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Formula 1: Verstappen beats Leclerc by 0.021 secs to grab pole at Dutch Grand Prix

Zandvoort (Netherlands), Sep 3 (IANS) Reigning World Drivers’ Champion Max Verstappen of Red Bull took pole position for the 2022 Dutch Grand Prix, with Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc missing out by 0.021s in a thrilling contest at the Zandvoort circuit.

Verstappen logged a lap of 1m 10.342s in Q3 just before teammate Sergio Perez, fifth, spun at Turn 13 to bring out a yellow flag and prevent anyone else from beating the Dutchman’s time.

“Unbelievable. Today we had a quick race car again. A qualifying lap around here is insane,” Verstappen said after the qualifying session.

Leclerc ended up 0.021s off the home favourite in P2, while Q2 leader Carlos Sainz qualified P3 – under a tenth off pole.

Former Champion Lewis Hamilton qualified on the second row in P4, the Mercedes driver unable to improve late in Q3, while teammate George Russell settled for sixth behind Perez.

McLaren’s Lando Norris qualified seventh, with Mick Schumacher a surprise eighth and Yuki Tsunoda an equally surprising ninth. Lance Stroll made it to Q3 but a technical issue saw him confined to the garage and settle for 10th on the grid for Aston Martin.

Alpha Tauri Pierre Gasly qualified 11th ahead of compatriot Esteban Ocon, while Fernando Alonso finished 13th in Q2 as neither Alpine made it to the top-10 shootout. Zhou Guanyu took P14, ahead of Williams’ Alex Albon.

Valtteri Bottas was knocked out in P16 as his Alfa Romeo teammate Zhou made it through to Q2. Haas’s Kevin Magnussen’s track limits infringement saw him finish 17th, ahead of McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel – who took P19 having run into the gravel on his final flying lap -‘ and Williams’ Nicholas Latifi backing up the pack.

–IANS

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