Max Verstappen takes Dutch F1 GP pole as fan is ejected for tossing a flare on the track

Verstappen Dutch flare
Mark Thompson/Getty Images

ZANDVOORT, Netherlands — Max Verstappen produced a brilliant final lap to take pole position for Sunday’s Dutch Grand Prix just ahead of Charles Leclerc, but the Saturday session was marred by a flare interrupting the action.

The Red Bull driver edged Leclerc’s Ferrari by just 0.021 seconds to huge roars from Verstappen’s Orange Army of fans.

But the session was interrupted earlier when a flare was thrown onto the track. Governing body FIA said the culprit was removed from the stands by security.

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“It’s just very silly to do. I mean, to hold flares it’s nice, but there’s a limit to how much. But to throw it on the track is just stupid,” Verstappen said. “Just don’t do that, it’s no good for anyone. You get thrown out so you can’t see the race and for us the session is stopped because it’s dangerous when there’s stuff on the track.”

The widespread use of flares from Verstappen’s fans has been a concern at some races, particularly at the Red Bull Ring in Austria in July and at last weekend’s Belgian GP – both packed with Verstappen supporters.

Leclerc and his Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. also condemned throwing flares on track.

“It’s dangerous, so don’t do these type of things. It’s good that there was a reaction (from) the security guys,” Leclerc said. “Obviously if a car is passing at that time it can create unnecessary risks so hopefully it won’t happen again.”

Sainz, who qualified in third, said there should be better control over when flares are used.

“It’s also important to let the fans know when it’s possible to use the flares and when it’s not. It was good that on the in-lap when Max took pole they used them, but not use them in the middle of the race or Lap 1 when we’re in the middle of fights,” Sainz said. “At 300 kph (186 miles per hour) with these cars you don’t want any kind of distraction from smoke. Hopefully the organization can do a good job in warning when it’s the time to use them, and when it’s not.”

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was fourth with Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez qualifying in fifth.

Leclerc had the leading time and went even faster on his final run to pressure Verstappen. But a brilliant middle sector helped the Dutchman clinch his fourth pole of the season.

“It was a special qualifying, especially after yesterday which was tough.” Verstappen said. “We had to change the car.”

Moments after Verstappen crossed the line, Perez spun off the track to bring a yellow flag for the closing seconds.

A jubilant Verstappen was lifted up in the air rather easily by Dutch kickboxer Rico Verhoeven as the orange hordes cheered Verstappen’s second straight pole here.

“Yeah, I am enjoying it,” Verstappen said. “It’s just great to see the atmosphere, everyone’s having fun, enjoying themselves.”

Verstappen was quickest in the first qualifying run, known as Q1, just ahead of Hamilton.

Four-time F1 champion Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) and Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) were among the five drivers eliminated. Vettel looked good for Q2 but went wide into gravel near the end of his final run.

“There was dust on the track, which I collected with the left side,” Vettel said. “There’s not much I could have done differently.”

The red flag came out at the start of Q2 after the flare was thrown and the session was halted for several minutes. But Alex Albon, the only driver on track at that point, also complained about “tons of pigeons” around the circuit located next to the beach.

Sainz topped Q2 from the competitive Mercedes of George Russell, but two-time F1 champion Fernando Alonso fluffed his last run and went out.

Russell starts from sixth on the grid ahead of Lando Norris (McLaren) and Mick Schumacher (Haas).

Verstappen won here last year, in front of Dutch King Willem-Alexander and his legions of orange-clad fans at the seaside track outside Amsterdam.

Leclerc led Saturday’s third and final practice by just .066 seconds from Russell and .161 ahead of Verstappen.

Leclerc is hopeful Ferrari can get “up close” to Verstappen in Sunday’s race while Sainz thinks Mercedes “are going to be as quick” as Ferrari.

After struggling in Belgium on the long Spa track, Mercedes looked far more comfortable on the high-banking Zandvoort track, where a gearbox failure limited Verstappen to seven laps in Friday’s first practice. He placed eighth in the second run.

Victory on Sunday would be a fourth straight for Verstappen and 10th of the season – his tally from last year – and push him closer to a second straight world title.

He leads Perez by 93 points and Leclerc by 98 with the Italian GP coming up next at Monza and only six races after that.

IndyCar results, points after 107th Indy 500


INDIANAPOLIS — With his first victory in the Indy 500, Josef Newgarden became the first repeat winner through six race results of the 2023 NTT IndyCar Series season and made a move in the points.

Newgarden, who celebrated with fans in the grandstands, moved from sixth to fourth in the championship standings with his 27th career victory and second this season (he also won at Texas Motor Speedway).

The Team Penske star won his 12th attempt at the Brickyard oval, tying the record for most starts before an Indy 500 victory with Tony Kanaan (2013) and Sam Hanks (1957). Newgarden, whose previous best Indy 500 finish was third with Ed Carpenter Racing in 2016, became the first Tennessee native to win the Greatest Spectacle in Racing and the first American since Alexander Rossi in 2016.

He also delivered the record 19th Indy 500 triumph to Roger Penske, whose team ended a four-year drought on the 2.5-mile oval and won for the first time since he became the owner of Indianapolis Motor Speedway and IndyCar in 2020.

Newgarden, 32, led five laps, the third-lowest total for an Indy 500 winner behind Joe Dawson (two in 1912) and Dan Wheldon (one in 2011).

The race featured 52 lead changes, the third most behind 68 in 2013 and 54 in ’16, among 14 drivers (tied with ’13 for the second highest behind 15 leaders in ’17 and ’18). Newgarden’s 0.0974-second victory over Marcus Ericsson was the fourth-closest in Indy 500 history behind 1992 (0.043 of a second for Al Unser Jr. over Scott Goodyear), 2014 (0.0600 of a second for Ryan Hunter-Reay over Helio Castroneves) and 2006 (0.0635 of a second Sam Hornish Jr. over Marco Andretti.).

It also marked only the third last-lap pass in Indy 500 history — all within the past 17 years (Hornish over Andretti in 2006; Wheldon over J.R. Hildebrand in 2011).

Ericsson’s runner-up finish was the ninth time the defending Indy 500 finished second the next year (most recently four-time winner Helio Castroneves in 2003).

Here are the IndyCar results and points standings after the 107th Indy 500 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway:


Click here for the official box score from the 200-lap race on a 2.5-mile oval in Indianapolis.

Lap leader summary

Full lap chart

Best section times

Full section data

Event summary

Pit stop summary

Here is the finishing order in the Indy 500 with starting position in parentheses, driver, engine, laps completed and reason out (if any):

1. (17) Josef Newgarden, Chevrolet, 200, Running
2. (10) Marcus Ericsson, Honda, 200, Running
3. (4) Santino Ferrucci, Chevrolet, 200, Running
4. (1) Alex Palou, Honda, 200, Running
5. (7) Alexander Rossi, Chevrolet, 200, Running
6. (6) Scott Dixon, Honda, 200, Running
7. (8) Takuma Sato, Honda, 200, Running
8. (16) Conor Daly, Chevrolet, 200, Running
9. (21) Colton Herta, Honda, 200, Running
10. (2) Rinus VeeKay, Chevrolet, 200, Running
11. (18) Ryan Hunter-Reay, Chevrolet, 200, Running
12. (27) Callum Ilott, Chevrolet, 200, Running
13. (25) Devlin DeFrancesco, Honda, 200, Running
14. (14) Scott McLaughlin, Chevrolet, 200, Running
15. (20) Helio Castroneves, Honda, 200, Running
16. (9) Tony Kanaan, Chevrolet, 200, Running
17. (24) Marco Andretti, Honda, 200, Running
18. (32) Jack Harvey, Honda, 199, Running
19. (30) Christian Lundgaard, Honda, 198, Running
20. (13) Ed Carpenter, Chevrolet, 197, Contact
21. (11) Benjamin Pedersen, Chevrolet, 196, Contact
22. (33) Graham Rahal, Chevrolet, 195, Running
23. (12) Will Power, Chevrolet, 195, Running
24. (5) Pato O’Ward, Chevrolet, 192, Contact
25. (22) Simon Pagenaud, Honda, 192, Contact
26. (26) Agustin Canapino, Chevrolet, 192, Contact
27. (3) Felix Rosenqvist, Chevrolet, 183, Contact
28. (15) Kyle Kirkwood, Honda, 183, Contact
29. (23) David Malukas, Honda, 160, Contact
30. (19) Romain Grosjean, Honda, 149, Contact
31. (31) Sting Ray Robb, Honda, 90, Contact
32. (28) RC Enerson, Chevrolet, 75, Mechanical
33. (29) Katherine Legge, Honda, 41, Contact

Winner’s average speed: 168.193 mph; Time of Race: 2:58:21.9611; Margin of victory: 0.0974 of a second; Cautions: 5 for 27 laps; Lead changes: 52 among 14 drivers. Lap leaders: Palou 1-2; VeeKay 3; Palou 4-9; VeeKay 10-14; Palou 15-22; VeeKay 23-27; Palou 28-29; VeeKay 30-31; Rosenqvist 32; Rossi 33-34; Palou 35-39; VeeKay 40-47; Palou 48-60; VeeKay 61-63; Rosenqvist 64-65; O’Ward 66; Power 67; Herta 68; Rosenqvist 69; O’Ward 70-78; Rosenqvist 79-81; O’Ward 82-89; Rosenqvist 90-94; Ilott 95-99; Rosenqvist 100-101; O’Ward 102; Rosenqvist 103-107; O’Ward 108-109; Rosenqvist 110-113; O’Ward 114-115; Rosenqvist 116-119; O’Ward 120-122; Rosenqvist 123-124; O’Ward 125-128; Rosenqvist 129-131; Ferrucci 132; Ericsson 133-134; Castroneves 135; Rosenqvist 136; Ericsson 137-156; Newgarden 157; Ericsson 158; Ferrucci 159-168; Ericsson 169-170; Rossi 171-172; Sato 173-174; O’Ward 175-179; Hunter-Reay 180-187;
O’Ward 188-191; Ericsson 192; Newgarden 193-195; Ericsson 196-199; Newgarden 200.


Click here for the points tally in the race.

Here are the points standings after the GMR Grand Prix:



Engine manufacturers

Pit stop performance

Top 10 in points: Palou 219, Ericsson 199, O’Ward 185, Newgarden 182, Dixon 162, McLaughlin 149, Rossi 145, Grosjean 139, Power 131, Herta 130.

Rest of the standings: Lundgaard 122, Kirkwood 113, Rosenqvist 113, Ilott 111, Ferrucci 96, VeeKay 96, Rahal 94, Malukas 84, Armstrong 77, Daly 73, Castroneves 69, Harvey 65, DeFrancesco 63, Canapino 61, Pagenaud 55, Pedersen 51, Robb 47, Sato 37, Carpenter 27, Hunter-Reay 20, Kanaan 18, Andretti 13, Enerson 5, Legge 5.

Next race: The Chevrolet Detroit Grand Prix, which has moved from Belle Isle to the streets of downtown, will take place June 4 with coverage starting on Peacock at 3 p.m. ET on NBC.