Max Verstappen wins the Dutch Grand Prix for second season in a row
Max Verstappen was victorious in The Dutch Grand Prix in Zandvoort on Sunday. The 24-year-old won his fourth race in a row and his 10th of the season. George Russell came in second, with Charles Leclerc coming third.
Verstappen made his job much easier on Saturday when he finished qualifying in pole position. Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Pérez started the race in the fifth position. Both Ferrari drivers, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz started the race in second and third position, respectively.
There were 105.000 people present at the track in Zandvoort on Sunday, with a total of 305.000 fans attending over the weekend. The race was sold out a day after this race happened a year ago.
After 29 laps, it seemed like it would be a repeat of the 2021 season as Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton battled for first place.
The race became a fascinating insight into race strategies, with Red Bull and Mercedes changing tires a couple of times throughout the race to gain an advantage.
A peculiar incident involving Alpha Tauri driver Yuki Tsunoda gave Verstappen a stroke of luck. After the Japanese driver went into the pit stop due to problems with his vehicle, the problem was deemed to be fixed by the Alpha Tauri team, only for Tsunoda to then stop on his following turn, meaning that a virtual safety vehicle was deployed and giving Verstappen the chance to go into the pits and change tires. “The Virtual Safety Car stuffed us,” Hamilton told his team.
Mercedes let George Russell enter the pits, making it a straight race between Verstappen and Hamilton on the restart after a safety car. It was then an easy overtake for Verstappen, who raced past Hamilton to take the top position with ten laps remaining. “That was the biggest F*** up,” Hamilton told his team after dropping to the second position. Verstappen held on to that lead for the rest of the race.
"Not a straightforward race, we had to push the whole race. VSC, Safety Car, making the right calls, it worked out really well. I had a good run on the restart, I had a bit more top speed to attack into Turn 1. We timed it really well out of the last corner, the draft was really strong," Verstappen told reporters after the race.
The next race in the F1 season is next Sunday in Monza, Italy.