Red Bull’s Max Verstappen took pole position in Saturday’s qualifying session at the inaugural Dutch Grand Prix in Zandvoort.
Verstappen, at his home grand prix, took his 10th career pole with a lap time of 1:08.885, 0.038 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton who will also line up on the front row.
Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas finished third.
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Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly had a superb lap to start behind Verstappen in fourth, as Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz made it up to fifth and sixth.
Verstappen said afterwards: “It’s an amazing feeling to get pole position here. The fans are incredible and today was very enjoyable, the car was really nice to drive, and this track as well in qualifying was incredible.
“It’s the best starting position, I don’t expect it to be an easy race. It’s a lot of laps around here and the tyres struggle with the high speed, but I hope we can finish off the job tomorrow.”
Qualifying was delayed as George Russell skidded across the gravel run off area into the wall at Turn 13, the penultimate corner, red flagging the session with just under four minutes remaining on the clock in Q2. The car looked to have minimal damage to the rear of the car, though the Williams driver did not return to the session.
Just as the session restarted, Williams team-mate Nicholas Latifi clipped the grass at Turn Eight and skidded off into the gravel, hitting the barrier hard. The session did not resume as his car was recovered, and McLaren’s Lando Norris was eliminated from Q2 for the first time this season.
Hamilton said in a post-qualifying interview: “So close, so close. I want to say a big thank-you to the orange fans here, what an amazing venue and track and I really appreciate the welcome.
“Max did an amazing lap, I was so close I was trying to catch him. Obviously with yesterday’s session missed I gave it everything and he did an amazing lap and got pole.
“It’s a difficult circuit to overtake, but what a place for us to be racing, strategy will come into it a lot but to see a crowd like this – we haven’t seen a crowd like this in a while. It’s a very tough circuit.”
Red Bull and Aston Martin suffered at the start of qualifying as Sergio Perez and Sebastian Vettel did not make it out of Q1 and will start in P16 and P17 on the grid respectively.
Earlier in the day, Verstappen topped final practice, but not before being sent to the stewards after a potential red flag infringement in FP2 which would have seen a grid penalty. However he was found to have complied with rules and no further action was taken.
The Dutch Grand Prix starts at 14:00 BST on Sunday.
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