Red Bull’s Max Verstappen clinched victory at 2022 Dutch Grand Prix to move closer towards a second F1 title.
Verstappen led from pole position until he made his first pit stop in a two-stop strategy but resumed his lead after Lewis Hamilton pitted on Lap 30, only for the Brit to mount a charge to put himself on course for victory on an one-stop strategy.
A Virtual Safety Car on Lap 48 to allow for the removal of Yuki Tsunoda’s AlphaTauri however gifted Verstappen a quicker stop, although the Safety Car was then deployed on Lap 56 after Valtteri Bottas came to a halt towards Turn 1.
Verstappen took that opportunity to gamble on a pit stop for soft tyres whilst Hamilton stayed out on medium tyres, which proved costly as Verstappen passed him on the restart for victory at his home race.
George Russell and Charles Leclerc eventually rounded out the podium ahead of Hamilton and Sergio Perez.
In the driver standings, Verstappen extended his title lead to 109 points as Leclerc moved ahead of Perez into second by virtue of three race victories to Perez’s one win this season.
At lights out, Verstappen got a clean start to lead Leclerc, Sainz, Hamilton and Perez as Lando Norris jumped Russell for sixth, with the latter pair plus Hamilton on medium tyres whilst both Red Bull and Ferrari started on soft tyres.
Russell soon overhauled Norris for sixth once DRS became available which proved crucial because those who started on soft tyres soon suffered heavy degradation, with some opting to make early pit stops.
Up front, Leclerc tried in a futile effort to keep Verstappen within sight until he pitted for mediums at the end of Lap 17, with Verstappen following suit a lap later which unleashed Mercedes into an one-two lead as Hamilton headed Russell on an initial one-stop strategy.
Verstappen however caught Russell within ten laps and retook second on Lap 28 round the outside of Turn 1, before he regained the lead when Hamilton pitted at the end of Lap 30 for hard tyres.
Perez meanwhile pitted on Lap 15 just behind Sainz but ran over a Ferrari wheel gun as he exited his pit stop as Sainz endured a slow stop, which led stewards to place the incident under a post-race investigation.
Hamilton proceeded to catch and pass Perez on Lap 37 after being denied a lap earlier, as Russell then demoted the Mexican to fifth a lap later, which left both Mercedes drivers on course for an one-two finish with Verstappen and Leclerc on a two-stopper.
Verstappen’s chances of victory however were boosted as he benefitted from Tsunoda – who drives for Red Bull’s junior team, AlphaTauri – stopping at Turn 4 on Lap 47 with tyre fitting concerns, having previously stopped but continued following a radio chat with his team.
The Virtual Safety Car (VSC) consequently was deployed on Lap 48 which allowed Verstappen a cheap pit stop for mediums as he kept the lead, with Hamilton and Russell having also made pit stops under the VSC.
Once racing resumed on Lap 50, Verstappen led Hamilton by 12.718 seconds until the Safety Car came out on Lap 56, just after Sainz passed Ocon as both drivers drove past Bottas’ Alfa Romeo on the main straight and consequently picked up a 5s time penalty.
Hamilton stayed out and assumed the lead as Verstappen, Russell and Leclerc were amongst those who pitted for softs, which proved a wise decision as Verstappen instantly passed Hamilton for the lead on the restart on Lap 61.
Russell and Leclerc eventually demoted Hamilton to fourth as Verstappen clinched victory at his home race for a second consecutive season, which saw his title lead extended to 109 points with seven races left of the season.
Carlos Sainz finished fifth but his time penalty demoted him to eighth behind Perez, Fernando Alonso and Norris, as Esteban Ocon and Lance Stroll rounded out the top ten.
F1 now heads to Italy for the 2022 Italian GP between 9-11 September 2022 where Ferrari will look to impress on home soil.
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||72||1h 36m 42.773|
|2||George Russell||Mercedes||72||+ 4.071|
|3||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||72||+ 10.929|
|4||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||72||+ 13.016|
|5||Sergio Perez||Red Bull||72||+ 18.168|
|6||Fernando Alonso||Alpine||72||+ 18.754|
|7||Lando Norris||McLaren||72||+ 19.306|
|8||Carlos Sainz||Ferrari||72||+ 20.916|
|9||Esteban Ocon||Alpine||72||+ 21.117|
|10||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||72||+ 22.459|
|11||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri||72||+ 27.009|
|12||Alex Albon||Williams||72||+ 30.390|
|13||Mick Schumacher||Haas||72||+ 32.995|
|14||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||72||+ 36.007|
|15||Kevin Magnussen||Haas||72||+ 36.869|
|16||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo||72||+ 37.320|
|17||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren||72||+ 37.764|
|18||Nicholas Latifi||Williams||71||+ 1 Lap|
|RET||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||53||Mechanical|