Formula 1 Commentary

Live: F1 Dutch GP commentary and updates - Qualifying

Follow along for all Formula 1 updates as the Saturday sessions get underway ahead of the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.

Live: F1 Dutch GP commentary and updates - Qualifying

George Russell led a Mercedes 1-2 FP1 on Friday as home favourite Max Verstappen suffered a reliability issue, while Carlos Sainz finished third.

Charles Leclerc topped FP2 from team-mate Sainz ahead of Lewis Hamilton, with Verstappen down in eighth.

Verstappen won the last race, at Spa-Francorchamps, despite starting 14th on the grid. Team-mate Sergio Perez completed the Red Bull rout in Belgium with second place, as Carlos Sainz rescued a third place for Ferrari on a day where it struggled.

F1's trip to Zandvoort will be its second in a row after the seaside circuit was reinstated to the calendar last year, having been dropped at the end of 1985. Verstappen won last year's race.

By: Megan White, Stefan Mackley, James Newbold

Summary

Summary
  • Championship leader Verstappen takes home pole for F1 Dutch GP after strong recovery from FP1 gearbox issue
  • Red Bull's home hero beats FP2 and FP3 pacesetter Leclerc by just 0.021s
  • Sainz and Hamilton third and fourth; Perez fifth after spinning on final effort, but stays ahead of Russell
  • Eliminated in Q2: Gasly, Ocon, Alonso, Zhou and Albon
  • Eliminated in Q1: Bottas, Magnussen, Ricciardo, Vettel and Latifi
Leaderboard
  1. Verstappen, Red Bull
  2. Leclerc, Ferrari
  3. Sainz, Ferrari
  4. Hamilton, Mercedes
  5. Perez, Red Bull
  6. Russell, Mercedes
  7. Norris, McLaren
  8. Schumacher, Haas
  9. Tsunoda, AlphaTauri
  10. Stroll, Aston Martin
Status: Stopped
Thanks very much for joining us on the Autosport live blog today. See you back here tomorrow, just before 1400pm BST, for what promises to be a cracker of a race!
So we're all set for another Verstappen versus Leclerc head-to-head tomorrow, with Sainz and Hamilton lurking on the second row to pounce on any mistakes ahead. After a great recovery from his FP1 gearbox problem, can Verstappen make it four wins on the trot?
In case you missed any of the action from that enthralling qualifying session (where were you?), then you can find the full report here: https://autosport.com/all/news/f1-dutch-gp-verstappen-beats-leclerc-to-pole-as-perez-spins/10362806/
While Red Bull will be delighted to have Verstappen on pole once more, Perez starting back in fifth with the Ferraris second and third will be a concern. Can the red cars draw Red Bull into a strategic challenge with an extra car in contention?
The Mercedes drivers were running behind Perez on the track, and lost out to yellow flags. What might they have been able to do without the Mexican's mistake? 
 
It's a fourth pole of the year for the Red Bull man, and the fifth time he's topped qualifying (pole at Spa credited to Sainz after his grid penalty was applied).
It's two poles in as many years at the Dutch GP for Verstappen then, who notches his 17th career pole to tie with Sir Jackie Stewart (and move above Leclerc in the all-time pole stakes too).
So here's your top 10:
1. Verstappen
2. Leclerc
3. Sainz
4. Hamilton
5. Perez
6. Russell
7. Norris
8. Schumacher
9. Tsunoda
10. Stroll (no time)
Sainz did improve to take third away from Hamilton, who slips back to fourth. Perez stays fifth ahead of Russell after dropping his left-rear wheel into the gravel at Turn 13 and spinning across the road, fortunately without hitting the wall on the other side of the track.
A 1m10.342 means it's advantage Verstappen, and he goes 0.021s faster than Leclerc. That's despite not beating Leclerc's first or final sectors - the Ferrari man will be left to rue time lost in the middle sector.
The roar of the crowd supplies the answer - it's pole for Verstappen as Perez spins!
He does! After a purple sector one, he's slower in the middle sector but goes purple again in the final sector to find nearly a tenth. What can Verstappen do?
Leclerc is the first man to take on the final runs. Can he improve on his provisional pole?
Another flare looks to have landed on the track at Turn 1, but doesn't appear to be on the racing line.
It's Leclerc from Verstappen and Hamilton as the clock ticks down and we wait for the contenders to go for their final runs. With three minutes on the clock, here they come...
 
Alas, it doesn't look like Stroll is going to post a time.
 
Stroll is yet to set a time and currently lies P10, with Norris the best of the rest in seventh ahead of Tsunoda and Schumacher.
Hamilton is third after the first runs, with Sainz fourth, then Perez and Russell only sixth.
It's advantage Leclerc after the first runs then, but just 0.059s in it between he and Verstappen.
Leclerc goes quicker than Verstappen in the first and second sectors - it's provisional pole for the Ferrari man with a 1m10.456s!
Norris goes third, Tsunoda fourth and Schumacher fifth.
His first challenger, Perez, is 0.562s slower in second position.
Verstappen is gunning for this. His first flyer is a 1m10.515s.
We've been informed by the FIA that the person responsible for throwing the flare on track in Q2 has been identified and removed by event security.
And we're underway for Q3, with the Red Bulls first out of the pits.
 
Russell remarked yesterday that he would be "very shocked" if Mercedes was in the fight for pole once again. But the Silver Arrows don't look as though they can be counted out at this stage. Could we see a second pole of the year for the Brackley team?
At the sharp end, just 0.010s between Sainz and Russell at the front, but Verstappen didn't go out at the end of the session. How much more pace does the Red Bull man have up his sleeve?
A great result too for Schumacher, making Q3 with Magnussen falling in Q1. It comes at just the right time as discussions about his future are intensifying.
 
Just 0.084s split Tsunoda and Gasly in Q2, but it's enough for the Japanese to progress to Q3. A fine recovery after his faux pas in causing a red flag yesterday.
 
Gasly, Ocon, Alonso, Zhou and Albon miss out. Alonso is furious at Perez getting in his way at Turn 8.
There's the chequered flag - Perez, Stroll, Schumacher and Tsunoda have made it into Q3!
Russell also improves and slots into second ahead of Verstappen. Leclerc shuffled back to fourth ahead of Hamilton and Norris.
From ninth, Leclerc moves up to second on a 1m10.998s, just 0.061s slower than Verstappen. Then Sainz goes quickest of all!
As a reminder, those on the outside of the top 10 looking to break in are Gasly, Ocon, Zhou, Tsunoda and Schumacher.
Verstappen is clearly happy, he's not going again. Everybody else is though.
It's an improvement from Albon, a 1m11.802, but it keeps him P10. Now here come the cavalry.
With the first runs complete, Albon heads out early to start the second timed runs. Can he improve on his 10th fastest time and consolidate a Q3 spot?