Sat, 18 Sep 2021

Amsterdam [Netherlands], September 4 (ANI): Sixty-five thousand fans were on their feet as they watched their home hero Max Verstappen fend off title rival Lewis Hamilton to snatch pole position for the returning Dutch Grand Prix on Saturday.

Verstappen looked in control throughout qualifying and cruised through the opening two segments with what appeared to be plenty left in the tank. And he unleashed that pace when it mattered to take provisional pole - and improved again on his second run leading to an eruption in the grandstands.

"Hamilton improved on his final lap - finding two tenths on Verstappen in the final sector - but it wasn't quite enough as he leapfrogged Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, 0.038s adrift from Dutchman Verstappen who took his sixth pole position in seven Grands Prix," F1 stated in its official report.

AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly took a superb fourth - equalling his starting spot in Azerbaijan - where incidentally he went on to finish on the podium in third with Charles Leclerc, who was quickest in Q1, the leading Ferrari in fifth.

Carlos Sainz recovered from a crash in FP3, with the team able to repair the car without the need to replace his gearbox - which would have incurred a grid penalty - to take sixth, while contender for the driver of the day Antonio Giovinazzi equalled his best-ever qualifying performance with seventh.

Esteban Ocon out qualified Alpine teammate Fernando Alonso to take the lead in the head-to-head 7-6, though he pipped the double world champion by just 0.023s, while Daniel Ricciardo completed the top 10, finishing ahead of Lando Norris on a Saturday for the second successive Grand Prix weekend. (ANI)

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