ZANDVOORT, Netherlands – Lewis Hamilton was beaten to pole position by Max Verstappen at the Dutch Grand Prix, but that did not seem to dampen the reigning world champion’s enthusiasm for the Zandvoort circuit or crowd.
Hamilton came into this weekend braced for a hostile reception at title rival Max Verstappen’s home race, having been booed by fans in orange at the Hungarian Grand Prix in August.
The Zandvoort circuit, hosting an F1 race for the first time since 1985, was rocking after Verstappen secured pole and Hamilton also got a largely positive reception when he was introduced to the post-qualifying interviews.
“Firstly I just want to say a big, big thank you to all the orange fans here, the Dutch fans,” Hamilton said.
“What an amazing venue, what an amazing track. I really do genuinely coming to this country and I really appreciate the welcome. There’s great sporting fans here and I love that.
“It’s just been good, I really appreciate it.”
Hamilton, who leads Verstappen by just three points going into Sunday’s race, was quick to credit his rival’s performance.
“Max did an amazing lap and I was so close… I was trying to catch him. Obviously, with yesterday’s session missed, made it a little bit more difficult of a day but I gave it absolutely everything.
“He did a fantastic lap and deserves the pole.”