Max Verstappen took his 30th Formula 1 victory in style. At home in Zandvoort, the Netherlands, he passed Lewis Hamilton in a safety car restart at the end of the race to rouse the crowd that filled the circuit. It was the 10th time that the Red Bull Dutchman has climbed to the top of the podium in 2022.
– It was a complicated race, we accelerated the whole race. VSC, safety car, making all the decisions was difficult… I think it was important to go for the soft tires at the end. Always special to win at home. This year I think I enjoyed it even more, I’m very happy to have won the Dutch GP. I thank everyone for their presence and party, I’m very proud to be Dutch! – declared, after the victory.
George Russell was second, and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc completed the podium. With the victory at home and the extra point for having set the fastest lap, Max Verstappen added 26 more points and remains isolated in the lead of the F1 Drivers’ Championship, with 310 points.
The race started without many surprises. The start kept almost all grid positions, with the exception of Norris, who took sixth place from George Russell. The first emotions came in the pursuit of Hamilton, who with so much trying, passed Sainz when he went to the pits. If it was practically stopped, the race gained emotion at the end when Bottas stopped at the entrance of the straight and closed the track. Yellow flag, safety car and positions lined up, with some stops, until the restart, with 11 laps to go.
Verstappen, in second, passed Hamilton as he wished, who on medium tires, betting on stretching his last stop, became easy prey. The Englishman would still lose positions to Leclerc’s Ferrari, and it could have been worse had it not been for the penalty from Sainz, who lost time in a dispute with the always tough Sergio Perez. In the end, Verstappen led his Red Bull to victory without scares and without being bothered by the rest of the field.
On the radio, Hamilton warned Mercedes that it would be difficult to hold on to Verstappen. And it was. Like a rocket, the Dutchman took no notice of the Englishman and ran hard to win the lead. The seven-time world champion was left out of the podium and blamed the team for the decision to use medium tires against the soft ones in the front pack.
– I don’t believe it, man. You fuck me. They don’t know how fucked up I am. The medium tires were the biggest f***ing thing they did – said the Englishman, on the radio.
Who also made a lot of mistakes was Ferrari, which saw Carlos Sainz being punished in five seconds at the end of the race for hindering Fernando Alonso in the exit of the pits. Leclerc got the podium, but not without problems from the team in the pit stops.