Dutch GP Qualifying: Verstappen Beats Hamilton to Pole in Front of Home F1 Fans at Zandvoort

Published 09/04/2021, 10:20 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Dutch Grand Prix – Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort, Netherlands – September 4, 2021 Red Bull’s Max Verstappen during practice REUTERS/Piroschka Van De Wouw

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen pulled off an impeccable drive to secure his 6th pole position of the 2021 F1 season at the Dutch GP. This is certainly a huge advantage for the homeboy, considering the fact that the cramped Zandvoort circuit hardly offers room for overtaking.


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Lewis Hamilton will start the race alongside his title rival after managing to outqualify Valtteri Bottas on the very last flying lap. Pierre Gasly managed to secure P4 for AlphaTauri ahead of the Ferrari duo of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

Antonio Giovinazzi enjoyed his best-ever qualifying session in F1 and will start from P7, while Alpine drivers, Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso will start from P8 and P9. And Daniel Ricciardo rounded off the top 10.


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Q3- Verstappen vs Hamilton for pole

Q3 received the green lights following a delay of over 10 minutes, as the marshals had to repair the barriers around which Latifi crashed. After steady improvement over each F1 sessions, Verstappen ended up being the first driver to reach the 1:08 mark, as his lap time was 1:08:923.

Formula One F1 – Dutch Grand Prix – Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort, Netherlands – September 4, 2021 Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. during qualifying REUTERS/Piroschka Van De Wouw

Unsurprisingly, neither of the Mercedes drivers were able to challenge his lap times, as Bottas was 0.3s slower. Behind Hamilton in P3, Gasly pushed his AlphaTauri to the absolute limits to provisionally claim the ‘best of the rest’ tag.

Q2- Williams F1 duo crash out, as Norris starts P13

As the lights went green, Verstappen hit the track with the home crowd lauding in the backdrop. And yet another impressive lap arrived from the Dutchman, who clocked a lap time of 1:09:071.

Formula One F1 – Dutch Grand Prix – Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort, Netherlands – September 4, 2021 Williams’ George Russell during qualifying REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

None of the drivers were able to near Verstappen’s lap times, including Hamilton, whose lap time was almost 0.7s adrift of the Red Bull. However, Leclerc and Gasly were provisionally holding onto P2 and P3 ahead of the Mercedes duo.

With just 4 minutes left on the clock, Russell brought out the red flags after spinning around the exit of turn 13. The Williams suffered a significant impact to the rear wing after crashing into the barriers, but the Briton managed to limp his way back to the garage.

Formula One F1 – Dutch Grand Prix – Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort, Netherlands – September 4, 2021 McLaren’s Lando Norris during qualifying REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

After a 10-minute delay, the session restarted, with Russell, surprisingly being a part of it. However, soon, the other Williams of Latifi halted the session after shunting his car around turn 8. The stewards consequently affirmed that the session would not restart.

Hence, Russell, Stroll, Norris, Latifi and Tsunoda were the five drivers who failed to make it into the final part of qualifying.

Q1- Red Bull F1 shock as traffic halts Vettel’s run

As the 18-minute session went underway, Tsunoda, Latifi and Kubica were one of the fewest drivers to join the track. The AlphaTauri driver clocked a lap time of 1:11:947, and temporarily held onto P1 before Latifi scraped it off with a 1:11:699.


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Formula One F1 – Dutch Grand Prix – Circuit Zandvoort, Zandvoort, Netherlands – September 4, 2021 Red Bull’s Sergio Perez during qualifying REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

However, then arrived the blinding lap from Verstappen, as the Dutchman went fastest, over 0.1s faster than Hamilton and over 0.6s faster than his Red Bull teammate, Perez. Ultimately, the top 3 remained unreachable for the rest of the grid, and the fight was pretty much around the tail of the grid.

And it was Perez, who failed to make the cut, which undeniably came as a huge shock to the entire F1 community. The Mexican will start from P16 on Sunday ahead of Vettel. Kubica managed to out-qualify both the Haas drivers.


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Overall, the grid is set for Sunday’s race with Verstappen and Hamilton, yet again lining up on the front row. So, are we in for an intense battling between the title contenders around the tricky Zandvoort during the main race?

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Rohit Kumar

1150 articles

Rohit Kumar is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. He has been an ardent follower of the racing series since 2007, with his love for the sport coinciding with his love for Kimi Raikkonen. He is also an ardent follower of Sebastian Vettel and Aston Martin Racing.