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As expected, Max Verstappen rules the 2022 Dutch Grand Prix

The Red Bull driver wins his home race

The banked corners make Zandvoort Circuit an exciting track. PHOTO FROM MCLAREN

After dominating Spa last weekend, Max Verstappen (Red Bull) went to his home race, the 2022 Dutch Grand Prix, with a 98-point lead over Charles Leclerc (Ferrari). Red Bull was in good form, while Ferrari was struggling with strategy. However, Mercedes showed good pace this weekend with Lewis Hamilton and George Russell qualifying P4 and P6, respectively.

The race was over even before it began for Carlos Sainz. PHOTO FROM FORMULA 1

With 72 laps of racing, the lights went out and Hamilton nearly overtook Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) for third going into the first corner. However, the Spaniard managed to keep his place as Verstappen had a clean getaway in the lead from Leclerc, who was second.

Lewis Hamilton felt he had a shot at winning. PHOTO FROM FORMULA 1

It didn’t take long for Ferrari to screw things up. On Lap 15, Sainz had a slow stop of 12.7 seconds, which ruined the rest of his race. Taking advantage of that, Hamilton passed Sergio Perez (Red Bull) for third on Lap 37 hoping to challenge for the race win.

Whereas most drivers started on the soft tires, the seven-time world champion went with the mediums. This meant he could have pulled off a one-stop strategy as he pitted for the hard tires on Lap 29.

Yuki Tsunoda felt the tires weren't fitted properly. PHOTO FROM FORMULA 1

The race seemed pretty straightforward until Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) pulled over on Lap 44. The team told him that the car was okay, so he continued running only to stop for good on Lap 47.

The stoppage of Valtteri Bottas spiced up the race even more. PHOTO FROM FORMULA 1

The resulting virtual safety car triggered another round of pit stops with Verstappen and Hamilton pitting for hard tires and medium tires, respectively. The chaos wasn’t over yet as Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) stopped on the main straight on Lap 55–this time bringing out the actual safety car.

An unsafe release got Carlos Sainz a five-second penalty that demoted him to P8. PHOTO FROM FORMULA 1

Hamilton stayed out with his used mediums, while Verstappen pitted on Lap 57 for soft tires and went out of the pits behind the former. Russell also pitted for soft tires leaving his teammate vulnerable against the Red Bull driver.

Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton behind the safety car gave us flashbacks of 2021 Abu Dhabi. PHOTO FROM FORMULA 1

The race resumed on Lap 60. And even without the help of the Drag Reduction System, Verstappen easily took the lead on the main straight. Not only did Hamilton lose his chance at victory, but he was also denied a podium finish as Russell and Leclerc overtook him.

The Orange Army was overjoyed with the result. PHOTO FROM RED BULL

In the end, Verstappen won his home race, but not without a challenge from his championship rival last year. The Dutchman now leads the standings by 109 points ahead of Leclerc and Perez, who are tied in second place.

As for the constructors, Mercedes are catching up to Ferrari with the two teams separated by only 30 points. The next race will be at the Scuderia’s home race in Monza next week.

Leandro Mangubat

Leandro is our staff writer. Although having a background in mechanical engineering, he enjoys photography and writing more.