Max Verstappen took pole position for the 2022 Dutch Grand Prix, with Charles Leclerc missing out by 0.021s in a thrilling Zandvoort contest.
Verstappen logged a lap of 1m 10.342s in Q3 just before team mate Sergio Perez, fifth, spun at Turn 13 to bring out a yellow flag and prevent anyone else from beating the Dutchman’s time. Leclerc ended up 0.021s off the home favorite in P2, while Q2 leader Carlos Sainz qualified P3 – under a tenth off pole.
Lewis Hamilton qualified on the second row in P4, the Mercedes driver unable to improve late in Q3, while team mate George Russell settled for sixth behind Perez.
Red Bull Racing
Red Bull Racing
Lando Norris qualified seventh, with Mick Schumacher a surprise 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 settle 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 team mate Zhou made it through to Q2. Haas’s Kevin Magnussen’s track limits infringement saw him finish 17th, ahead of McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel – who took P19 having run into the gravel on his final flying lap – and Williams’ Nicholas Latifi backing up the pack.
More to follow…
AS IT HAPPENED
Q1 – Verstappen top as track evolution makes for a mixed-up 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 going second by 0.126s after two flying laps , followed by the Mercedes drivers of Russell and Hamilton in a provisional P3 and P4, respectively.
But there was more to come amid extremely high track evolution, the likes of Vettel, Ricciardo, Albon and Schumacher at risk of elimination, while Bottas was on the cusp in P15 as the field re-emerged.
Verstappen and Leclerc stayed in the garage, content with their times, and while the former retained P1 in Q1, Hamilton finished second and just 0.024s off in his Mercedes, Tsunoda taking P3 with the fastest second sector. That 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 team mate Vettel could only manage P19 having picked up damage in the gravel outside Turn 13. Alonso made it to Q2 in P9, Albon rounding out the top 10 for Williams while his team mate Latifi rounded out the standings in 20th.
Gasly, Schumacher and Ocon made it through and Sainz might have felt a bit nervous, placing 14th in Q1. Alfa Romeo’s Zhou also made it through in P15, knocking out team mate Bottas by over a tenth of a second.
Magnussen was eliminated in P17 having transgressed 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 had been thrown onto the track – ruining Albon’s out-lap – with the offender removed from the circuit. After the circa-five-minute stoppage, 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 a tow, Hamilton shot to P2 ahead of Perez, while Stroll starred early in Q2, 0.489s off Verstappen in P4 to leave Russell rounding out the top five with time ticking down. Both AlphaTauris, Ocon, Zhou, and Schumacher were under threat of elimination, Albon on the bubble in P10.
As the checked flag approached, laps came in and Sainz took top spot with a time of 1m 10.814s, Russell just 0.010s off in P2, to drop Verstappen – who again attemped just 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. Stroll and a delighted Schumacher were next on the board as Tsunoda made it through in P10, eliminating Gasly by under a tenth of a second.
Ocon was eliminated in P12 ahead of Alonso, who blamed Perez for impeding him in Turns 8 and 9 and was eliminated in P13. Zhou took P14 and Albon, who did not emerge for a final flying lap, 15th in Q2 – where just six-tenths split P1 and P10…
Knocked out: Gasly, Ocon, Alonso, Zhou, Albon
Q3 – Verstappen takes pole ahead of Leclerc before Perez spins
Again it was Verstappen who emerged first on new softs having crucially saved three sets of new soft tires, followed by Perez on used tires – a number of other drivers running low on brand-new sets of Pirelli’s coveted softs. The Dutchman set a lap of 1m 10.515s and had plenty of time, and tyres, 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 couldn’t match them, taking fourth by a margin of 0.291s with Perez 0.621s off top spot in P5. With three minutes left, Stroll sat in P10 without a time to his name – a strong qualifying session cut short by a technical issue.
The cars poured out of the pits, Leclerc with the time to beat. The Monegasque was first to cross the line, but he lost time in Sector 2, though he improved with a brilliant final sector to finish with a lap of 1m 10.363s. Then came Verstappen, a fastest Sector 2 putting him top with a 1m 10.342s.
Sainz could only go third, missing out by just under two tenths of a second. The Mercedes and Perez were yet to cross the line but at Turn 13, the Red Bull driver spun 180 degrees and brought out a yellow flag in Sector 3 that 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’s Schumacher, while Tsunoda ended up 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 softs reserved for race day.
“Unbelievable. Especially after yesterday we had a difficult day, but I think we worked really well overnight with the whole team to turn it around. And today we had a quick race car again, but it was very close. And a lap around here… a qualifying lap is insane” – Max Verstappen, Red Bull
Lights go out for the 2022 Dutch Grand Prix at 1500 local time as Max Verstappen aims for a second-straight home victory, and Charles Leclerc hopes to turn the tide in front of a sea of orange. Head to the RACE HUB for more on how and when you can watch the action.