There was no way Max Verstappen was going to disappoint his fans who formed a sea of orange at his home race and indeed he did not. The Dutchman secured his 28th pole position, his third in a row at Zandvoort for a perfect 100% record at this track. He put in an incredible final lap in Q3, destroying the opposition, lapping over half a second quicker than second placed Lando Norris in the McLaren. Six different teams made it into the top six: apart from the world championship leader in the Red Bull and the aforementioned McLaren, the order sees Mercedes (Russell), Williams (Albon), Aston Martin (Alonso) and Ferrari (Sainz).

Rain, sometimes very heavy, played a major part in proceedings to the extent that slick tyres only put in an appearance in Q3. In free practice, extreme wets and intermediates were used, while in Q1 and Q2 the latter tyre was the best choice, performing well in the changing track conditions even once the rain eased off. Already in the final stages of Q2, a dry line began to appear so that by the start of Q3, despite some understandable caution, half the drivers opted to go out on Softs, to be copied immediately by those who had gone with intermediates, before realising this was the wrong choice.

Verstappen was presented with the Pirelli Pole Position Award by Marta Garcia, the Prema Racing driver who currently leads the F1 Academy series on 235 points with one round remaining. The 23 year old Spaniard has previously raced in the W Series and Spanish F4. The final round of the of the F1 Academy season, for which Pirelli is the sole tyre supplier, takes place at Austin on the same race weekend as the United States Grand Prix from 16 to 18 November.


“It was a spectacular qualifying, which is often the case when track conditions change very quickly. In the end, Max Verstappen did it again, but it’s worth noting there are six different teams represented in the top six places, a sign that Formula 1 is in rude health despite the dominance of one driver and one team. Tomorrow’s race will have two sides to it. On the one hand, Max Verstappen is the clear favourite, while on the other, it is impossible to say who else could finish on the podium. In terms of strategy, there are several options on the table, both in terms of the number of stops where the choice is between two or one, and in terms of choice of compound. This variety is down to several factors. First and foremost, our Hard tyre here is the C1, which has been modified for this year and, while degrading very little offers more grip than its predecessor. Then there is the weather with cool temperatures facilitating the use of the Medium and Soft compounds. Finally, there’s the fact that there is a wide choice in terms of types of tyre. The number of stops can also vary depending on the characteristics of the cars and the choices made when it comes to aero downforce levels. Those who favour track position will most likely opt for a single stop, using a combination of C2 and C1. Those who believe they have what is needed to be competitive when it comes to overtaking, will go for the two stops, favouring the use of the Medium and Soft. Added to this is the unknown factor concerning the weather, even if the forecast is for something dryer than what we saw today. All these factors combined point to it being a very interesting race tomorrow.”


Founded in 1872, Pirelli is a company with deep Italian roots now recognised all over the world for its cutting-edge technology, capacity for innovation, and the quality of its products. Motorsport has always played an important part in Pirelli’s strategy, following the ‘race to road’ philosophy. The company has been engaged in motorsport for 116 years and today supplies tyres to more than 350 championships on both two and four wheels. Pirelli pays constant attention to the most efficient use of natural resources and energy, aiming to reach carbon neutrality by 2030.
Pirelli has been Global Tyre Partner of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship since 2011. The company also supplies championships including FIA Formula 2, FIA Formula 3, Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine, FIA World Rally Championship and GT World Challenge, alongside numerous national series.