucky not to make it into Q3 after being eliminated by Sargeant in the closing seconds and will start in 11th. Lewis Hamilton was the other early big name casualty, missing Q3 and will start in 13th.
Kiwi Liam Lawson is making his debut this weekend for AlphaTauri after Aussie Daniel Ricciardo broke his finger in an accident on Friday. He will start the race in last place, which is still no mean feat given the lateness of his call up to a circuit he is unfamiliar with and in very tricky conditions.
All eyes will be on Max Verstappen for the race tonight as he aims to not only keep Red Bull’s perfect season alive, but join Sebastian Vettel as the only driver to win nine consecutive F1 races.
1 Max VERSTAPPEN Red Bull Racing 1:10.567
2 Lando NORRIS McLaren +0.537
3 George RUSSELL Mercedes +0.727
4 Alexander ALBON Williams +0.852
5 Fernando ALONSO Aston Martin +0.939
6 Carlos SAINZ Ferrari +1.187
7 Sergio PEREZ Red Bull Racing +1.313
8 Oscar PIASTRI McLaren +1.371
9 Charles LECLERC Ferrari +2.098
10 Logan SARGEANT Williams +6.181
11 Lance STROLL Aston Martin 1:20.121
12 Pierre GASLY Alpine +0.007
13 Lewis HAMILTON Mercedes +0.030
14 Yuki TSUNODA AlphaTauri +0.109
15 Nico HULKENBERG Haas +0.129
16 Guanyu ZHOU Alfa Romeo 1:22.067
17 Esteban OCON Alpine +0.043
18 Kevin MAGNUSSEN Haas +0.125
19 Valtteri BOTTAS Alfa Romeo +0.193
20 Liam LAWSON AlphaTauri +1.353
This article was originally written for The Roar. You can read the published version here