Pole for Verstappen in Zandvoort

The reigning champion beats Lando Norris to pole on a drying track at the Dutch Grand Prix

ZANDVOORT, NETHERLANDS - AUGUST 26: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB19 on track during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of The Netherlands at Circuit Zandvoort on August 26, 2023 in Zandvoort, Netherlands. (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202308260386 // Usage for editorial use only //

Max Verstappen will start from pole position at his home race after setting the fastest time in qualifying for the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.

The reigning champion faced pressure from McLaren, with Lando Norris starting alongside him on the front row.

Mercedes’s George Russell completes the top three, while strong pace from Alex Albon sees him line up on row two alongside the Briton.

Qualifying started on a damp track, with the conditions improving throughout Q1 before another shower hit at the end of the opening session.

Liam Lawson headed out for his first qualifying in F1 after just an hour’s practice in the AlphaTauri, having been called up yesterday to fill in for the injured Daniel Ricciardo.

It was a tidy session from the New Zealander, who kept the car on the track in slippery conditions while others ran wide, but a change of tyres at the wrong time meant he missed the best of the track conditions.

Charles Leclerc was fortunate to make it out of Q1 after running across the gravel and finding himself in the bottom five late on, but a quick lap at the end of the session ensured he made it through.

The showers passed and a dry line started to appear throughout Q2, with lap times getting quicker throughout the session.

Lewis Hamilton couldn’t put a clean lap together at the end of the session, leaving him outside the top 10, but a late push from Logan Sargeant saw him through to Q3 for the first time.

The battle for pole was halted when Sargeant spun, sending his Williams hard into the barrier and resulting in a lengthy delay while the track was repaired.

There was another red flag just a couple of minutes after the action resumed as Leclerc got onto the still damp grass, causing his Ferrari to slide into the barrier.

Fernando Alonso put in a quick time at the end to ensure he starts in the top five, while Sergio Perez and Oscar Piastri were unable to match the pace of their teammates.

Provisional qualifying result:

1 Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

2. Lando Norris (McLaren)

3. George Russell (Mercedes)

4. Alex Albon (Williams)

5. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin)

6. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)

7. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)

8. Oscar Piastri (McLaren)

9. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

10. Logan Sargeant (Williams)

11. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)

12. Pierre Gasly (Alpine)

13. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

14. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)

15. Nico Hulkenberg (Haas)

16. Guanyu Zhou (Alfa Romeo)

17. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)

18. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)

19. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)

20. Liam Lawson (AlphaTauri)

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