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Max on pole for Dutch Grand Prix: 'Incredible to get pole here'

Published on 04 September 2021 by Mike Motilall

Max Verstappen took the pole home for the Dutch Grand Prix. In an exciting qualifying session, the Dutchman beat second place running Lewis Hamilton by 38 thousandths of a second on an orange coloured Circuit Zandvoort in front of a frenzied crowd. As a consequence, Verstappen has now taken his tenth Formula 1-career pole. Valtteri  Bottas finished third fastest, ahead of the strong running Pierre Gasly in fourth.

“It is a great feeling to get pole here”, says Max after qualifying as he is cheered on by his fans. “You see so much orange here and it creates such a great atmosphere. I have really had fun. The car was fantastic and we made a good step forward compared to yesterday. As soon as the fuel is taken out of the car, the track is really cool to drive on, especially the second sector was a real treat. Also the banking at Turn three and the last corner are spectacular.”

The pole-lap was although not without issues Verstappen shares: “The lap itself was good, but exiting Turn three I had a double upshift, it was so bumpy that the car went from fourth to sixth gear, so I lost a tenth-and-a-half towards Turn seven. Apparently my DRS was also not open on the straight, but I have no clue why that was because I did press the button. It was very close and I could have gone a bit faster if I hadn’t run into those issues. But eventually it all worked out well.”

Looking ahead to the race, Max says the following: “It is off course the best starting position, because we know that passing here is difficult. I don’t expect it to be an easy race. We have a lot of laps to do and the tyres are struggling with the high speed corners, but today was a good day so I hope that we can finish it tomorrow.”

While being cheered on by many thousands of Dutch supporters, Max gets out on track early on in Q1 on a set of the soft compound tyres. On his first flying lap, Verstappen clocks in a 1:10.036, earning him the top spot immediately. Max heads back to the pits and decides to stay in for the remainder of that part of the qualifying session. Only the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz better Verstappen’s time, he subsequently ends up third fastest in Q1.

Red Bull Racing-team mate Sergio Perez comes in sixteenth fastest which means qualifying is over for the Mexican. Sebastian Vettel is greatly impeded by both Haas-drivers on his final flying lap and subsequently finishes seventeenth fastest. Robert Kubica, who replaces Kimi Raikkonen this weekend at Alfa Romeo as the Finn has been positively tested for Covid-19, crosses the line in P18 while both Haas-drivers Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin end up on the last row.

In Q2 as well, Max is an early bird again. Once again on the softs he clocks in a fast lap, this time a 1:09.071. While Verstappen is back in the pits, George Russell loses control over his Williams at Turn 13. The Briton slides into the gravel trap as he impacts the Tecpro barrier with the rear end of his car. The session is immediately red flagged although Russell is able to get out of the gravel trap and head back to his team on his own. After the delay the session is resumed with a little less than four minutes remaining on the clock.

Just like the rest of the drivers, Max heads out on a set of the softs while he gets ready for another flying lap. At that same moment Nicholas Latifi spins at Turn 8 and he as well rear ends the tyre barrier. The Canadian walks away unscathed from his Williams, but this means that the second part of qualifying is over for both drivers and they have no chance anymore to better their times. Max comes out on top in Q2 while George Russell (P11), Lance Stroll (P12), Lando Norris (P13), Nicholas Latifi (P14) and Yuki Tsunoda (P15) don’t make the cut.

As usual in Q3, all the drivers are running on the red walled tyres. Max tops the time sheet on his first flying lap in Q3 with a 1:08.923. With this he is three tenths faster than Bottas and Hamilton in P2 and P3. A second round of fast laps follows for all the drivers. During which Max manages to better his time to a 1:08.885. Although Hamilton came close, by a mere 38 thousandths of a second, it is not enough to keep Verstappen taking the pole home. As a result, this is Verstappens tenth Formula 1-career pole and his seventh this season. Bottas finishes third, ahead of the strong running Pierre Gasly in fourth. The Ferrari-duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz share the third row with Antonio Giovinazzi surprisingly in P7. Esteban Ocon, Fernando Alonso and Daniel Ricciardo complete the top ten.

Sunday at 15:00 hour local Dutch time the Dutch Grand Prix gets underway.

Contest Dutch GP: win a 1:2 scale model Max Verstappen 2021 helmet!

Results qualifying Netherlands:

1Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda1:10.0361:09.0711:08.885
2Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:10.1141:09.7261:08.923
3Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes1:10.2191:09.7691:09.222
4Pierre GaslyGASAlphaTauri Honda1:10.2741:09.5411:09.478
5Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:09.8291:09.4371:09.527
6Carlos SainzSAIFerrari1:10.0221:09.8701:09.537
7Antonio GiovinazziGIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:10.0501:10.0331:09.590
8Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault1:10.1791:09.9191:09.933
9Fernando AlonsoALOAlpine Renault1:10.4351:10.0201:09.956
10Daniel RicciardoRICMcLaren Mercedes1:10.2551:09.8651:10.166
11George RussellRUSWilliams Mercedes1:10.3821:10.332
12Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes1:10.4381:10.367
13Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes1:10.4891:10.406
14Nicholas LatifiLATWilliams Mercedes1:10.0931:11.161
15Yuki TsunodaTSUAlphaTauri Honda1:10.4621:11.314
16Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing Honda1:10.530
17Sebastian VettelVETAston Martin Mercedes1:10.731
18Robert KubicaKUBAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:11.301
19Mick SchumacherMSCHaas Ferrari1:11.387
20Nikita MazepinMAZHaas Ferrari1:11.875