Max Verstappen took pole position for the 2022 Dutch Grand Prix, with Charles Leclerc missing out by 0.021s in a thrilling Zandvoort race.
Verstappen recorded a lap of 1m 10.342s in Q3 just before teammate Sergio Perez, fifth, spun at Turn 13 to bring out a yellow flag and prevent anyone else beating the Dutchman’s time. Leclerc finished 0.021s off the home favorite in P2, while Q2 leader Carlos Sainz qualified P3 – under a tenth from pole.
Lewis Hamilton qualified on the second row in P4, the Mercedes driver unable to improve late in Q3, while teammate George Russell settled for sixth behind Perez.
Red Bull Racing
Red Bull Racing
Lando Norris qualified seventh, with Mick Schumacher a surprising eighth and Yuki Tsunoda an equally surprising ninth. Lance Stroll made it to Q3 but a technical issue saw him confined to the garage and settling for 10th on the grid for Aston Martin.
Pierre Gasly qualified 11th ahead of compatriot Esteban Ocon, while Fernando Alonso finished 13th in Q2 as neither Alpine made it to the top 10 shootout. Zhou Guanyu took P14, ahead of Williams’ Alex Albon.
Valtteri Bottas was knocked out in P16 as his Alfa Romeo teammate Zhou made it through Q2. Haas’ Kevin Magnussen’s track limit infringement saw him finish 17th, ahead of McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel – who took P19 hit the gravel on his final flying lap – and Williams’ Nicholas Latifi to support the pack.
More to follow…
HOW IT HAPPENED
Q1 – Verstappen top as track development makes for a mixed order
Huge roars welcomed Max Verstappen when he emerged after five minutes, the Dutchman muscling his car around the circuit to set the top time of 1m 11.317s (despite losing time in the final corner), with Leclerc second by 0.126s after two flying laps . , followed by the Mercedes drivers of Russell and Hamilton in provisional P3 and P4, respectively.
But there was more to come amid extremely high track development, with the likes of Vettel, Ricciardo, Albon and Schumacher at risk of elimination, while Bottas was on the brink in P15 when the field reappeared.
Verstappen and Leclerc remained in the garage, satisfied with their times, and while the former retained P1 in Q1, Hamilton finished second and just 0.024s away in his Mercedes, Tsunoda taking P3 with the fastest second sector. This dropped Leclerc to fourth, ahead of McLaren’s Norris and Mercedes driver Russell in P6.
Stroll managed to take P7 ahead of Perez but Aston Martin teammate Vettel could only manage P19 after picking up damage in the gravel outside Turn 13. Alonso made it to Q2 in P9, Albon rounds out the top 10 for Williams while his teammate Latifi. rounded out the standings in 20th.
Gasly, Schumacher and Ocon came through and Sainz may have felt a bit nervous, placing 14th in Q1. Alfa Romeo’s Zhou also came through in P15, knocking out team-mate Bottas by more than a tenth of a second.
Magnussen was eliminated in P17 having crossed track limits at Turn 3, while Ricciardo placed 18th, later saying that dirt thrown up by another car cost him time, the Australian finishing ahead of Vettel and Latifi.
Knocked out: Bottas, Magnussen, Ricciardo, Vettel, Latifi
Q2 – Sainz takes P1 as seven different teams make it to Q3
Q2 was red flagged almost as soon as the green light appeared as a flare was thrown onto the track – ruining Albon’s out-lap – with the offender removed from the circuit. After the roughly five-minute stop, Verstappen and Albon emerged to resume the action, the former on used softs and the latter on new softs. The Red Bull driver crossed the line with a time of 1m 10.927s to set the top time.
With tow, Hamilton shot to P2 ahead of Perez, while Stroll starred early in Q2, 0.489s from Verstappen in P4 to let Russell round out the top five with time ticking down. And AlphaTauris, Ocon, Zhou, and Schumacher were under threat of elimination, Albon on the bubble in P10.
As the checkered flag approached, laps rolled in and Sainz took top spot with a time of 1m 10.814s, Russell just 0.010s away in P2, to drop Verstappen – who again only attempted one flying lap – to P3.
Leclerc was fourth ahead of Hamilton in P5, with Norris sixth and Perez – who aborted his final effort – in seventh. A stroll and a jubilant Schumacher were next on the board as Tsunoda came through in P10, eliminating Gasly by less than a tenth of a second.
Ocon was eliminated in P12 in front of Alonso, who blamed Perez for preventing him in Turns 8 and 9 and was eliminated in P13. Zhou took P14 and Albo, who didn’t show up for a final flying lap, 15th in Q2 – with only six-tenths separating P1 and P10…
Beaten: Gasly, Ocon, Alonso, Zhou, Albon
Q3 – Verstappen takes pole ahead of Leclerc before Perez spins
Again it was Verstappen who came out first on new softs having decisively saved three sets of new soft tyres, followed by Perez on used tires – a number of other drivers running low on brand new sets of Pirelli’s coveted soft tyres. The Dutchman set a lap of 1m 10.515s and had plenty of time and tires to improve on that…
Leclerc then beat that with a time of 1m 10.456s, Hamilton going third behind Verstappen and 0.192s off the pace. Sainz could not match them, taking fourth by a margin of 0.291s with Perez 0.621s from the main place in P5. With three minutes left, Stroll sat in P10 with no time to his name – a strong qualifying session cut short by a technical issue.
The cars poured out of the pits, Leclerc with time to beat. The Monegasque was first to cross the line, but he lost time in Sector 2, although he improved with a brilliant final sector to finish with a lap of 1m 10.363s. Then came Verstappen, fastest Sector 2 putting him on top with 1m 10.342s.
Sainz could only go third, missing out by just under two tenths of a second. The Mercedes and Perez had still crossed the line but at Turn 13, the Red Bull driver turned 180 degrees and brought out a yellow flag in Sector 3 which guaranteed him fifth on the grid but stopped fourth place Hamilton and sixth place Russell from. improving
Norris qualified eighth to share row four with Haas’ Schumacher, while Tsunoda finished ninth ahead of Stroll, who was confined to the garage for Q3.
Crucially, Verstappen took his fourth pole of the season, and has a set of brand new softies in store for race day.
“Unbelievable. Especially after yesterday we had a difficult day, but I think we worked very well during the night with the whole team to turn it around. And today we had a fast race car again, but it was very close. And a lap here… a qualifying lap is crazy” – Max Verstappen, Red Bull
Lights go out for the 2022 Dutch Grand Prix at 15:00 local time as Max Verstappen aims for a second straight home win, and Charles Leclerc hopes to turn the tide in front of a sea of orange. Head to the COURSE KNOT for more on how and when you can watch the action.