Andrej Isakowicz/AFP via Getty Images
Max Verstappen won his home race at the Dutch Grand Prix to continue his dominance in the 2022 Formula 1 season.
The Dutchman started the turns and finished first ahead of George Russell in Sunday’s race in Zandvoort, the Netherlands, to the delight of the orange-clad fans.
It marked Verstappen’s fourth win in a row, who has now racked up 10 wins in 15 races this season. He continues to build his leadership in Drivers arrangement While Red Bull is heading towards the Manufacturer’s Championship.
Russell finished second after a controversial strategy with teammate Lewis Hamilton, who fell to fourth after taking a late lead. Charles Leclerc snatched last place on the podium after an eventful race.
The final results
1. Max Verstappen
2. George Russell
3. Charles Leclerc
4. Lewis Hamilton
5. Sergio Perez
Full results via Formula1.com.
It became an even bigger surprise when Verstappen didn’t win races this year, as he ended up drifting away from the next closest competitor by more than four seconds:
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Max Verstappen wins the Dutch Grand Prix! 🏆 pic.twitter.com/TXxJItEjt1
It was still far from the easy track, with several drivers apparently having a chance to win. The hole strategy was a key story in this race, and helped create a gap between the top competitors.
Ferrari – as it has done a lot this year – is hurting itself with a mental error.
Carlos Sainz started the race in third, but a long pause might have been enough to knock him out of the competition early:
ESPN F1 @ESPNF1
Then Mercedes tried to win by stopping less than the other teams.
While Verstappen held the lead for much of the day, Hamilton remained the number one contender with an initial one-stop strategy. After the British star dropped to fourth after a short pit pit, he drove past Sergio Perez to third and climbed to second when Leclerc stopped.
The outlook changed with just over 20 laps remaining after Yuki Tsunoda was unable to continue, forcing a hypothetical safety car. This move helped Verstappen into a pit without wasting time, which put him in first place.
A few laps later, the safety car due to Valtteri Bottas’ retirement meant Verstappen could drill down on the soft tyres while Hamilton stayed in center with the lead.
It was supposed to create a real race to the finish, but Verstappen immediately showed his talent by passing Hamilton on the first turn after the restart.
Formula 1 @F1
Verstappen leads Hamilton in the second half! 😮 pic.twitter.com/UKmNFXNENK
George Russell, who could have helped Hamilton by blocking Verstappen, chose instead to change his tires. He later flew past his Mercedes teammate shortly after the start of the second half.
Hamilton couldn’t keep up and failed to reach the podium.
ESPN F1 @ESPNF1
Lewis smokes with Mercedes 😳 pic.twitter.com/ot9zqNEmFn
That led to what became an easy win for Verstappen after the middle of a tense race.
The Formula 1 season continues next week in Italy as everyone tries to catch the Dutch superstar for the top spot.