Weather: wet/dry 16°C
Tarmac: wet/dry 22°C
Humidity : 86%
Wind : 4.3 km/h SW
Max Verstappen scored the 28th F1 pole position of his career during the 2023 Dutch Grand Prix qualifying session today. The Red Bull driver will start from P1 for the third time in a row on Zandvoort. It was the 92nd pole for Red Bull Racing.
Q1 Session Report
The 2023 Dutch F1 Grand Prix qualifying session kicked off at the Zandvoort circuit with a flurry of unexpected events and surprising outcomes during the Q1 segment.
Ricciardo's Misfortune and Lawson's Debut
The weekend had already been a roller-coaster of drama for AlphaTauri, with Daniel Ricciardo sustaining a broken metacarpal in a crash during practice. The Australian driver's unfortunate incident paved the way for reserve driver Liam Lawson to step up to the plate. Lawson, replacing the injured Ricciardo, faced the challenge of his first-ever F1 qualifying session. While he had the opportunity to gain some familiarity with the track during FP3, the wet conditions proved to be a tough initiation for the Kiwi driver.
Rain and Greasy Conditions Create Havoc
The inclement weather and slippery track conditions added an extra layer of challenge to the qualifying session. Several drivers, including Kevin Magnussen, Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz, Esteban Ocon, Pierre Gasly, and Sergio Perez, experienced challenging moments and offs due to the treacherous surface. Magnussen's upgraded front wing bore the brunt of his crash at Turn 3, leaving Haas Team Principal Guenther Steiner visibly displeased.
Verstappen's Dominance and McLaren's Resurgence
Max Verstappen's dominance at Zandvoort was evident as he aimed for another pole position. With two wins and two poles from the last two races at the circuit, Verstappen's Red Bull seemed to handle both wet and dry conditions with finesse. However, the resurgence of McLaren couldn't be ignored. Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri showcased strong performances, with Norris displaying prowess in wet conditions. The papaya team's upgraded package was proving to be a game-changer.
Drama Unfolds in Q1
As Q1 unfolded, drivers faced a changing track that went from wet to drying rapidly. The drying racing line led to a frenzy of action. Verstappen's initial struggles on fresh intermediate tires raised eyebrows, but he managed to regain his momentum and set the pace. Ferrari's Charles Leclerc faced repeated challenges, going off track multiple times, but managed to secure a spot in Q2 by a narrow margin.
Stewards' Investigations and Rain Interruption
The stewards had their hands full with investigations into several incidents. Carlos Sainz's squeeze on Oscar Piastri and an incident involving Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton were both flagged for post-session review. As the rain began to fall again, drivers rushed to set competitive times before the weather worsened. The unpredictable conditions kept everyone on edge.
Ultimately, Q1 saw some unexpected casualties. In a surprising turn of events, Valtteri Bottas, who showed promise in wet conditions, failed to make it to Q2. Lawson's debut also ended in Q1, while Guanyu Zhou, Esteban Ocon, and Kevin Magnussen also saw their qualifying journey cut short.
Q2 Session Report
The second qualifying session (Q2) at the 2023 Dutch Formula 1 Grand Prix has concluded with a series of exhilarating moments that kept both teams and fans on the edge of their seats.
As the session kicked off, Williams' Sargeant was the first to hit the track, closely followed by the Red Bull duo. Despite a light drizzle in the air, the racing line remained relatively dry. However, a looming raincloud added an element of uncertainty to the proceedings, leaving teams to make crucial decisions about tire choices.
Nico Hulkenberg's impressive performance in these conditions had the team optimistic, although the decision to utilize a new front wing didn't yield significant advantages given the track conditions.
A notable incident involved an investigation by the FIA stewards into an incident at Turn 13, which saw Cars 44 (Hamilton) and 14 (Alonso) involved. After review, no further action was taken as the stewards ruled out any impeding.
As the clock ticked down in Q2:
- With thirteen minutes remaining, Verstappen of Red Bull set an early benchmark time of 1m 21.921s.
- Russell managed to secure the second spot, followed closely by Albon from Red Bull.
- The rain ceased, hinting at the possibility of a switch to slick tires.
- McLaren's information indicated that the rain was likely to stay away for the rest of Q2.
- Verstappen continued to dominate, setting a faster time and highlighting the challenge posed by certain slippery sections of the track.
- Albon of Red Bull managed to secure the top position momentarily, demonstrating the team's potential.
- Leclerc faced a mishap at Turn 1, which marked his fourth off-track excursion of the day.
As the session neared its end:
- Piastri, Albon, and Russell showcased their competitive edge by temporarily claiming the top three spots.
- Hamilton struggled, voicing dissatisfaction with his car's setup over the radio.
- The battle to avoid elimination intensified as drivers pushed for faster lap times.
- Ultimately, the cut-off claimed Stroll, Gasly, Hamilton, Tsunoda, and Hulkenberg, knocking them out of Q2.
The thrilling Q2 sets the stage for a nail-biting Q3, where the top contenders will fight for pole position at the 2023 Dutch F1 GP. The unpredictable weather and the evolving track conditions promise an exciting and closely contested qualifying session.
Q3 Session Report
The 2023 Dutch Formula 1 Grand Prix is shaping up to be an unforgettable race, as Max Verstappen thrilled his home crowd with a stunning pole position during a rollercoaster Qualifying session at Circuit Zandvoort.
Under bright sunshine, the drama began to unfold during Q3, with some drivers opting for slicks while others stuck with intermediates. The track, which had been damp earlier, was drying rapidly. However, the session was interrupted by a red flag caused by a crash involving Callum Ilott, who lost control and ended up in the barriers. This incident disrupted the rhythm of the drivers and resulted in a drying track.
When the session resumed, drivers were faced with a crucial decision - whether to go for a single flying lap or risk a two-lap strategy in hopes of better tire performance. Norris managed to put in a strong lap to initially claim pole position, but the drama wasn't over.
Just minutes before the end, another red flag halted the session. Charles Leclerc, who had been competitive throughout the session, slid off the track and collided with the barriers. Fortunately, Leclerc emerged unscathed, but the incident reshuffled the grid once more.
As the clock ticked down, it was Verstappen who managed to deliver a blistering lap that left the home crowd roaring in approval. Verstappen's lap of 1m 10.567s secured him pole position by a significant margin of 0.537s ahead of Lando Norris in second place.
George Russell of Mercedes and Alexander Albon completed the second row, showing strong performances. Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz followed, with Sergio Perez, Oscar Piastri, Charles Leclerc, and Logan Sargeant rounding out the top 10.
Verstappen's pole position elicited an ecstatic response from the driver himself. "What a lap," he exclaimed, describing the session as tricky due to rapidly changing track conditions. Verstappen's familiarity with the track likely played to his advantage in these challenging circumstances.
Norris, despite securing a commendable second place, revealed that the session wasn't without its struggles. "The first half of my lap was mega but the second half was one of the worst second halves we've ever done," he confessed.
Russell, who has been consistently impressive, especially in Qualifying sessions, expressed his satisfaction with the result. He acknowledged the challenges of the session, particularly the crossover onto slicks, and looked forward to the race.
With such an unpredictable Qualifying, Sunday's race promises to deliver excitement and uncertainty. The Dutch Grand Prix, returning to the Formula 1 calendar after a long hiatus, is already proving to be a highlight of the season. As the drivers prepare to battle it out on the newly revived Zandvoort circuit, fans can expect an action-packed race with Verstappen leading the pack from the front.
Last years pole position time was a 1:08.885 min, driven by Max Verstappen with the Red Bull RB18.
Qualifying Times 2023 Dutch GP
|1||1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1:20.965||1:18.856||1:10.567||31|
|5||14||Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin||1:21.840||1:19.429||1:11.506||30|
|7||11||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull||1:21.972||1:19.856||1:11.880||33|
|11||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||1:21.570||1:20.121||22|
|16||24||Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo||1:22.067||12|
|19||77||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||1:22.260||12|
✅ Don't forget to check out our 2023 Dutch F1 Grand Prix preview info.
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