Max Verstappen in the Red Bull car took victory in his home country at Circuit Zandvoort.
It was time for the Dutch GP, which was set to be an interesting race.
From the start, it was a close duel between Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. Both got away well at the start and retained their positions on the first lap. Carlos Sainz came out of the steep corner badly and Antonio Giovinazzi and the two Alpines almost tripped over each other. Sainz defended P6 and behind him Alonso took P7.
There was an internal team duel on lap 7 when Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso had a battle. At one point Ocon braked his way inside at turn 3, but Alonso gave nothing away. Ocon promptly complained on the radio that he was faster than Alonso.
There was a damper on lap 9 for Sergio Perez when he braked too late while overtaking Mazepin and a flat spot was formed on his right front tire. He then had to pit and was given hard tires, which he had on until lap 49.
Even before the race, it was clear that this race would be a strategy poker between Red Bull and Mercedes. On lap 21, Lewis Hamilton came into the pits and switched to mediums. One lap later, Max Verstappen also came in and went on the same strategy. That meant a two-stop strategy for both cars.
Bottas was left out and Mercedes’ plan was for Verstappen to run into the Finn and for Hamilton to get closer to the Dutchman. Verstappen then overtook Bottas on lap 31 and was up to the lead. Hamilton followed suit and immediately overtook his teammate.
Hamilton then made his second pit stop on lap 40 and changed to mediums once again. Verstappen came into the pits a lap later but changed to hard tires. Later it turned out that Mercedes’ tire poker did not work out. Hamilton complained very often on the radio about the tires and about the “bad” bluff.
On lap 44, the first retirement of the race occurred when Mazepin had to stop his car. Yuki Tsunoda in the AlphaTauri followed him a few laps later, having lost power.
Perez finally stopped on lap 49 when he switched to soft tires. Red Bull’s plan was to take the fastest lap away from Hamilton and thus the extra point.
But the closest it got was on lap 54 when Hamilton got within 1.3 seconds to Verstappen. But it did not get any tighter after that.
Towards the end of the race, there was a close fight between Perez and Norris. After a few attempts, Perez passed and there was also contact between the two.
Two laps before the end, Valtteri Bottas set the fastest race lap. Something that Hamilton and Mercedes did not like. That is why the Briton pitted again and got the fastest race lap on the last lap. Max Verstappen took race win on home soil.
The results of the F1 Dutch GP:
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing||1:30:05.395|
|4||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri||+1 lap|
|5||Charles Leclerc||Scuderia Ferrari||+1 lap|
|6||Fernando Alonso||Alpine||+1 lap|
|7||Carlos Sainz||Scuderia Ferrari||+1 lap|
|8||Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing||+1 lap|
|9||Esteban Ocon||Alpine||+1 lap|
|10||Lando Norris||McLaren||+1 lap|
|11||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren||+1 lap|
|12||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||+2 laps|
|13||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||+2 laps|
|14||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing||+2 laps|
|15||Robert Kubica||Alfa Romeo Racing||+2 laps|
|16||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Racing||+2 laps|
|17||George Russell||Williams Racing||DNF|
|18||Mick Schumacher||Haas||+3 laps|