Max Verstappen (Red Bull) has scored a resounding victory at the Dutch F1 GP 2021, leaving the Zandvoort Circuit in ecstasy. The Dutchman has fended the attacks of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas like a master. Both the Mercedes completed the podium.
The orange-tinted spectacle that took place at the stands of the Zandvoort track will be remembered for a very long time.
The compatriots of #33 not only witnessed Verstappen’s seventh victory of the season after Emilia-Romagna, Monaco, France, Styria, Austria & Belgium, his sixteenth Formula One victory and the first at home.
They also had the honour of seeing their idol regain the leadership of the World Championship, a feat that threw them into a collective ecstasy. Their hero dominated the race from start to finish despite coming under a lot of pressure from both the W12s.
The Red Bull driver started from the pit lane to climb to the eighth position and executed some electrifying overtakings in the final turns. Among those was a pass he made on Lando Norris (McLaren), with whom he lightly touched.
The race was decided following a double pit stop by both Mercedes and Red Bull. The Germans made an unexpected first wheel change on lap 22 in an attempt to force the Austrians into changing their strategy. Their plan consisted in placing Bottas in the first place to stop Verstappen, second. Then, Hamilton would be able to approach the Dutchman from behind, but the German plan had its flaws. Hamilton got back onto the track amongst traffic, which made him waste a lot of time. After 17 laps came another key moment. Hamilton made his second pit-stop followed by Verstappen. The Englishman re-joined the race with a considerable disadvantage over his rival, too great to recover before the checkered flag.
In the end, Verstappen managed to regain the lead of the standings and deal a serious moral blow to his British rival. Max now has 224.5 points, three more than Hamilton (221.5). The Dutchman has met the expectations placed on him with the invaluable encouragement of his home fans and has also got his revenge on Hamilton after what happened in England.
The battle for the crown, however, is far from over. Hamilton has not given up at any point during the race and his wounded champions’ pride is more apparent than ever.
An example is the fastest lap scored, which he took in the throes of the race, despite having to snatch it from his rebellious teammate Bottas. Breaking team orders, the Finn attempted to make the quickest turn, but he was no rival for his skilled teammate.