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Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Lewis Hamilton’s unhealthy day, Alex Albon’s nice one, and different winners and losers from qualifying on the Dutch GP


Qualifying is within the books forward of the Dutch Grand Prix. Due to rain in a single day and earlier within the day, groups needed to navigate an ever-changing floor and a few difficult circumstances.

That made for some surprises all through the sphere.

Listed below are the winners and losers from qualifying on the Dutch Grand Prix.

Winner: Alex Albon

Alex Albon was robust all day Saturday, and the consequence? A private finest P4 in qualifying for the motive force.

For a second, it regarded as if Albon would possibly sneak into the highest three. He got here throughout third simply because the checkered flag flew, however George Russell pipped him for that third spot, pushing Albon right down to fourth.

Nonetheless, an enormous consequence for the motive force, and the workforce. Relying on how Logan Sargeant fares on Sunday — extra on him in a second — Williams may very well be taking a look at double factors within the Grand Prix.

Loser: Lewis Hamilton

Saturday started with the concept that Hamilton may push for pole place.

It ends with questions concerning the place all of it went unsuitable.

Hamilton did not advance to Q3, ending in P13 throughout Q2. The Mercedes driver expressed frustration all through qualifying on Saturday at visitors circumstances, and was held up at instances by each Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin.

Nonetheless, how Mercedes managed his Q2 session may very well be referred to as into query. Bernie Collins of Sky Sports activities F1 outlined how Hamilton and Mercedes pushed early, thereby probably lacking the perfect window as monitor circumstances improved.

“I used to be watching that Hamilton lap, he was pushing one lap too early,” stated Collins. “So he was pushing the lap earlier than the chequered flag.

“As a result of he crossed the road for the final one, that was his lap accomplished, the vitality was accomplished, the tyres have been accomplished and he was backing off the entire manner by means of that lap as everybody else was pushing by him.”

Mercedes now has to hope that Hamilton can take advantage of his Sunday, after a disappointing Saturday.

Winners: McLaren

Coming into the Dutch Grand Prix one of many greatest questions was whether or not McLaren may sustain their current robust kind.

Up to now, so good.

Each Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri have been robust all afternoon, maintaining pole place on the desk for the McLaren duo. Finally Verstappen secured yet one more P1, however Norris discovered his strategy to the entrance row, the place he’ll begin second. Piastri was pushed right down to P8, however that consequence — and the power the MCL60 confirmed throughout qualifying — signifies that McLaren is in a very good place to maintain this run going.

Incomplete: Logan Sargeant

The excellent news?

That’s two-fold, actually. First is the truth that each Williams drivers, Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant, regarded robust throughout qualifying. Early in Q3 Albon and Sargeant have been working 1-2. Second? Sargeant superior to Q3 for the primary time in his F1 profession, on a monitor the place he has some degree of expertise.

The unhealthy information? Mere moments after Sargeant posted that P2 lap, he spun out and into the wall, ending his Q3 session and damaging his FW45. That introduced out an prolonged purple flag because the obstacles have been repaired, and now Williams is confronted with repairing an amazing quantity of injury forward of the Grand Prix.

Winner: George Russell

Qualifying has been an up-and-down journey for the Mercedes driver this season. He certified in P2 on the Australian Grand Prix, however has not seen the highest 5 for the reason that Canadian Grand Prix. And with Mercedes seeking to solidify their standing in second place within the Constructors’ Championship — and Hamilton failing to advance to Q3 — the workforce wanted an enormous consequence from Russell in Q3.

He delivered.

The Mercedes driver got here throughout on the loss of life in P3, simply nipping Albon for the third spot and placing himself in place to ship some huge factors on Sunday.

Losers: Alpine

One other grand prix weekend.

One other spell of difficulties for Alpine.

Esteban Ocon did not advance to Q2 for the primary time all season, lacking out on the second qualifying session by simply 0.074 seconds. Then it was teammate Pierre Gasly, who missed out on Q3 by maybe the smallest of margins:

Brutal luck but once more for Alpine.

Winner: Liam Lawson

Wait, the motive force who certified dead-last is a winner?

On this state of affairs, he’s.

Liam Lawson discovered after FP2 that he could be making his F1 debut within the Dutch Grand Prix, giving him only one observe session earlier than qualifying. That observe session was run in difficult, moist circumstances, and Lawson even spun out throughout FP3, bringing out a purple flag.

The very fact he completed in any respect, given this context, is an accomplishment.

Losers: Alfa Romeo

This was a tough begin to the weekend for Alfa Romeo, as each Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas did not advance out of Q1.

Heading into the Dutch Grand Prix, Alfa Romeo made clear their purpose for the remainder of the season: End in seventh place. The workforce entered the week in ninth place, however simply two factors behind each Williams and Haas for that seventh-place spot.

However with this robust begin to the weekend — and the robust efficiency from Williams — Alfa Romeo is at risk of leaving Zandvoort behind having fallen additional again of their pursuit of seventh.

Winner: Max Verstappen

It regarded precarious at sure spots Saturday however in the long run, qualifying ended as so many have earlier than.

With Verstappen on pole.

As Russell stated trackside after qualifying, the Crimson Bull driver might need a simple trip to his ninth-straight victory. “It’ll be an thrilling race and I’m positive Max shall be having his Sunday drive and waving to the gang on his manner tomorrow,” stated the Mercedes driver.

If that does come to fruition, it could see Verstappen tie the mark of nine-straight wins set by Sebastian Vettel again in 2013.

Including yet another unimaginable line to an already-impressive resume for the motive force.


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