Max Verstappen from Red Bull/Honda RBPT has secured top starting position at the Dutch Grand Prix, slated for Sunday. This was concluded from Friday’s one-hour qualifying which involved three sessions. The qualifiers weeded out five cars in both Q1 and Q2, and a final top-10 shootout in Q3 secured Verstappen’s pole position. Lando Norris representing McLaren secured second and George Russell from Mercedes, the third position.
The qualifiers were not without drama. Logan Sargeant kicked off a red flag in Q3 after losing control of his Williams car and hitting the barrier. Another pause was demanded when Charles Leclerc of Ferrari also spun out.
The qualifying grid for the Dutch Grand Prix lines up as follows, with Verstappen leading. In quick succession, we have Norris, Russell, Alexander Albon of Williams/Mercedes, Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin/Mercedes, Carlos Sainz Jr. of Ferrari, Sergio Pérez of Red Bull/Honda RBPT, Oscar Piastri of McLaren/Mercedes, Leclerc, and finally Sargeant.
For Q1, all drivers drove on intermediate tyres due to a drenched track. Despite complaining of “no grip,” Verstappen, among others, drove into the gravel at Turn 1. Albon managed to set the fastest time, just a fraction quicker than Verstappen and with a noticeable lead over Oscar Piastri and Norris, both from McLaren. Sadly, Zhou Guanyu, Esteban Ocon, Kevin Magnussen, Valtteri Bottas, and Liam Lawson fell behind in this phase.
The second qualifying round of Q2 took place on a still soggy track with all drivers sticking with intermediate tyres. A drying trajectory saw Verstappen topping the session with a timing of 1m18.856s, well ahead of Piastri and Albon. The second qualifying round concluded with Lance Stroll, Pierre Gasly, Lewis Hamilton, Yuki Tsunoda and Nico Hulkenberg getting knocked out.
Q3 saw the drivers switching to slick tyres with the track finally drier. Albon led with the fastest time of 1m15.743s before a red flag was triggered by a crash from teammate Sargeant. After a significant delay, the session resumed with Norris and Piastri from McLaren taking the lead. However, the pair was soon challenged by Verstappen, who took a solid hold on the pole position, putting Norris and George Russell in second and third places respectively.
This line-up will set the stage for Sunday’s Dutch Grand Prix racing event.