Leclerc’s lead from the first few Q1 runs was reversed by Verstappen, although the session was hampered by spectators throwing flares onto the Zandvoort course, which momentarily delayed Q2.
After the initial Q3 runs, Leclerc had a 0.059-second lead over Verstappen. As a result of Red Bull’s challenging weekend start, the 2022 frontrunners had caught up to speed.
On his penultimate lap, the Ferrari driver set the fastest marks in the first and last sectors but failing to match that performance in the center of the circuit cost him dearly.
Verstappen sped to a purple sector and finished with the best time of 1m10.342s, which was 0.021s faster than his competitor.
Just before Perez lost control at the conclusion of his final lap, Carlos Sainz moved into third place. The Mexican driver speared over to the inside of the banked final curve after dipping his left-side wheels into the gravel at the exit of the penultimate corner.
Thus, the following was true. Because Mercedes drivers had to take off, Lewis Hamilton finished fourth, Perez fifth, and George Russell ahead of him.
Lando Norris finished seventh, ahead of Mick Schumacher and Yuki Tsunoda, and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll, who was unable to participate in Q3 because of a mechanical issue with his vehicle, came in 10th.
Before Q3 started, Stroll’s mechanics were seen checking the front damper region of his AMR2022. The penultimate portion of the qualifying session featured flare smoke blowing from the pit exit but was briefly flagged off prior to the final runs.
Q2 was put on hold shortly after it had started when another ignited flare was launched onto the track from the grandstands that are located above Turn 12’s exit and the final stadium section of the track.
The FIA stopped the action until the flare went out and could be removed, adding that the person who threw it was “recognized and removed by event security.”
Alex Albon observed the pigeons that had gathered on the inside of Turn 7 during the delay as he was running solo at the beginning of the middle sector before the flare had to be cleared.
Despite establishing a personal best time on his last flier, Pierre Gasly was the highest-placed runner to be eliminated, finishing in 11th place, when the Q2 action finally started after a six-minute break.
Tsunoda was thus able to advance to Q3, whereas Esteban Ocon was eliminated after posting his best time at the conclusion of Q2.
Fernando Alonso, who was running behind his Alpine teammate in 13th, attributed his early retirement on running into Perez who was moving slowly through the right-handed double apex Turn 9 on an in-lap.
Albon dropped from 10th to 15th after finishing his final lap comfortably ahead of the rest in the final moments of Q2, while Zhou Guanyu, driving for Alfa Romeo, finished in the position of 14th.
In Q1, Kevin Magnussen started out in 17th but quickly fell to 18th after flirting with the track boundaries at the Hugenholtz on his penultimate flier went too far and the FIA deleted his effort. Valtteri Bottas, driving the second Alfa, was eliminated by Gasly’s late improvement.
As a result, Sebastian Vettel finished back in 19th after making a critical mistake on his final lap, while teammate Daniel Ricciardo finished 17th after teammate Lando Norris had completed the opening leg in fifth.
Vettel couldn’t hold an oversteer snap through the penultimate curve, and as a result, he drove wide and into the gravel trap on the exit, only moments after setting the then-fastest time in the first sector and his fastest middle sector of Q1.
For Williams, Nicholas Latifi came in last place.
Check complete qualifying results here.