Sergio Perez denies George Russell and Lewis Hamilton shot at pole

Max Verstappen took pole in Zandvoort, and Sergio Perez could only manage fifth.

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez was a frustrated figure after qualifying for the Dutch Grand Prix due to a spin that will see him start P5.

Perez had persistently been competing at the front this weekend, but he has, in the last few rounds, found himself up against with the imperious Max Verstappen.

Perez had set a lap time good enough for fourth in Q3 in Zandvoort, with Verstappen second to Charles Leclerc, while Sir Lewis Hamilton had gone third fastest.

Less than a tenth covered the top three after the opening runs, so there was a real chance that either Hamilton or George Russell might take pole.

READ: Red Bull comment on reliability as Helmut Marko spurs Sergio Perez on

Verstappen improved on his second run to marginally beat Leclerc, but both Russell and Hamilton were improving.

As Russell approached Turn 13 though, he came across some yellow flags, and they had been caused by Perez.

The Mexican put a wheel on the gravel on his final effort, and span round to put pay to his efforts – although it must be said he did a fantastic job to keep the car out of the wall.

Sainz had improved to P3, putting Perez down to fifth, and Hamilton was behind Perez on the track as well, so he qualified fourth, with Russell behind in sixth.

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Perez detailed how he came to be facing the wrong way at the end of qualifying.

“In the end, I was lucky not to damage the whole car, because it was going to be a big shunt,” he told Sky Sports.

“I went in alright, but I just tried to pick up the throttle too early, and touched the gravel a little bit and just lost the rear, unfortunately.

“I was on a good lap, but unfortunately I didn’t manage to improve.”

Russell had set the fastest lap time in first practice on Friday, before going fifth fastest in FP2, and second fastest on Saturday morning.

However, he lost a tenth or two going into qualifying, and he needed to use an extra set of tyres to ensure his place in Q3.

The 24-year-old therefore set his first run in Q3 on old rubber, before he stumbled across the yellow flags on his second attempt.

“Not brilliant, to be honest,” Russell admitted in conversation with Sky.

“The car was feeling great all weekend, I had a really strong feeling after FP3, but it just didn’t really click for me today, I don’t really know why.

READ: Christian Horner addresses team orders between Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez at Spa

“And ultimately, it was a lack of performance in Q2 that cost me in Q3 because we had to take a second set of tyres, so I only had one set available in Q3.

“And then obviously, with the yellow, I couldn’t get my lap in so, a little bit frustrating.”

Verstappen’s pole was his fourth of the season, and he beat Charles Leclerc by just over two hundredths of a second.