Red Bull’s Max Verstappen survived multiple stoppages to win F1 Dutch GP from Mercedes’ George Russell and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
It was cloudy for F1 Dutch GP at Zandvoort as Red Bull’s Max Verstappen led the way comfortably to start the grand prix from Ferrari pair of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz. The Spaniard had a small contact with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton but they continued.
The Brit was on the medium tyres against Sainz’ soft, as Red Bull’s Sergio Perez was fifth from McLaren’s Lando Norris who cleared Mercedes’ George Russell at the start for sixth. Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll gained places to be up to eighth.
Alpine’s Esteban Ocon slotted in ninth from Haas’ Mick Schumacher in the Top 10. Outside the Top 10, Haas’ Kevin Magnussen had a wide moment on the gravel and almost touched the barriers, but managed to re-join at the back of the grid.
Things settled down at the front, as Russell repassed Norris for sixth. Just outside the Top 10, Alpine’s Fernando Alonso gained two places to get ahead of AlphaTauri drivers, as drivers started to pit due to high degradation situation.
For Ferrari, it was disaster as they seemingly didn’t have the tyres when Sainz stopped which meant he dropped way behind at the fag end of the Top 10. Perez also ran over the gun left by the Ferrari mechanics as they tried to sort Sainz’s pit stop.
The team were put under investigation by the stewards as they noted that it was a late call to pit Sainz. As expected, the Mercedes pair pitted late and the slow stop for Sainz allowed them to get ahead of the Spaniard, but Perez jumped them all three to be third.
But the Mexican soon came under pressure from Hamilton as the Brit tried a move on him at Turn 1. Perez took the inside line and stayed in front but the next lap, the Brit made it through to pass him for third. However, they were stuck behind Sebastian Vettel.
The German joined the party after his pit stop and almost cost Hamilton a place with Perez still on his tail. The Mexican eventually settled for track position and was soon caught by Russell, who passed him for fourth with the Mexican in fifth.
Behind them, Sainz was sixth from Norris with Alonso making up chunk of places to be eighth from Ocon with Tsunoda rounding the Top 10 where Stroll lost points places. There was a strange moment involving the Japanese driver.
As he left the pits, he noted that tyres are not fitted and stopped on track. But he continued on and got into the pits. The team started to check his seat belt and sent him back but asked him to stop at the side of the track to retire from F1 Dutch GP.
Amid this the Ferrari pair pitted, as a Virtual Safety Car period was deployed. This situation got Verstappen to pit along with Hamilton and Russell, who jumped Leclerc in the process. Perez was fifth from Ocon who did not stop, with Sainz in seventh.
Norris and Alonso stopped to be eighth and ninth, as Stroll moved up to 10th after the retirement of Tsunoda. The situation was put under investigation by the stewards, as Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas stopped on track at Turn 1 due to engine issue.
There was a moment at that time when Sainz tried to pass Ocon just when Bottas stopped. It brought Norris in the game too but with the full safety car deployed, the pit stop situation started again with Hamilton the one staying out to lead F1 Dutch GP.
Verstappen switched to soft in second with Russell third from Leclerc, Perez, Sainz, Alonso, Norris, Ocon and Stroll in the Top 10 where the Spaniard managed to gain a place on the Brit. There was also an unsafe release situation involving Ferrari and Sainz.
The re-start was quite easy for Verstappen to pounce on Hamilton and take the F1 Dutch GP lead with Russell in third from Leclerc. Behind them, Sainz passed Perez for fifth on the soft tyres, with Alonso in seventh from Norris, Ocon and Stroll in the Top 10.
Things started to get dire for Hamilton after Russell passed him for second in a bit of an aggressive move at Turn 1. Few laps later, the Brit lost third to Leclerc amid radio chatter where he was clearly not happy with the call they made together.
Behind them, Perez caught up the back of Sainz in the fight for fifth as tyre degradation started to hurt him. He was handed a 5s penalty for unsafe release, which would have dropped him to fag end of the Top 10 with a closed pack behind.
Alonso was seventh with Norris in eighth after a duel with Ocon who cleared him but the Brit fought back. At the front, Verstappen eased in to win F1 Dutch GP to extend his points lead, with Russell and Leclerc completing the podium.
Hamilton had to be content with fourth with Sainz in fifth but the penalty dropped him to eighth. Perez took fifth from Alonso and Norris from Sainz, Ocon and Stroll in the Top 10. Gasly was 11th from Williams’ Alexander Albon with Schumacher in 13th.
The German had a duel against Vettel but came on top of him, with Magnussen reocvering to 15th from sole remaining Alfa Romeo of Zhou Guanyu and McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo.
DNF: Nicholas Latifi, Bottas, Tsunoda
UPDATE: The FIA clarified the pitlane situation involving Sainz and Perez, with no further action as they considered the situation of the pitlane being small. “The Stewards heard from the team representatives and examined video,” it said.
“The Stewards determined (i) that Ferrari’s wheel gun allocated to the rear left wheel was placed a bit further away from its usual position but still in the inner lane and (ii) that Car 11 rejoined the fast lane after its pit stop as soon as possible. The Stewards took into consideration the configuration of the pit lane which is particularly short and thus decide not to take any further action.”
In terms of Tsunoda, the FIA did not clarify what actually happened with his car but handed him a non-driving reprimand. It was for the Japanese driver losening his belt at the first instance when he thought there was an issue with the car.
“The Stewards heard from the driver of Car 22 (Yuki Tsunoda) and team representative and examined video and audio evidence,” it stated. “While after a pit stop of car 22 the driver stopped the car due to the fact that he felt a wheel being not properly fitted, the investigation by the Stewards led to the conclusion, that in fact there was a problem with the differential.
“Therefor the car was not in an unsafe condition when released from its pit stop position. However, during the hearing the driver admitted, that after stopping on track he was ready to abandon the car and started to loosen the safety belt, without unlocking it. After that he travelled back to the pits where the mechanics re-fastened the belts. It is not possible, to determine exactly to which degree the seatbelt had been loosened by the driver.”
🏁 END OF RACE (LAP 72/72) 🏁
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