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Verstappen claims Zandvoort pole


Ahead of Q1, the air temperature is 16 degrees C, while the track temperature is 20 degrees.

While the rain has eased off for now, giving wat to a little sunshine, more is expected over the hour, while F2 race featured a number of incidents including a major pile-up and was eventually abandoned.

With yesterday dry and this morning wet it is hard to get a good idea of the pecking order, other than the fact that Verstappen continues to be in a league of his own.

On the other hand Ferrari is struggling, and in its efforts to turn things around has changed Leclerc's engine for an older one.

While Ferrari has looked weak, McLaren has looked strong and even Mercedes has had its moments, as has Williams.

Other than the conditions, which include a gusty seaside wind, the other issue facing the drivers is going to be traffic, particularly in Q1.

Ahead of Q1 there are very dark clouds in the distance.

The lights go green and Albon leads the way, followed by Sargeant, Russell, Hamilton, Bottas and Tsunoda.

As more drivers head out, Inters are the order of the day, the track still very damp.

Last out is two-time world champion, Alonso.

Albon goes off at Turn 11 but is able to continue.

Sargeant posts a 29.593, but Hamilton and Bottas (26.000) both go quicker.

Hulkenberg and Verstappen both have offs at Turn 1, a corner which caused all manner of problems for Leclerc in FP3.

A 25.400 sees Piastri go top, but Sargeant responds with a 24.780.

"Mate, what the **** is wrong with the car," complains Verstappen, "I have no grip anywhere!"

Norris goes top with a 23.260, ahead of Perez and Sargeant.

Albon goes third, ahead of Gasly and Ocon.

Alonso goes fifth, Russell sixth and Hamilton 19th, just ahead of... Verstappen.

Sainz goes quickest with a 23.140. However, teammate Leclerc responds with a 23.133 only to go off again at Turn 1.

Russell goes top but is immediately demoted by Alonso and then Verstappen (22.786).

The times continue to tumble as Norris posts a 22.392.

A 22.059 sees Piastri go top, as Albon goes third ahead of Stroll, Verstappen and Alonso.

Perez splits the McLarens with a 22.296 as Russell and Norris look set to improve.

Leclerc has his latest time deleted for exceeding track limits at Turn 7.

Norris retakes the top spot with a 21.434 as Russell claims second.

Lawson improves to seventeenth with a 23.516, while Alonso posts a 22.116 to go fourth.

Verstappen goes top with a 21.230, 0.024s up on Piastri.

"I got blocked," says Hamilton of Stroll, while Piastri is unhappy with Sainz' antics. "I couldn't see him," says the Spaniard

Albon goes top with a 20.939 as in the grandstands the umbrellas a raised and ponchos donned.

Zhou goes eighth while Hamilton has slipped to 17th.

Verstappen improves but remains second, 0.026s off Albon's time.

Russell goes fourth and Gasly sixth.

With just under two minutes remaining, there is clearly rain falling.

That said, Sainz improves to fifth and Hamilton tenth.

Stroll improves to seventh as teammate Alonso slips to 15th. Moments later the Spaniard improves to tenth (21.840).

Leclerc makes it into Q2 by the skin of his teeth, the Ferrari driver finishing 14th.

Quickest is Albon, ahead of Verstappen, Piastri, Norris, Sainz, Russell, Stroll, Gasly, Tsunoda and Alonso.

We lose Zhou, Ocon, Magnussen, Bottas and Lawson.

A number of incidents are to be investigated including that involving Piastri and Sainz, Hamilton and Stroll and Hamilton and Alonso.

Sargeant leads the way as Q2 gets the green light, the American followed by Verstappen, Perez, Russell and Hamilton.

Ahead of the start of his flying lap, Verstappen backs off in order to create a gap.

Sargeant posts a 23.161 but Verstappen responds with a 21.921.

Russell goes second and Albon third.

Verstappen ups the ante with a 20.690, as Stroll goes third, ahead of Russell, Alonso and Hamilton.

A 21.992 sees Leclerc go third as Gasly has his time deleted.

Piastri goes second with a 21.399 and Alonso fourth (21.713), ahead of Perez.

Albon goes second (20.976) but is demoted when Norris bangs in a 20.629 to takes the top spot.

Verstappen retakes the top spot with a 20.282 as Hamilton goes third and Russell fifth.

Leclerc improves to sixth while teammate Sainz remains 15th.

"Track is drying super quickly," says Sainz, who suggests a new set of Inters be prepared.

A 20.799 sees Piastri go fourth.

Hulkenberg is unable to improve on 13th, the German currently in the drop zone along with Perez, Tsunoda, Gasly and Sainz. A couple of potential shocks there.

Verstappen raises the bar yet again, the Dutchman posting a 19.652. Perez goes second but is 0.939s off his teammate's pace.

As the drivers ponder whether it is time to make the change to slicks, Albon goes quickest in S1. In S2 he posts a PB, the Williams driver finally crossing the line at 19.399 to go quickest.

Meanwhile, Leclerc is off at Turn 1 again.

Sargeant goes fifth and Gasly eleventh.

Piastri goes quickest in S2, the Australian subsequently posting a 19.392 to go top.

Stroll improves to sixth, as Leclerc goes quickest in S1. The Monegasque maintains the pace in S2, finally crossing the line at 19.600 to go third. However, has he gone too early?

Verstappen is on yet another hot lap, as Hulkenberg improves to tenth, however he is demoted by Tsunoda.

Gasly goes ninth as Verstappen bangs in an 18.856.

Hamilton pits, the Briton having failed to make the cut, while Sargeant claims tenth with a 20.067.

Quickest is Verstappen, ahead of Piastri, Albon, Alonso, Leclerc, Russell, Norris, Perez, Sainz and Sargeant.

"Ah, thank God," says Norris when told he has made the cut.

An impeding incident involving Hamilton and Tsunoda has been noted.

We lose Stroll, Gasly, Hamilton, Tsunoda and Hulkenberg.

Check out our Saturday gallery from Zandvoort here.


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