Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen wowed the home crowd on Sunday with a thrilling victory at the 2022 Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix, held at the historic Circuit Zandvoort.
Mercedes-Benz AMG’s Lewis Hamilton was in the lead spot in the final laps but Verstappen took advantage of a late safety car period to switch to soft tires, and in a move that mirrored his championship-winning race in Abu Dhabi last season was able to pass the Mercedes driver, who had stayed out on older medium tires.
Hamilton was also passed by fellow Mercedes driver George Russell, who finished four seconds after Verstappen in second, as well as by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who finished 10 seconds after the winner in third. Hamilton claimed fourth in the end while Red Bull’s Sergio Perez rounded out the top five.
Verstappen started the race on pole and comfortably led until the midway point when Hamilton pulled into the front. Verstappen seemed to be incapable of reclaiming the lead but the trajectory soon changed, first when AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda suffered car trouble on lap 48, requiring the virtual safety car to be called.
Then it was Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas who came to a stop on lap 55, which brought out the yellow flags. One lap later, the safety car was deployed, and Verstappen moved in for the softs under the final caution. The safety car left the track at the end of lap 60 and with better pace from his soft tires, Verstappen easily passed Hamilton to retake the lead and the win.
Meanwhile at Ferrari, there was frustration for Carlos Sainz who was delayed during his pit stop when one of the tires wasn’t ready for the change. Sainz ended up losing roughly nine seconds and multiple positions.
Then in a second stop, Sainz had to slow down to avoid some McLaren pit crew ahead of him, which then held up Alpine’s Fernando Alonso. The incident was deemed to be an unsafe release and Sainz was given a 5-second penalty as a result. He ended up finishing the race in fifth, but the penalty dropped him back to eighth.
Verstappen now has a commanding lead in the 2022 Drivers’ Championship thanks to a total tally of 310 points, versus an equal 201 points for both Perez and Leclerc. In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull leads with 511 points. Ferrari is second with 376 points and Mercedes is third with 346 points. The next race on the calendar is the Italian Grand Prix scheduled for this weekend.
Below are the full results from the 2022 Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix:
1) Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
2) George Russell, Mercedes-Benz AMG +4.071 seconds
3) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari +10.929 seconds
4) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz AMG +13.016 seconds
5) Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing +18.168 seconds
6) Fernando Alonso, Alpine +18.754 seconds
7) Lando Norris, McLaren +19.306 seconds
8) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari +20.916 seconds
9) Esteban Ocon, Alpine +21.117 seconds
10) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin +22.459 seconds
11) Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri +27.009 seconds
12) Alexander Albon, Williams +30.390 seconds
13) Mick Schumacher, Haas +32.995 seconds
14) Sebastian Vettel, Aston Martin +36.007 seconds
15) Kevin Magnussen, Haas +36.869 seconds
16) Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo +37.320 seconds
17) Daniel Ricciardo, McLaren +37.764 seconds
18) Nicholas Latifi, Williams +1 lap
NC) Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo – DNF
NC) Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri – DNF
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