Max Verstappen grabs Dutch Grand Prix pole

McLaren's Lando Norris second fastest during incident-filled qualifying in Zandvoort

Red Bull's Max Verstappen after grabbing pole position for the Dutch GP. Getty
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Red Bull ace Max Verstappen claimed pole position for his home Dutch Grand Prix after qualifying at Zandvoort on Saturday.

McLaren's Lando Norris will start alongside the Red Bull double world champion on the front row of Sunday's race.

However, Lewis Hamilton was eliminated from the second phase of qualifying and will start only 13th on the grid for the 72-lap race in Zandvoort.

The unstoppable Verstappen delivered a crushing lap to finish half-a-second clear of McLaren's Norris.

George Russell will start from third place with the impressive Alex Albon fourth.

"It was a very tricky qualifying session," said Verstappen. "It was all about putting your laps in and staying out of trouble and we managed that quite well.

"The pressure is always there to perform but when you pull it off it's incredible."

Norris added: "Every now and then you hope Max makes a mistake, but he doesn't, so frustrating in a little way. But I'm very happy. The team did a good job and I will take P2."

Red Bull's Sergio Perez, Verstappen's team mate and closest rival but 125 points behind him after 12 of 22 races, qualified seventh.

Verstappen will be chasing a record-equalling ninth win in a row on Sunday.

Q3 was red-flagged twice. First when Logan Sargeant crashed out in his Williams. Sargeant, 22, emerged unscathed from the accident but the force of the impact contributed to significant damage on the front of his machine.

The running was suspended for 20 minutes before Norris put his McLaren at the top of the order. Then, Charles Leclerc put his Ferrari into the wall.

A six-minute stoppage followed with just four minutes and five seconds left on the clock, with Norris hoping to hold on to claim only his second career pole.

But Verstappen raced to top spot with his final lap to huge roars from the Orange Army. On Sunday, he will bid to match Sebastian Vettel's record of nine consecutive wins.

Updated: August 26, 2023, 3:03 PM