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Verstappen claims Zandvoort pole by 0.021s


Ahead of today's qualifying session the air temperature is 26.4 degrees C, while the track temperature is 39.4 degrees. It is bright and sunny.

Having been on the back foot yesterday, Red Bull was altogether much improved this morning, and though only third on the timesheets, behind Leclerc and Russell, there is every prospect of the world champion battling for pole over the next hour.

Indeed, with Mercedes and Ferrari having maintained their Friday form, this really could be a six-way fight, with Hamilton, Sainz and Pere also looking strong.

Though strong yesterday, McLaren disappointing earlier, while old-timers Alonso and Vettel looked good as did the Haas pair.

Unlike Spa, this isn't a good track for overtaking so a good grid position is vital.

The lights go green and shortly after Schumacher heads out, followed by Magnussen, Albon, Latifi and the Alfa pair.

Magnussen crosses the line at 12.680, with teammate Schumacher responding with a 12.825. Albon posts a 12.909.

A 12.641 sees Zhou go top, while teammate Bottas can only manage 12.895.

Tsunoda has his time deleted for exceeding the limits at Turn 3.

The crowd roars as Verstappen heads out, followed by Perez and the Ferraris.

No sooner has Vettel gone quickest (12.563), than Stroll stops the clock at 12.505.

Verstappen goes quickest in the first sector... the crowd roars. He maintains the pace in S2, again the crowd roars. At the line it's 11.317... the crowd roars.

Perez goes second with a 12.320, but is leapfrogged by Leclerc and then Sainz (11.767).

Ricciardo goes fifth as teammate Norris is under investigation for a suspected unsafe release into the path of Tsunoda.

Magnussen goes fourth (12.319) and Albon eighth, but both are demoted when Russell goes second and Hamilton third.

"Big movement in the last corner," reports Verstappen. "Yeh, we saw that," he is told.

A 12.225 sees Bottas go seventh, while Zhou goes sixth.

Alonso goes fourth with an 11.667 as the times begin to tumble.

Vettel can only mange 16th (12.391), while Perez improves from 15th to 4th with an 11.641.

Leclerc goes second (11.443) as Russell reports that his rears didn't feel great in Turn 1.

With 4:00 a the drop zone comprises Vettel, Ricciardo, Albon, Schumacher and Latifi, with Magnussen, Bottas and Norris hovering.

Albon improves to seventh with an 11.695, ahead of Sainz.

While Verstappen and Leclerc stay put, everyone else is on track.

As Stroll goes quickest in the first sector, Schumacher goes eighth overall and Magnussen 13th.

Zhou goes tenth and Bottas 12th, as Vettel goes quickest in S1.

Stroll goes eleventh overall, while Ricciardo fails to improve on 17th.

Tsunoda goes second (11.427) and Norris fourth, but both are demoted when Hamilton posts an 11.331 to claim second.

"We need to be more on it, mate," declares Perez.

Quickest is Verstappen, ahead of Hamilton, Tsunoda, Leclerc, Norris, Russell, Stroll, Perez, Alonso and Albon.

We lose Bottas, Magnussen, Ricciardo, Vettel and Latifi.

The lights go green and Albon is first out. However, halfway around the track the session is red-flagged due to a flare which has been thrown on to the track.

"There's a ton of pigeons around," reports Albon as he return to his garage. He's lucky it's not seagulls.

The session resumes and once again Albon leads the way, again sporting used softs. He is followed by the Bulls.

As the trio begin their first flyers, more drivers head out to join them.

Albon posts a 12.078 but moments later Verstappen stops the clock with a 10.927 and Perez an 11.314.

Verstappen was on used softs also.

Russell goes third with an 11.418 but is demoted when Hamilton posts an 11.075 to go second.

Norris goes fifth, ahead of Albon, Zhou and Schumacher.

Perez asks about his teammate's lap time, told it was in the 1:10s the Mexican clearly wishes he hadn't asked.

Stroll goes fourth (11.416), ahead of Russell and Norris.

Alonso is the last driver to post a time, the Spaniard crossing the line at 11.613 to split the Ferraris.

Despite a clear track, Albon improves his time but remains tenth.

As Albon heads back to the pits, all are on track bar Verstappen.

Russell is on new rubber while his teammate is on old.

Norris goes quickest in S1, as the Ferrari pair posts PBs.

Leclerc goes second (10.988), Norris fourth (11.116) and Schumacher ninth.

A 10.814 sees Sainz go top, while Russell goes second with a 10.824.

Tsunoda goes tenth and Hamilton fifth, while Gasly and Alonso fail to improve.

"I had traffic, Red Bull, Turn 8," claims Alonso, "I don't know what he was doing."

Quickest is Sainz, ahead of Russell, Verstappen, Leclerc, Hamilton, Norris, Perez, Stroll, Schumacher and Tsunoda.

We lose Gasly, Ocon, Alonso, Zhou and Albon.

Check out our Saturday gallery from Zandvoort here.


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