Max Verstappen (23) is carried to first place on the grid by a sea of orange!
At his home game in Zandvoort, no driver is faster than the Dutchman, who will start from first place on the comeback of the track in the dunes on Sunday (3 p.m. / Sky). More than 70,000 fans, most of them in Holland Orange, cheer the Red Bull driver.
At the end of the day, Verstappen was the fastest with a time of 1: 08.885 minutes. Behind him on the starting grid during the race: Lewis Hamilton (36) with 1: 08.923 minutes, which is 0.038 seconds slower. Third is Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas (32). He sets a time of 1: 09,222.
It is disappointing for the two German drivers. Sebastian Vettel (34) is only 17. Mick Schumacher (22) is penultimate.
The first surprise came in the morning: Kimi Räikkönen (41), soon to be retired, tested positive for Corona. Reserve driver Robert Kubica (36) took over his Alfa Romeo cockpit.
Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz crashed in the 3rd free practice. The team refrained from installing a new gearbox (and thus a penalty) and tried to repair the car in good time – with success!
Unlike in Spa / Belgium last weekend, the weather in Holland played along this time. The probability of rain is zero percent, as Formula 1 announces. Without a single cloud in the sky, the first riders hit the track at 3 p.m. punctually.
For Vettel it was already over after the first third! The Aston Martin driver missed the opportunity to set a time that was enough for the top 15. On the last attempt he is slowed down by the traffic, especially the two Haas force him to take off the accelerator. The process is being investigated. With a time of 1: 10.731 he has to start from 17th place.
Mick Schumacher can only leave his teammate Nikita Mazepin (22) behind. He starts from 19th place with a time of 1: 11.875.
Red Bull driver Sergio Pérez (31) is surprisingly out. The Mexican and Verstappen’s team-mate disappointed and flies out of Q1 in 16th place. A strategic disadvantage for Red Bull. The two Ferraris are surprisingly in front. Charles Leclerc (23) set the best time, Sainz right behind.
Also out in Q1: Substitute driver Kubica with a time of 1: 11.301 turns 18.
The second third begins like the first: Verstappen is fast and immediately sets a best time. Leclerc can also convince again. The red cars were already strong in the free practice sessions on Friday.
With 3:54 left on the clock, the red flag is waved.
Williams driver George Russell (23) loses control of the car and drives into the gravel. The sensational runner-up from Spa crashes into the track protection “TecPro”. Russell can drive the damaged car back into the pit lane, but Q2 is over for him. After a ten-minute break, the session will continue.
Then the next Williams will fly off!
Nicholas Latifi (26) also crashes into the barrier at the same point. Again the red flag is waved. The race management announces: The session will not continue. At 1:38 left, Q2 is over prematurely. Both Williams miss the leap into the top ten. Russell finished eleventh (1: 10.332), Latifi finished 14th (1: 11.161).
Bitter: Drivers like Lando Norris (21) no longer have the opportunity to drive a fast lap. He has to start as 13th on Sunday with a time of 1: 10.367. McLaren had expected more than that. After all: his teammate Daniel Ricciardo (32) makes it into the last third.
Also out in Q2: For rookie Yuki Tsunoda (21) and Lance Stroll (22) it doesn’t go any further. The Japanese from Team Alpha Tauri finished in 15th place with a time of 1: 11.314. Vettel team-mate Stroll qualified in twelfth place.
After the interruption, the last part of qualifying for the Dutch Grand Prix begins at 16:07.
And with almost eight minutes left, cheers break out in the stands. The “Orange Army” sees how their hero sets the best time.
Only one person can beat time: himself! Verstappen improves his own record. Hamilton crossed the finish line a little later with a very narrow deficit. Madness: If Verstappen hadn’t improved, he would have been for the world title at the same time as his rival.