After the three free practice sessions of the Dutch Grand Prix, it was difficult to see clearly on the forces present. The moment to reveal his game however arrived with the qualifications in Zandvoort, putting three teams in contention.
Indeed, Mercedes F1 dominated Free Practice 1 and showed a form closer to that of Hungary than that of Belgium. Ferrari set the fastest time in FP2 and FP3 with Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, while Red Bull came close in the final session on Saturday morning.
It’s hard to say which team among these three is favorite for the pole. Behind, it is not clearer since we found in EL3 four teams between seventh and tenth place. Alpine F1 looked fast throughout the weekend, as did McLaren and, to a lesser extent, Aston Martin.
The key to these qualifications will obviously be not to make mistakes on the fast laps, because the walls are very close in Zandvoort. In addition, it is imperative to get the timings right, because red flags could disrupt the session.
Q1 – 18 mins
The Haas F1 drivers were the first to take to the track in this Q1, and Kevin Magnussen posted a 1’12″680, and Mick Schumacher fell 0″145 behind his teammate. Alex Albon set the third time and Nicholas Latifi the fourth.
Guanyu Zhou took the best lap in 1’12″641, and Valtteri Bottas only took fourth position. Yuki Tsunoda, not very lively this weekend, came between the Williams, just ahead of Pierre Gasly, but the Japanese’s time was canceled for not respecting the track limits.
Sebastian Vettel beat the best reference in 1’12″563, immediately beaten by his teammate Lance Stroll in 1’12″505. It was when Max Verstappen took to the track, along with Sergio Pérez, to set his first time.
Daniel Ricciardo then improved the best time to 1’12.490, but Verstappen took the lead in 1’11.317. Pérez failed at 1.003 from his teammate, while Charles Leclerc was second fastest at 0.808 from the Dutchman. Carlos Sainz came within 0.450 of Verstappen, as the Mercedes F1s were on their fast lap.
George Russell took second, two tenths off Verstappen, and Lewis Hamilton was 0.019 behind his team-mate, ahead of the Ferraris. Magnussen improved and took sixth place, a thousandth of a second ahead of the Ferraris. Perez.
Note that Lando Norris was released just in front of Tsunoda in the pits, and that race management will investigate the incident after the session. The McLaren F1 driver took fifth fastest time. Bottas moved up to seventh, and Zhou to fifth.
Fernando Alonso took fourth place and Esteban Ocon seventh, for the Alpine riders’ fast first lap. Tsunoda moved up to sixth, Gasly to eighth, beaten by Stroll. Vettel only signed the 16th time.