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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Verstappen enthrals house followers with pole in wild qualifying

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The Dutchman punched in a 1m10.567s lap to ship the house crowd into raptures, which remained untouchable within the ultimate moments of Q3 to make sure a 3rd consecutive pole at his native race.

Though the McLarens had headed the order previous to the Charles Leclerc-enforced pink flag in the direction of the top of qualifying, Verstappen made no bones of setting himself up for an all-or-nothing flyer on the finish and set a troublesome benchmark to beat.

Norris got here shut and had been up on Verstappen on the shut of the primary sector, however misplaced time within the center a part of the lap to forged his slim pole probabilities asunder.

An already wild qualifying session assisted by a drying circuit got here to a head in Q3, the place the brace of pink flags compressed the ultimate scorching laps right into a ultimate four-minute window.

Logan Sargeant produced the primary stoppage in Q3 having simply crossed the road to fit in behind team-mate Alex Albon on the prime of the charts, after sustaining a heavy crash at Flip 2 after shedding the rear to convey out a pink flag.

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The restart got here with eight minutes on the board and, though Albon seemed set to raised his time, he as a substitute elected to retreat to the pits and handed George Russell the possibility to maneuver to the highest of the instances.

However the McLarens then swept to the highest, Norris grabbing a 1m12.049s to assert a time simply 0.2s away from team-mate Piastri – Verstappen solely capable of slot into third.

Lando Norris, McLaren MCL60

Photograph by: Dom Romney / Motorsport Images

Leclerc then washed out on the exit of Flip 9 and clouted the barrier, prompting an additional pink flag with simply 4 minutes left on the clock.

Verstappen’s lap proved unbeatable for Norris, whereas Russell snatched a provisional third place from Albon’s grasp on the very finish of the session because the Williams driver had been on wonderful kind all through Saturday’s classes. Albon had earlier headed Q1, and broke into Q3 with obvious ease regardless of Williams’ cool expectations for the Zandvoort weekend.

Fernando Alonso bagged fifth over Carlos Sainz, whereas Sergio Perez might solely handle seventh – 1.3s behind Verstappen’s benchmark.

Oscar Piastri was eighth quickest, forward of Q3 crashers Leclerc and Sargeant – who nonetheless made his first Q3 look of 2023.

Lewis Hamilton was dumped out in Q2 by enhancements from Norris and Sainz on the demise of the second a part of qualifying, having been unable to enhance throughout his ultimate makes an attempt at a fast lap.

Hamilton was hovering on the precipice of the elimination zone and, his place turned extra precarious when Sainz employed a recent set of intermediates to get by way of to Q3.

Norris then discovered extra time to overturn his countryman’s lap, as Hamilton gave the impression to be baulked by Yuki Tsunoda when trying to finish a lap.

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14

Photograph by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

Lance Stroll seemed to have made his method into Q2, however Sargeant’s late flyer pushed the Canadian into eleventh and out of qualifying. Pierre Gasly moved forward of Hamilton however solely set a time ok for twelfth as a stable first sector fizzled out over the remainder of his final tour.

Tsunoda was 14th quickest, simply 0.02s away from Nico Hulkenberg who had briefly made a play for a Q3 look earlier than sliding down the order in a frenetic finish to the session.

Leclerc narrowly averted changing into the most important scalp in Q1, however his ultimate lap within the opening a part of qualifying lifted him out of the drop zone by simply 0.05s over Zhou Guanyu.

The Ferrari driver was within the backside 5 with seconds left in a frenzied opening a part of qualifying, the place enhancing observe circumstances ensured that the timing board resembled a slot machine with frequent modifications of place.

Regardless of errors on his ultimate lap, having missed the apex at Flip 11 and put him off-line for Flip 12, a subsequent slide on the exit of Flip 13 couldn’t cease the Monegasque from progressing at Zhou’s expense.

Zhou, who sustained a Flip 13 drift on his personal finest lap, headed Esteban Ocon in Q1 whereas Kevin Magnussen, Valtteri Bottas, and rookie Liam Lawson had been additionally eradicated within the opening part.

F1 Dutch GP qualifying outcomes

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