Max Verstappen has scored his seventh victory of the season at the home circuit, against a dedicated crowd. Fernando Alonso has risked the limit at the start and finished 6th after beating Sainz (7th), with problems in the final stretch.
Max Verstappen has caused the collective delirium on the Dutch circuit of Zandvoort, which has celebrated the return of Formula One 36 years later in the best possible way: with exhibition and final victory for the local idol. The Red Bull driver, who started on pole for the seventh time this year, has put in the dirt after a prodigious start and neither the tire strategies nor the pressure of Lewis Hamilton have prevented him from scoring his seventh triumph in thirteen majors awards, also recovering the leadership of the World Cup.
The shine of Alonso
On a difficult track, in which mistakes are very expensive, Fernando Alonso has starred in another of his ‘science fiction’ outings and has risked the limit to gain two positions, going from ninth to seventh in the first lap. The Asturian already warned on Saturday that he would have to be “very aggressive from the start” to try to find his chance. And he has fulfilled it with a superb double overtaking of his teammate Esteban Ocon and Antonio Giovinazzi, with whom he has come to touch.
Verstappen has started like an exhalation, without giving any option to Hamilton , thus avoiding the always dangerous melee with the English. In the ‘top six’, all have retained their position, with Bottas third in contention, ahead of Gasly and the two Ferraris from Sainz and Leclerc. In just two laps, the Dutchman was already more than two seconds ahead of Hamilton , who has reconsidered his options and then opted for a two-stop strategy, forcing Max to follow his example.
Mercedes on the attack
Mercedes tried a two-on-one play, keeping Bottas on track , ahead of Verstappen and Hamilton. The Red Bull man quickly understood the ‘trap’ and had to work hard to pass the Finn, who moved away to make way for his teammate. The Verstappen-Hamilton pulse has already continued without major shocks . As expected, the Dutch track makes overtaking extremely difficult and the action on the track has stabilized.
A Vettel spin on banked corner 3, the same one in which Sainz crashed on Saturday, was about to end the German’s career and, incidentally , that of Bottas , who dodged him by millimeters. There has been no safety car as many expected.
After 40 laps, Hamilton has returned to the attack and has tried a new ‘undercut’ to Verstappen . The one from Red Bull has replicated with a record stop (2.1) and has returned to the track again ahead of the seven-time champion, who has found traffic and has not been rewarded.
‘Mad’ Max , who the 70,000 fans present in the stands have carried in ‘flying’ throughout the race, has faced the final stretch with more than 3 seconds of advantage over Lewis . Enough to dose yourself and give your fans a real ‘orange party’. Verstappen has crossed the finish line ahead of the two Mercedes. Carlos Sainz had a lot of trouble keeping up in the last laps and was unable to contain Fernando Alonso, who snatched sixth place from him at the end after a nice pulse from the two Spaniards.
After hitting bottom under the deluge of Spa-Francorchamps, Formula 1 has been reunited with the best show and next week will close the post-summer ‘triptych’ at the Italian Grand Prix. Verstappen will lead to Monza, which could be the scene in which Mercedes reveals the worst kept secret of the World Cup and announces George Russell as Valtteri Bottas’ replacement for 2022.
Dutch GP. 72 laps
- Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) at 20 “932
- Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) at 56 “460
- Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) 1 lap
- Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 1 lap
- Fernando Alonso (Alpine) to 1 lap
- Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) 1 lap
- Sergio Pérez (Red Bull) to 1 lap
- Esteban Ocon (Alpine) 1 lap
- Lando Norris (McLaren) to 1 lap
- Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) 1 lap
- Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) to 2 laps
- Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) to 2 laps
- Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo) to 2 laps
- Robert Kubica (Alfa Romeo) to 2 laps
- Nicholas Latifi (Williams) to 2 laps
- George Russell (Williams) Retired
- Mick Schumacher (Haas) to 3 laps
- Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) Retired
- Nikita Mazepin (Haas) Retired
Formula One World Championship:
- Max Verstappen (PB) n 224.5 points
- Lewis Hamilton (GBR) 221.5
- Valtteri Bottas (FIN) 123
- Lando Norris (GBR) 114
- Sergio Pérez (MEX) 108
- Charles Leclerc (MON) 92
- Carlos Sainz (ESP) 89.5
- Pierre Gasly (FRA) 66
- Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) 56
- Fernando Alonso (ESP) 46
- Esteban Ocon (FRA) 44
- Sebastian Vettel (ALE) 35
- Lance Stroll (CAN) 18
- Yuki Tsunoda (JPN) 16
- George Russell (GBR) 13
- Nicholas Latifi (CAN) 7
- Kimi Räikkönen (FIN) 2
- Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA) 1
- Mick Schumacher (ALE) 0
- Nikita Mazepin (RUS) 0
- Robert Kubica (POL) 0
Current standings in the Constructors’ Championship:
- Mercedes 344.5 points
- Red Bull 332.5
- Ferrari 181.5
- McLaren 170
- Alpine 90