Max Verstappen Storms To Zandvoort Pole

Max Verstappen Storms To Zandvoort Pole
Max Verstappen Storms To Zandvoort Pole

Max Verstappen has stormed to pole position at the 2023 Dutch Grand Prix, finishing half a second ahead of Lando Norris, who will share the front row with the Dutchman.

George Russell will start from third, while Alex Albon surprised the field and will start from fourth.

Max Verstappen – Pole

“Qualifying in these conditions on new tarmac can be quite tricky but that last lap was very enjoyable. It’s all about putting in good laps and staying out of trouble. We’ve had wet conditions at the last few races but it’s the first time here in Zandvoort, the wind and drying track played a big factor in Q3 and turn one on my final lap was a bit tricky, but the Team made all the right calls today. The pressure’s always there to perform in front of your home crowd but when you can pull it off it feels incredible. To be on pole here feels great and we have a very strong car for tomorrow, let’s see what we can do.”

Lando Norris – P2

“P2 was a good result in these conditions. Every now and again you hope Max makes a mistake and he doesn’t. Frustrating in a little way but I’m very happy! The team’s done a good job. It was a chaotic qualifying but another P2, so a good start to being back in the car.  

“The first half of the lap was mega, the second half was probably one of the worst second halves of a lap that I’ve done! I’ve always enjoyed these conditions, it’s when we do well. So, I’ll take P2.  

“I think there’s quite a bit of tyre degradation here and not our forte when it comes into play: we start to struggle quite a bit in certain corners. But we’ve improved the car quite a bit since Friday, so I want to be a little bit more hopeful. There are opportunities, but it’s going to be tough.   

“We had a tricky Spa, but still finished P7, and we come to a track which we know suits us a bit more and we proved it today again. So, the team has done an excellent job, they’ve really made a massive step forward from where we were to where we are now. And days like this, when you reward them, is always a good thing. So, we’ll keep pushing. I keep saying we’re not far away, but at the same time, we’re still quite far. So yeah, we’ll keep our heads down.”

George Russell – P3

“That was a great session and I’m happy to be in P3. Qualifying was a strength earlier in the season, but it’s been going a bit wrong for me recently, so it was good to get the break, come with some fresh ideas and put ourselves in a good place to fight for the podium tomorrow. The final lap was pretty okay – we know that we struggle to get temperature into the tyres when it’s wet or the crossover to slicks, but that also turns into a strength on Sunday. I’m sure Max will enjoy his usual Sunday drive tomorrow, but from P3 hopefully we can have a good fight with Lando, Alex and the rest.”

Alex Albon – P4

We were good in FP1, FP2, FP3, and of course thought we’d start dropping back down and that we’d hit our sweet spot early, not playing with the car too much since FP1, but this made me feel confident. So, when you add confidence with a track like this which is so narrow and uncompromising, add in mixed conditions, you really need to feel at one with the car, and I have this weekend. We needed a car that was driveable on the limit and fortunately, our car has been all weekend. There’s been a nice headwind through some of the corners, so I definitely think that played a part today and helped us a lot more than normal. We’ve been quite surprised with our high downforce performance this weekend, so hopefully we can deliver on it tomorrow.

Lewis Hamilton – P13

It wasn’t my day today. Since FP1, I’ve lost some confidence in the car and that made qualifying tricky. It was tough to get the tyres into the working window, I struggled with the balance and overall grip, and George also did a few different settings that seemed to work better. But we know that the car operates in a narrow window, and these things can happen when you are in that situation. On the final run, I did two consecutive laps and the tyres overheated on the second one, so I couldn’t improve the time. Tomorrow is a new challenge; hopefully the car will be a bit better on full tanks, and we can make some forward progress. This isn’t an easy circuit for doing that – but that will be the goal.

Liam Lawson – P20

“Firstly, I feel for Daniel in this situation, and it’s not something you want to see, especially to someone as nice as him, and I hope he recovers quickly. Any chance you get to race in Formula 1, you will grab with both hands, so I’m very excited about the opportunity I have been given. There are lots of emotions because it’s something I’ve wanted to do since I was three years old.

“Today has been very hectic, with very tricky conditions. It was my first time driving on the intermediate tyres during the first session, and it was different to what I expected, but I felt like I was getting somewhere and learning how the tyres behaved. During qualifying, I was feeling comfortable and like I was gaining a lot, but then it rained again, and I expected the grip to drop, but I was surprised by how high it stayed, so for sure, I didn’t maximise everything. I feel comfortable in the car, but with these conditions, it’s tricky to learn this track in the car.

“Physically, I feel ok now, but with wet track conditions, it’s not as physically demanding as the dry, so I expect it to be more tough during the race. This track is definitely a tricky one, bumpy in some places and takes confidence, which is difficult for me to pick up so quickly. If it’s dry tomorrow, I’m going to be learning many new things because I haven’t driven the car in fully dry conditions yet and haven’t done any long runs on dry compound tyres. I’ll just learn as much as possible and hang on.”

ZANDVOORT, NETHERLANDS - AUGUST 26: Liam Lawson of New Zealand driving the (40) Scuderia AlphaTauri AT04 on track during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of The Netherlands at Circuit Zandvoort on August 26, 2023 in Zandvoort, Netherlands. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202308260415 // Usage for editorial use only //
ZANDVOORT, NETHERLANDS – AUGUST 26: Liam Lawson of New Zealand driving the (40) Scuderia AlphaTauri AT04 on track during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of The Netherlands at Circuit Zandvoort on August 26, 2023 in Zandvoort, Netherlands. (Photo by Peter Fox/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202308260415 // Usage for editorial use only //
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