Dutch GP: Verstappen beats Norris to pole in crash-strewn session
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen beat McLaren’s Lando Norris to pole position in a crash-strewn qualifying session at the Dutch Grand Prix.
Verstappen headed Norris by 0.537 seconds in a one-lap shoot-out at the end of a dramatic session in drying conditions.
Mercedes driver George Russell was third, while team-mate Lewis Hamilton could manage only 13th.
Alex Albon also claimed a sensational fourth place for Williams.
The final session of qualifying was punctuated by two red-flag stoppages, as first Logan Sargeant of Williams ruined his first ever appearance in the top 10 with a crash at Turn Two, before Charles Leclerc wrecked his Ferrari on the exit of Turn Nine after the session’s resumption.
Fernando Alonso ended the session in fifth place in the Aston Martin, while Leclerc’s team-mate Carlos Sainz took sixth in the final moments ahead of the Red Bull of Sergio Perez, McLaren’s Oscar Piastri, Leclerc and Sargeant.
Alpha Tauri driver Yuki Tsunoda has been handed a three-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race for impeding Hamilton in the second part of qualifying. The Japanese driver qualified in P14 but will now start in 17th place.
Sainz, meanwhile, has been reprimanded and Ferrari fined 5,000 euros after the Spaniard moved over on Piastri as he left the pits.
Verstappen said the qualifying session had been tricky, starting on intermediate tyres in wet conditions and moving on to dry at the end, but that the final lap had been “very satisfying”.
“The pressure is always there to perform but when you can pull it off, it’s incredible,” he said.
Norris said: “P2 is a good result. In these conditions you hope Max makes a mistake, but he doesn’t.”
The Briton was faster than Verstappen in the first sector of the lap but the time slipped away from him.
“The first half of the lap was mega,” Norris said, “but the second half was probably one of the worst second halves I’ve done. But I always enjoy these conditions and I’m taking P2. The driver peaked very early!” (BBC Sport)