Despite being summoned to the stewards over a red flag infringement, Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen has secured pole position for the first Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort in decades. With this being one of his home races, it’s a significant win for Verstappen even before the race begins.
Chaos did reign long before qualifying started, though. Kimi Raikkonen, the Alfa Romeo driver who announced his retirement at the end of this season, tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, he was instructed to self-isolate for at least three days to evaluate his symptoms, as per Dutch COVID regulations. He would miss the race, instead being replaced by reserve driver Robert Kubica.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr., too, struggled during FP3. He suffered a heavy crash that required his team to initiate some significant repairs before qualifying began. Ferrari got the car out with plenty of time remaining, allowing Sainz to qualify easily in the top 10.
During Q1, Sebastian Vettel was forced to undertake a reactionary measure to avoid a slow Nikita Mazepin, which caused the Aston Martin driver to void his fast lap. Mercedes, who opted to take the first qualifying session on medium tires, coasted easily into the next session.
16. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
17. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)
18. Robert Kubica (Alfa Romeo)
19. Mick Schumacher (Haas)
20. Nikita Mazepin (Haas)
Q2 was red flagged after George Russell crashed at Turn 13. He’d managed to set a fast lap, though, enabling him to maintain his 11th-place qualifying position. The other Williams of Nicholas Latifi also struggled, hitting the dirt at Turn 8 which caused a crash.
11. George Russell (Williams)
12. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
13. Lando Norris (McLaren)
14. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)
15. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)
Saturday, though, belonged to Max Verstappen. The Dutch driver immediately set faster and faster laps, easily granting him a pole position at what may be a defining track in the 2021 season.
- Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
- Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes)
- Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)
- Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
- Carlos Sainz Jr. (Ferrari)
- Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo)
- Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
- Fernando Alonso (Alpine)
- Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)