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Practice report

F1 Dutch GP: Verstappen leads red flag-filled, wet final practice

Max Verstappen headed a wet and thrice red-flagged final Formula 1 practice session for the Dutch Grand Prix to beat George Russell by just under four tenths of a second.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Photo by: Simon Galloway / Motorsport Images

A rapid-fire final 10 minutes, produced by improving track conditions as the morning's heavy rain subsided, ended with Verstappen embarking on a series of quick runs having found much in the way of confidence on a drying track.

Lando Norris had assumed control over the session with around 20 minutes to go after trading places with McLaren team-mate Oscar Piastri at the top, but Verstappen lodged a 1m22.758s to sit in first overall.

Russell then challenged but fell short by about 0.02s, and Verstappen subsequently cemented his advantage having set a 1m21.631s on his next timed lap.

A third attempt ultimately came to nought as Verstappen went into the gravel at Turn 11, but his second sector had not been an improvement in any case.

Incidents for Kevin Magnussen, Zhou Guanyu, and rookie Liam Lawson produced stoppages in the session as the drivers were forced to cope with treacherous conditions following the morning rain.

Magnussen produced the first red flag after a slide at Turn 3, having lost the rear early on in his out-lap on the intermediate tyres to dump his car into the exit wall.

After the hiatus in running to clear the stricken Haas, Charles Leclerc then vaulted to the top on the wet tyre having posted a 1m27.238s to displace Verstappen, but very nearly torpedoed into the wall at Turn 1 moments after crossing the line. The Monegasque just about kept the car out of the barrier, but had to take the long way around to return to the circuit.

The intermediate tyres then appeared to come into their own despite the continuing rainfall, as Norris beat Leclerc's time by half a second moments before Verstappen shattered the Briton's lap with 1.5s in hand.

Zhou then spun on the exit of Turn 13 and beached his Alfa Romeo into the gravel, causing the marshals to reach for the red flag once more.

There were few signs of improvement as the session restarted with 25 minutes to go, although Norris then reclaimed top spot with two personal best sectors, capturing a tow through the final corner from Logan Sargeant to set the best final sector.

Piastri then overturned his team-mate's efforts on his own effort, punching in a 1m24.893s, but Norris asserted his authority with a 1m23.677s with a clean sweep of sectors to go over a second ahead.

But Piastri responded with a lap just 0.097s away from his more experienced team-mate and moved into second, finding 0.6s over Sergio Perez.

Lawson, who was drafted into the AlphaTauri line-up in place of the injured Daniel Ricciardo, produced the third red flag when he spun on the way into the banked Turn 14. The Kiwi touched the outside kerb which pitched him into 180-degree rotation, but he managed to recover and retreat to the pitlane for a short-lived stoppage.

Verstappen then made his break for top spot after the final stoppage and successfully dispatched the McLarens as the orange cars did not take advantage of the final moments of drying track.

Russell thus ended the session in second, 0.379s off Verstappen's best, while Perez was third and a full second away from his team-mate's time.

Fernando Alonso claimed the fourth-fastest time over Lewis Hamilton, as Alex Albon beat Piastri to sixth. Valtteri Bottas, Leclerc, and Norris completed the top 10.

       
Driver Info
   
Cla Driver # Chassis Engine Laps Time Interval km/h
1 Netherlands M. Verstappen Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1 Red Bull Red Bull 18 1'21.631 187.825
2 United Kingdom G. Russell George Russell Mercedes 63 Mercedes Mercedes 18 +0.379 0.379 186.957
3 Mexico S. Perez Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing 11 Red Bull Red Bull 18 +1.000 0.621 185.552
4 Spain F. Alonso Fernando Alonso Aston Martin Racing 14 Aston Martin Mercedes 14 +1.003 0.003 185.545
5 United Kingdom L. Hamilton Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 44 Mercedes Mercedes 18 +1.092 0.089 185.346
6 Thailand A. Albon Alex Albon Williams 23 Williams Mercedes 19 +1.119 0.027 185.285
7 Australia O. Piastri Oscar Piastri McLaren 81 McLaren Mercedes 20 +1.261 0.142 184.968
8 Finland V. Bottas Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo F1 Team KICK 77 Alfa Romeo Ferrari 25 +1.334 0.073 184.805
9 Monaco C. Leclerc Charles Leclerc Ferrari 16 Ferrari Ferrari 12 +1.462 0.128 184.520
10 United Kingdom L. Norris Lando Norris McLaren 4 McLaren Mercedes 24 +1.527 0.065 184.376
11 France P. Gasly Pierre Gasly Alpine 10 Alpine Renault 15 +1.579 0.052 184.261
12 Spain C. Sainz Carlos Sainz Ferrari 55 Ferrari Ferrari 17 +1.807 0.228 183.757
13 Japan Y. Tsunoda Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 22 AlphaTauri Red Bull 18 +1.913 0.106 183.524
14 United States L. Sargeant Logan Sargeant Williams 2 Williams Mercedes 20 +1.939 0.026 183.467
15 Germany N. Hulkenberg Nico Hulkenberg Haas F1 Team 27 Haas Ferrari 20 +2.009 0.070 183.314
16 France E. Ocon Esteban Ocon Alpine 31 Alpine Renault 12 +2.175 0.166 182.951
17 Canada L. Stroll Lance Stroll Aston Martin Racing 18 Aston Martin Mercedes 15 +2.427 0.252 182.402
18 New Zealand L. Lawson Liam Lawson AlphaTauri 40 AlphaTauri 26 +4.712 2.285 177.575
19 China Z. Guanyu Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo F1 Team KICK 24 Alfa Romeo Ferrari 9 +6.851 2.139 173.282
20 Denmark K. Magnussen Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team 20 Haas Ferrari 1

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