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Max Verstappen (Red Bull) was once again intractable, marking what is his sixth pole position in F1, second in a row in 2021 and third this season. “Happy to be on pole at home,” he commented as he got out of his car. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) set the second fastest time, but will have to go back 3 positions on the grid on Sunday, after the penalty he received in FP2 on Friday for spinning in the pit lane. Your partner Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) qualified third, and will start second thanks to Bottas. In fourth position was qualified Lando norris (McLaren), followed by Czech Pérez (Red Bull), Pierre Gasly (Ferrari) … with Fernando Alonso (Alpine) in ninth position. Outside the top ten he stayed Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), which was twelfth.
Verstappen, Hamilton and Bottas will start with Pirelli’s medium compound, the rest in the top 10 will start with soft.
Not a hint of rain nor forecast for the qualifying dispute, with a higher temperature than the rest of the weekend: 25 degrees ambient and 54 on the asphalt. One of the main problems they had to deal with was traffic, as it is a short track.
The temperature on the tarmac when qualifying started was 54 degrees
All the drivers went out on the Pirelli soft compound, while the two from Alpine were the last to leave. The first to set a fastest lap was Max Verstappen (1’04 ”489), followed by Bottas, Norris, Hamilton, Leclerc… Carlos Sainz was eleventh and Fernando Alonso, last to set a time, eighth. The one who surprised the most was Nicholas Latifi, who with his Williams was ninth. With 3 minutes remaining until the end of Q1, most of the drivers went out again, and they did so with a new set of softs. In contrast, the top four finishers stayed in the pits – Verstappen, Bottas, Norris and Hamilton.
The most impressive thing about Q1 was that the difference between the 15 drivers who set the best times, those who were able to advance to Q2, was only 6 tenths. Among those who entered: Verstappen, Bottas, Norris, Tsunoda, Pérez, Hamilton … Sainz 10th, Alonso 11th … They were left out: Latifi, Ocon, Raikkonen, Schumacher and Mazepin.
Verstappen and Bottas were the fastest in Q1
In the Q2Bottas was the first out, and he did it on medium tires. Soon after, Verstappen and Hamilton wore the same compound, as Giovinazzi. They were the only ones who opted for that type of rubber, the rest came out with the soft ones. Pierre Gasly set the best time (1’04 ”429), with a few softs, with Verstappen second only 4 thousandths and Norris third, followed by Pérez, Hamilton… with Bottas 9th.
The 15 riders entered the pits and Bottas came out again with a new set of medium tires, he wanted to try by all means to get into the top 10 with that compound, which would allow him to take the start in the race. Hamilton repeated his partner’s strategy, while Verstappen mounted a soft. Gasly, for his part, decided not to waste any more tires and did not make a second attempt, he knew that it was almost impossible to stay out of the Q3 dispute with the time he had done, and it was. Pérez set the best time, followed by Norris and Gasly. Behind, Verstappen, Bottas and Hamilton, who did their best time on the soft tires, a compound with which they will start tomorrow in the race. Alonso was seventh, while Sainz 12th, which left him out of Q3. It is the third time in a row that Alonso enters Q3.
Pérez set the best time in Q2
Lewis Hamilton was the first out of the dispute for the Q3, he did 3 laps and returned to the pits. The Mercedes had two new sets of softs. It was Verstappen who set the best time on his first lap launched (1’03 ”841), Hamilton was second followed by Norris, Bottas, Pérez. Immediately afterwards, Hamilton put on another new set of “reds” and took to the track, riding alone with Stroll, who was the last to come out on his first attempt. Hamilton returned to his garage, and was still second. Tsunoda interrupted Bottas, and the stewards decided to investigate him.
There was the last attempt to make up the top 10 positions on the grid. All the pilots except Stroll took to the track. It was then that Max Verstappen marked his sixth pole position in F1, nobody could improve his time (1’03 ”841). Valtteri Bottas was second, although he will have to go back 3 positions on the grid, Lewis Hamilton third, followed by Lando Norris, Checo Pérez, Gasly, Leclerc, Tsunoda, Fernando Alonso 9th and Lance Stroll 10th.
The race will start at 3pm (CET) on Sunday.
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing-Honda RB16B 1’03.841 2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes F1 W12 EQ Power + 1’04.067 0.226 3 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes MCL35M 1’04.120 0.279 4 Sergio Pérez Red Bull Racing-Honda RB16B 1’04.168 0.327 5 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes F1 W12 EQ Power + 1’04.035 0.194 6 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda AT02 1’04.236 0.395 7 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF21 1’04.472 0.631 8 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Honda AT02 1’04.514 0.673
9 Fernando Alonso Alpine-Renault A521 1’04.574 0.73310 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes AMR21 1’04.708 0.867 11 George Russell Williams-Mercedes FW43B 1’04.671 0.830
12 Carlos Sainz Ferrari SF21 Ferrari 1’04.800 0.95913 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren-Mercedes MCL35M 1’04.808 0.967 14 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin-Mercedes AMR21 1’04.875 1.034 15 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari C41 1’04.913 1.072 16 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes FW43B 1’05.175 1.334 17 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault A521 1’05.217 1,376 18 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari C41 1’05,429 1,588 19 Mick Schumacher Haas-Ferrari VF-21 1’06,041 2,200 20 Nikita Mazepin Haas-Ferrari VF-21 1’06,192 2,351