Verstappen to start home race from pole position

Championship rivals Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton start from the front row in Zandvoort

ZANDVOORT, NETHERLANDS - SEPTEMBER 04: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing RB16B Honda during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of The Netherlands at Circuit Zandvoort on September 04, 2021 in Zandvoort, Netherlands. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202109040346 // Usage for editorial use only //

Max Verstappen delighted the home fans in qualifying at Zandvoort as he secured pole position for the Dutch Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver will start on the front row alongside championship rival Lewis Hamilton, who was 0.03s behind the Dutchman.

A crash in FP3 meant Ferrari were unsure whether Carlos Sainz’s car would be ready for qualifying, but the mechanics completed the rebuild just a couple of minutes after the first session started.

Track evolution meant the lap times started to tumble towards the end of Q1, but a queue for track position meant Sergio Perez and Sebastian Vettel were denied the chance to set a final flying lap, and were knocked out early on.

In his first qualifying session since 2019, Robert Kubica secured a spot ahead of the Haas cars, but missed out on a place in Q2 alongside teammate Antonio Giovinazzi. The Polish driver was a late call-up for this weekend’s race, as Kimi Raikkonen tested positive for coronavirus ahead of this morning’s practice session.

Q2 was red flagged when George Russell, pushing for a place in the top 10 for a second race in a row, spun his Williams and skidded across the gravel pit and collided with the barrier. 

Williams tried to fix his car, which didn’t seem to have picked up too much damage, but he was unable to take the restart. The remainder of the session was cut short though as Russell’s teammate, Nicholas Latifi had a similar crash, losing the rear of his car before slamming into the barrier.

Hamilton’s teammate Valtteri Bottas will start from the second row, having been unable to match the current champion’s pace, while a strong performance from Pierre Gasly means he lines up next to the second Mercedes, while an impressive lap from Giovinazzi ensures he’ll line up seventh, behind the two Ferraris.

Provisional qualifying result:

1 Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

3. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)

4. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)

5. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)

6. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)

7. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo)

8. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)

9. Fernando Alonso (Alpine)

10. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)

11. George Russell (Williams)

12. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)

13. Lando Norris (McLaren)

14. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)

15. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)

16. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)

17. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)

18. Robert Kubica (Alfa Romeo)

19. Mick Schumacher (Haas)

20. Nikita Mazepin (Haas)

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