Dutch GP 2022: Verstappen shines before his fans 

Max Verstappen (Red Bull) has won his home race, the Dutch F1 GP 2022, with ease, this Sunday at the Zandvoort Circuit.George Russell (Mercedes) and Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) finished behind the local hero.

A very frustrated Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) finished just short of the podium positions after his team ruined his chances of success by denying him a pit stop under a safety car period. 

Alonso, for his part, managed to extract the maximum performance out of his Alpine once again. The Spaniard climbed from thirteenth to sixth place despite the Dutch track not being a good fit for his A522. 

With his tenth victory of the season after Saudi Arabia, Emilia-Romagna, Miami, Spain, Azerbaijan, Canada , France, Hungary & Belgium, and fourth in a row, the Dutchman has further increased his lead of the standings.

The Reigning Champ now commands the table with 310 points, 109 over his Red Bull teammate Checo Pérez (Red Bull) and over Leclerc, who are tied on 201 points. 

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Verstappen escapes at the start  

Verstappen was able to keep first place with ease against the Ferraris of Leclerc and Sainz at the start of the Dutch GP 2022. Hamilton, for his part, also retained his starting fourth place. 

After the sixth lap, the Flying Dutchman escaped with one second over the young Monegasque and with almost five over the Spaniard. The latter was in turn half a second ahead of Hamilton, who preceded Pérez and Russell. 

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First pit stops  

Sainz was the first to pit. The Spaniard made his first stop on lap 15, and this move ruined his race. The left rear tire was not ready when the F1-75 arrived at the red garage.

Sainz lost over 12 seconds as a result. It was then goodbye to the third place that he occupied before the umpteenth pit mishap of the Italian team. Three laps later, Leclerc emulated his teammate to mount medium compounds, this time in a perfect, 2.5s manoeuvre. 

Max would follow suit on lap 19, also mounting medium tires. Hamilton, on the other hand, stayed put, signalling that he was intending to do a single pit stop strategy. The Briton would stretch his first stint until the 29th lap. 

Max recovers the lead 

Following the pit stop of the seven-time English champion, Max regained the lead of the Dutch GP, a position that he would maintain until the end. The stands were delirious. 

The Flying Dutchman was commanding the Dutch F1 GP 2022 with ten seconds over Leclerc, 17 over Hamilton and 21 over Russell. Harmed by Ferrari’s mistake in the pits, Sainz was running fifth between Russell and Norris, while his friend Alonso was three places below. 

 

The safety car finishes Mercedes off 

Sainz made his second stop on lap 43 (3.0 seconds), moments before Yuki Tsunoda (Alpha Tauritriggered a virtual safety car periodFaced with that opportunity to pit, Max mounted hard tires, like Mercedes. 

The strange incident with the Japanese driver ruined Mercedes’ one-pit strategy. Max no longer had anything to fear. On lap 50, the race resumed with a 12.5-second advantage over the seven-time champion, who preceded Russell and Leclerc. 

Just five laps after the race resumed, Bottas stopped at the end of the straight, causing another intervention of the safety car. It was then that Max made a fleeting pit stop to mount soft tires, as did Leclerc. Checo, on the other hand, opted for medium compounds. 

In a strange and unforgivable mistake, Hamilton was told to stay put. Despite leading the group behind the safety car ahead of Verstappen, he buried any chance of a win. His medium-worn tires couldn’t stop the Dutchman on new soft compounds, or any other rival for that matter. 

And so it happened. When the safety car left on lap 60, Max devoured Hamilton at the finish straight, escaping 1.9 seconds ahead of him. But the worst was yet to come for the #44. Leclerc and his partner Russell also passed him, robbing him of a podium position. 

Images of Dutch F1 GP 2022: Red Bull Racing.

 

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