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Max Verstappen topped final practice at his home race; George Russell took an impressive second for Mercedes; Kevin Magnussen, Zhou Guanyu and Liam Lawson each caused red flags; watch Dutch GP Qualifying live on Sky Sports F1 at 2pm on Saturday

Last Updated: 26/08/23 12:10pm

Kevin Magnussen brings out the red flag after taking a spin into the barriers during P3 of the Dutch GP - much to the anger of Guenther Steiner

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Kevin Magnussen brings out the red flag after taking a spin into the barriers during P3 of the Dutch GP – much to the anger of Guenther Steiner

Kevin Magnussen brings out the red flag after taking a spin into the barriers during P3 of the Dutch GP – much to the anger of Guenther Steiner

Max Verstappen topped a chaotic final practice at the Dutch Grand Prix as wet conditions in Zandvoort led to three red flag interruptions.

World championship leader Verstappen underlined his status as the favourite for Qualifying later on Saturday at his home Grand Prix by outpacing Mercedes’ George Russell and his Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez.

Verstappen, who holds a 125-point lead at the top of the drivers’ standings and is seeking a record-equalling ninth successive race win, once more showcased his and the RB19’s ability to lead the 2023 Formula 1 field in all conditions.

However, the difficulty of the challenge drivers were facing was highlighted by the Dutchman himself almost going into the wall early in the session and later running across the gravel.

Max Verstappen loses control and goes offroading during P3 of the Dutch GP

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Max Verstappen loses control and goes offroading during P3 of the Dutch GP

Max Verstappen loses control and goes offroading during P3 of the Dutch GP

Others were less fortunate, with Kevin Magnussen crashing his Haas out of the session within 10 minutes, leaving the team short on their upgraded front wing after team-mate Nico Hulkenberg crashed on Friday.

Zhou Guanyu brought out a second red flag of the session when the Chinese driver beached his Alfa Romeo in the gravel, before Liam Lawson, deputising for the injured Daniel Ricciardo following the Australian’s crash on Friday, caused a third and final stoppage as he spun and crashed.

Fernando Alonso was fourth for Aston Martin, ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, while McLaren’s Oscar PIastri and Lando Norris were seventh and 10th respectively, having shown impressive pace earlier in the session.

Zhou Guanyu spins off the track and gets beached in the gravel

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Zhou Guanyu spins off the track and gets beached in the gravel

Zhou Guanyu spins off the track and gets beached in the gravel

Having struggled on Friday, Ferrari once more appeared to be significantly off the pace as Charles Leclerc took ninth after twice narrowly avoiding collisions with the barrier at the first corner. His team-mate Carlos Sainz fared little better, finishing 12th.

More rain is set to fall throughout the afternoon in the Dutch coastal town, but the forecast suggests the rain will ease around the time that Qualifying begins.

It would at least appear likely that the session will begin on a drying circuit, which could leave the entire field vulnerable to an early exit on what would likely be a rapidly improving track.

Daniel Ricciardo's replacement Liam Lawson clips the barriers in his Alpha Tauri and brings out the third red flag of P3

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Daniel Ricciardo’s replacement Liam Lawson clips the barriers in his Alpha Tauri and brings out the third red flag of P3

Daniel Ricciardo’s replacement Liam Lawson clips the barriers in his Alpha Tauri and brings out the third red flag of P3

Given the mixture of conditions the three practice sessions have taken place in, and mystery over how the track will be later on Saturday, little can be assumed other than Verstappen being the driver to beat.

Russell, who was on a poor run of form before the sport’s summer break, suddenly came to life on the improving track at the end of the session to offer a reminder of his talent.

His team-mate Hamilton has been impressive throughout the weekend, while Norris must be considered the other clear threat to Verstappen having topped second practice in dry conditions on Friday.

Dutch GP Practice Three Timesheet

Driver Team Time
1) Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:21.631
2) George Russell Mercedes +0.379
3) Sergio Perez Red Bull +1.000
4) Fernando Alonso Aston Martin +1.003
5) Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +1.092
6) Alex Albon Williams +1.119
7) Oscar Piastri McLaren +1.261
8) Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo +1.334
9) Charles Leclerc Ferrari +1.462
10) Lando Norris McLaren +1.527
11) Pierre Gasly Alpine +1.579
12) Carlos Sainz Ferrari +1.807
13) Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri +1.913
14) Logan Sargeant Williams +1.939
15) Nico Hulkenberg Haas +2.009
16) Esteban Ocon Alpine +2.175
17) Lance Stroll Aston Martin +2.427
18) Liam Lawson AlphaTauri +4.712
19) Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo +6.851
20) Kevin Magnussen Haas No time

Sky Sports F1’s live Dutch GP schedule

SATURDAY AUGUST 26
1.15pm: Dutch GP Qualifying build-up
2pm: Dutch GP Qualifying

SUNDAY AUGUST 27
8.55am: F2 Feature Race
12.30pm: Grand Prix Sunday: Dutch GP build-up
2pm: THE DUTCH GRAND PRIX
4pm: Chequered Flag: Dutch GP reaction
5.30pm: Dutch GP highlights

Formula 1 returns after the summer break with the Dutch GP and all sessions will be live on Sky Sports F1 from this Friday. Stream F1 on Sky Sports with NOW for just £26 a month for 12 months. Cancel anytime


By Sandra Winters

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