F1 Dutch GP: Verstappen wins thrilling home race from Russell and Leclerc

Max Verstappen won a thrilling 2022 Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix ahead of George Russell and Charles Leclerc – seeing off various attacks from Mercedes and Ferrari around very disrupted proceedings.

F1 Dutch GP: Verstappen wins thrilling home race from Russell and Leclerc

Although Verstappen won from pole and initially looked to have Leclerc easily covered, Mercedes’ race pace brought it into play with a one-stop strategy versus Red Bull’s planned two services.

That gave Lewis Hamilton a sniff of an unlikely win, before he initially lost that then regained in during dramatic virtual and the full safety car periods close to the end of the race.

When the lights went out under thick cloud cover that had built up ahead of the start, Verstappen quickly moved to chop off Leclerc’s look to the inside of Turn 1.

In any case the Ferrari driver was never close enough to make a move, while behind Sainz and Hamilton touched lightly as the Mercedes gained ground considerably around the inside of the Tarzan hairpin.

The pack made it through the opening turns without further incident, with Hamilton the only one of the leaders to use the low line through the steeply banked Hugenholtz Turn 3.

Verstappen pressed his advantage to escape DRS range to Leclerc by the end of the second lap of 72, with Leclerc going from 1.5s behind two laps later to only a second behind his rival over the next few tours.

But just as it looked as if Leclerc might be able to gain the overtaking aid, Verstappen suddenly found a chunk of pace in the low 1m16s to re-establish his bigger advantage.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari F1-75, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18, George Russell, Mercedes W13, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36, Mick Schumacher, Haas VF-22, the rest of the field at the start

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75, Carlos Sainz, Ferrari F1-75, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB18, George Russell, Mercedes W13, Lando Norris, McLaren MCL36, Mick Schumacher, Haas VF-22, the rest of the field at the start

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

The two leaders were the only pair able to stay in that laptime bracket, with Sainz soon falling far behind Leclerc and with Hamilton swarming – the highest place driver to start on the medium tyres compared to the softs being run on the leading three cars.

As the race settled down, Verstappen continued to edge away from Leclerc – his lead rising steadily towards three seconds before ballooning to nearly five before Ferrari called Leclerc in at the end of lap 17.

Red Bull responded on the subsequent tour and despite his similar service to go from the softs to the mediums being nearly a second slower than Ferrari’s, Verstappen emerged with his lead barely tripped given his in- and out-lap speed.

The top two pitting left Hamilton to lead on his first stint mediums, with George Russell running three seconds behind his Mercedes team-mate having started on the same compound and battled by Lando Norris once DRS was activated after the McLaren had jumped the second Silver Arrows car at the start.

Verstappen and Leclerc used their fresh mediums to head back towards the Mercedes cars over the next phase of the race, with the Red Bull, which had been nearly nine second off Hamilton’s lead when he returned from the pits, reaching DRS range behind Russell on lap 27.

But at the start of the next lap, Verstappen used the DRS to shoot right up behind the Mercedes and blast by to move up to second on the outside run through Tarzan.

Before Verstappen could close on Hamilton, Mercedes brought the Briton in to take the hard tyres at the end of lap 29 – an attempt to complete the race on a one-stop strategy.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

With the home hero handed the lead back and saying he was not interested in trying the hards, Hamilton rejoined a net fourth (which became actual fourth one lap later when Russell pitted to mirror his team-mate exactly) behind Sergio Perez in the other Red Bull – Sainz having fallen out of contention due to a calamitous Ferrari pitstop shortly before Leclerc came in for the first time.

As Verstappen began a charge that would double his lead over Leclerc and be 10s clear shortly after halfway, Hamilton and Russell used their hards to quickly home in on Perez.

On lap 36, Hamilton used DRS to attack Perez on Tarzan’s outside line, with Perez locking up on the inside and aggressively running the Mercedes wide before Hamilton backed off.

Hamilton attacked again on the Turn 11 entry to the track’s stadium but was again rebuffed on the outside line, but the next time by into Turn 1 he was able to run around the outside to take third.

But there was a sudden danger when Sebastian Vettel’s lapped Aston Martin emerged from the pits just ahead of the battling pair and stayed ahead for several corners, which meant Perez could crowd Hamilton but was unable to pass when Vettel eventually allowed the by – the German receiving a five-second penalty for his actions.

Hamilton set off after Leclerc and Verstappen, who had changed his mind about the durability of his mediums and Red Bull considering hards for his second stop, which it gave to Perez on lap 40, just after Russell had also passed him at Turn 1.

Ferrari realised Leclerc would have little defence against the charging Mercedes pair and he also came in to take the hards at the end of lap 45 – by which time Hamilton had gone from nearly 20s behind Verstappen to not much above half that.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13, battles with Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18, for the lead after the restart

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13, battles with Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18, for the lead after the restart

Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images

But around the same time, the race changed dramatically when Yuki Tsunoda stopped in the middle of the fast Turn 4/5 sequence – initially fearing his wheels were not properly attached after his second stop back in the pack.

He got going again and returned to the pits where AlphaTauri spent 30s checking something inside his cockpit – possibly his seatbelts – before he rejoined, but then did stop at Turn 4 saying he thought the differential was broken.

That meant the virtual safety car was activated and Red Bull could bring Verstappen in for hards with a cheap pitstop, which preserved his lead.

In fact, it stayed exactly the same as Mercedes also used the temporary suspension to put Hamilton and Russell back onto the mediums – the former recognising the VSC had “stuffed” his previous charge on the one-stopper.

When the action went green again on lap 50, Verstappen and the Mercedes shot into the 1m14s bracket – with Hamilton facing a 12.6s gap and Leclerc back to fourth after losing out having made his stop before the VSC.

Over the next couple of laps, Hamilton closed that to 11.4s before the race picture was massively altered again on lap 55, this time because Valtteri Bottas lost power in his Alfa Romeo and pulled over just before the first corner on the main straight.

That meant the safety car was activated, with Red Bull bringing Verstappen in to go back to the softs and the two Mercedes staying out while most others – including Leclerc – also dived in to fit the red-walled rubber.

The Safety Car Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18, George Russell, Mercedes W13

The Safety Car Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes W13, Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18, George Russell, Mercedes W13

Photo by: Alastair Staley / Motorsport Images

The next time by, Russell demanded Mercedes put him on the softs as he was losing tyre temperature in the mediums at low speed, which allowed Verstappen back into second behind Hamilton who remained on the yellow-walled compound.

The race restarted on lap 61, where Verstappen was all over Hamilton’s rear end as they raced down the main straight and he easily slipstreamed by to retake the lead.

Verstappen blasted to a 1.7s lead at the end of the first lap back to racing speed, with Hamilton fuming to Mercedes about its decision to leave him on the mediums.

His pace was so poor that Russell, who had seen off Leclerc’s attentions around the outside of Turn 1 at the restart, was able to quickly close in and jump his team-mate – although not before they nearly came together running down the main straight when Russell had DRS.

Hamilton was then overcome by Leclerc to fall off the podium, still sending angry radio messages about his final tyre strategy, while Verstappen pulled out an eventual winning margin of 4.0s.

Sainz crossed the line fifth having come back into the picture and got ahead of Perez during the VSC and safety car chaos, but he dropped down to eighth in the final order as a result of an unsafe release into the path of Fernando Alonso at their final stops during the Bottas-stoppage-caused race neutralisation.

That meant Perez, Alonso and Norris moved ahead to take positions five to seven, with Sainz also having to explain post-race an incident with Esteban Ocon (ninth) where the Ferrari appeared to overtake the Alpine under yellow flags activated when Bottas stopped.

This followed Sainz’s initial first pitstop disaster when Ferrari did not have all his medium tyres ready in time and Perez, behind the Spaniard in the first stint after starting fifth, running over and breaking a Ferrari wheel gun that had been left in his path in the tight pitlane.

Lance Stroll completed the top 10 with Bottas and Tsunoda the only retirements.

2022 Dutch Grand Prix race results

Cla Driver Laps Gap Interval Points
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen 72     26
2 United Kingdom George Russell 72 4.071 4.071 18
3 Monaco Charles Leclerc 72 10.929 6.858 15
4 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 72 13.016 2.087 12
5 Mexico Sergio Perez 72 18.168 5.152 10
6 Spain Fernando Alonso 72 18.754 0.586 8
7 United Kingdom Lando Norris 72 19.306 0.552 6
8 Spain Carlos Sainz 72 20.916 1.610 4
9 France Esteban Ocon 72 21.117 0.201 2
10 Canada Lance Stroll 72 22.459 1.342 1
11 France Pierre Gasly 72 27.009 4.550  
12 Thailand Alex Albon 72 30.390 3.381  
13 Germany Mick Schumacher 72 32.995 2.605  
14 Germany Sebastian Vettel 72 36.007 3.012  
15 Denmark Kevin Magnussen 72 36.869 0.862  
16 China Zhou Guanyu 72 37.320 0.451  
17 Australia Daniel Ricciardo 72 37.764 0.444  
18 Canada Nicholas Latifi 71      
  Finland Valtteri Bottas 53      
  Japan Yuki Tsunoda 43      
shares
comments
F1 Grand Prix race results: Verstappen wins Dutch GP
Previous article

F1 Grand Prix race results: Verstappen wins Dutch GP

Next article

Mercedes explains F1 strategy decision that left Hamilton furious in Dutch GP

Mercedes explains F1 strategy decision that left Hamilton furious in Dutch GP
The relaxed home life that helps F1’s Danish superstar to deliver Plus

The relaxed home life that helps F1’s Danish superstar to deliver

The unrelenting grasp of the tax man prompts most racing drivers to move to the likes of Monaco, Switzerland or Dubai. But, as OLEG KARPOV found out, Kevin Magnussen is quite happy where he is, thank you very much – at home, with his family, in Denmark

Formula 1
Oct 5, 2022
How Perez has shown what many F1 drivers need from the 2022 season run-in Plus

How Perez has shown what many F1 drivers need from the 2022 season run-in

OPINION: Sergio Perez’s Singapore triumph arrested a big decline in his Formula 1 performances against Max Verstappen at Red Bull since his Monaco win. He now needs to maintain his form to the season’s end, while others are also seeking a change in fortunes

Formula 1
Oct 5, 2022
How the FIA should punish any breaches of the F1 cost cap Plus

How the FIA should punish any breaches of the F1 cost cap

OPINION: On Wednesday, the FIA will issue F1 teams with compliance certificates if they stuck to the 2021 budget cap. But amid rumours of overspending, the governing body must set a critical precedent. It needs to carefully pick between revisiting the bitterness of Abu Dhabi, a contradictory punishment and ensuring parity for the rest of the ground-effect era

Formula 1
Oct 4, 2022
Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022 Plus

Singapore Grand Prix Driver Ratings 2022

A testing return to the Singapore Grand Prix in tricky conditions created plenty of hazards and mistakes for the Formula 1 drivers to fall into. That partly explains a number of low scores, including from a handful of high profile runners, allowing others to take a starring role under the floodlights

Formula 1
Oct 3, 2022
The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in F1's 2022 Singapore GP Plus

The two key contributors to Leclerc's defeat to Perez in F1's 2022 Singapore GP

In a marathon Formula 1 Singapore Grand Prix, Sergio Perez’s victory was only assured hours after the race due to a stewards investigation. Throughout the contest the Red Bull driver impressively held off Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc in changing conditions to see the Mexican pull out enough of an advantage to negate his post-race penalty

Formula 1
Oct 3, 2022
The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams Plus

The time-honoured manufacturer model that can't apply to all F1 teams

What happens, asks MATT KEW, if the old adage of win on a Sunday, sell on a Monday is no longer true for F1 manufacturers?

Formula 1
Oct 2, 2022
Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie? Plus

Why is Oscar Piastri F1's most sought-after rookie?

The Australian rising star is fast, consistent, confident, adaptable and has shown excellent racecraft, but there’s already a taint to his reputation. That hasn’t stopped him becoming the hottest property in this year’s F1 driver market and why McLaren moved fast to snap up the 21-year-old

Formula 1
Sep 30, 2022
The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver Plus

The unintended benefit that F1's new engine rules era will deliver

Formula 1's incoming engine rules shake-up has multiple targets. But it may also solve what has been a bone of contention since the hybrids arrived in 2014. The new plan will allow the series to pump up the volume

Formula 1
Sep 29, 2022