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Verstappen grabs first pole of 2021 ahead of Hamilton

Max Verstappen during qualifying. Credits: Red Bull Content Pool.

Max Verstappen takes the first pole position of the year with an incredible performance. He put his Red Bull ahead of the two Silver Arrows of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

The first driver to set a time in Q1 was Mick Schumacher with a 1:33.422, while his teammate spun at turn 13. There was not much action at the beginning, and many teams waited to get out. However, with eleven minutes to go, everyone was on track ready to set the first lap times of the session.

After everyone crossed the line for the first time, the driver on top was Max Verstappen, with a time of 1:30.499 ahead of a fantastic Yuki Tsunoda (+0.108) and Lewis Hamilton (+0.118). It was a surprise to see Pierre Gasly in P4 and his teammate right behind Max. That showed that AlphaTauri did a great job during the winter.

At the end of Q1, the drivers eliminated were: Nikita Mazepin, Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel, Nicolas Latifi, and Esteban Ocon. Moreover, right at the end of the session, Carlos Sainz had an engine problem, which did not allow him to finish the lap, but luckily for him, he could bring the car back to the pit.

Ferrari fixed the problem with Carlos’ car, and he managed to take part in Q2. With seven minutes to go, it was Hamilton on top, ahead of Verstappen and Bottas.

At the end of Q2, it was Sainz the man to beat, just one millisecond in front of Charles Leclerc. The drivers eliminated were: Russell, Raikkonen, Tsunoda, who tried to qualify with the medium tires, Giovinazzi, and, surprisingly, Sergio Perez. The only drivers that will start with the medium tires in the top 10 tomorrow will be Hamilton, Verstappen, Bottas, and Gasly.

Finally, the time where everybody knows who the first pole-man will be. After the first attempt, Max Verstappen was in front of Hamilton by just +0.023s. After the last lap of the qualifying session, it was Max Verstappen who grabbed the first pole position of the year, ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. Outside the top three finished an incredible Leclerc ahead of Gasly, followed by the two McLaren of Ricciardo and Norris. Then Sainz, Alonso, and Stroll.

Pos.DriverTeam Time/Gap
1VerstappenRed Bull1:28.997
10StrollAston Martin+1.604
11PerezRed Bull1:30.659
12GiovinazziAlfa Romeo1:30.708
13Tsunoda AlphaTauri1:31.203
14RaikkonenAlfa Romeo1:31.238
18VettelAston Martin1:32.056
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