Verstappen took pole in rainy qualifying in Zandvoort

Verstappen took pole in rainy qualifying in Zandvoort
Max Verstappen
Image: (GEPA pictures)

In qualifying in the rain for the Dutch Grand Prix on a drying track, the local hero in the Red Bull on Saturday came out on top ahead of McLaren driver Lando Norris (+0.537 seconds) and George Russell in the Mercedes (+0.727). Verstappen is aiming for his ninth Grand Prix victory in a row on Sunday (3 p.m. / ServusTV, Sky) on the North Sea coast.

For Verstappen it was the 28th career pole, cheered on by the “Orange Army”. For the Austro racing team Red Bull, it is also about extending their own record in the Netherlands with their 13th victory in the 13th race of the season. Alexander Albon (+0.852) convinced in the Williams with fourth place on the grid, Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez (+1.313) did not get past seventh place.

Record world champion in 13th place

The American Logan Sargeant made it into Q3 for the first time in tenth place in the Williams, but caused a red flag and a longer interruption in the finale with a crash. A little later, with four minutes left on the clock, Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc also hit the gang after a driving error on dry tires and finished ninth. Record world champion Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) had to settle for 13th place on the grid, on a track where overtaking maneuvers are difficult in the race.

F1 debutant Liam Lawson, who stood in for the injured Daniel Ricciardo at AlphaTauri, ended up in 20th and last place after a short adjustment period and in difficult conditions. The 21-year-old New Zealander comes from the Red Bull youth forge and replaces the Australian Ricciardo, who broke his left metacarpal bone in a training accident on Friday. The 34-year-old crashed into the crash barriers in the banked curve because he wanted to avoid Oscar Piastri, who had just had an accident in a McLaren.

Does Ricciardo need an operation?

Ricciardo was only appointed as a regular AlphaTauri driver before the summer break for the retired Nyck de Vries, after two races the veteran now has to take a break for an indefinite period. “It’s a chance for Liam to show himself and I wish him and the team a strong weekend,” said Ricciardo, who may need surgery. Lawson recently drove mainly in the Super Formula in Japan.

The second half of the season begins with the Dutch Grand Prix. Verstappen can equal Sebastian Vettel’s record of nine wins in a row from 2013. The German also managed this feat ten years ago as a Red Bull driver. Verstappen won ten of the twelve races so far this year, Pérez the other two. In the overall standings, Verstappen leads 125 points ahead of Pérez. The Zandvoort winner of the past two years is well on the way to the third world title in a row.

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