Max Verstappen Survives Late Safety Car To Win Dutch Grand Prix

By Robert Haile

Max Verstappen retook the lead after a late pit stop during a safety car period had given the lead to Lewis Hamilton.

Not the only car to pass the seven time world champion as teammate George Russell and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc went passed home to complete the podium.

Race winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing celebrates in parc ferme during the F1 Grand Prix of The Netherlands at Circuit Zandvoort on September 04, 2022 in Zandvoort, Netherlands. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

Race winner and championship leader Verstappen said: “Today was quite eventful and not a straightforward race at all. We had to make the right calls and it all worked out well in the end.

“Mercedes were very quick on the harder compound, which we didn’t expect, so it made it more difficult for us as we were less compatible with the hards.

“We managed everything quite well and we made the right calls on the strategy, so well done to the team here and back at the factory.

“It’s always special to win your home Grand Prix, but this year I had to work even harder for it. It’s incredible to win again in front of this crowd, we’ve had unbelievable support here and I’m proud to be Dutch.”

Green lights and Verstappen stayed in front of Leclerc as Carlos Sainz and Hamilton behind them while further back Kevin Magnussen’s Haas hit the wall and managed to carry on.

The only change in the top seven was reversed as Russell retook sixth from Lando Norris after losing the position at the start.

In the first round of pit stops Fernando Alonso Alpine would end up in ninth as Sainz had a torrid pit stop as Sergio Perez came in after and went out before him.

Leclerc pitted with no issues and Verstappen came in a lap later with Hamilton and Russell staying out with Verstappen catching up and passing by lap 28.

Hamilton pitted two laps later and came back out in fifth ahead of Sainz with Russell doing the same thing on lap 32.

The race leader Verstappen was comfortably out in front with Leclerc behind him and teammate Perez in third but Hamilton and Russell were closing in.

The battle for third place between Perez and Hamilton almost came to a collision as the Red Bull driver locked up in defence and then Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel emerging from the pits almost cost Hamilton the place.

Russell then caught up and passed the Mexican for fourth.

Pit stop problems seemed to be the curse of the day as AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda stopped on track after complaining about his tyres not being fitted almost bringing a virtual safety car out but continued the race.

Tsunoda brought out a virtual safety car pulling over complaining of a differential problem, Verstappen took advantage to pit and keep the lead with Hamilton and Russell doing so as well.

As the Mercedes duo closed in on Verstappen the stationary Alfa Romeo of Valtteri Bottas on lap 55 brought out yellow flags and then another safety car.

During the yellow flags Sainz appeared to have passed Alpine’s Esteban Ocon.

All the front runners pitted except Hamilton who went to the front as Verstappen, Russell and the Ferraris went with the faster soft tyres with Perez going for mediums.

As the green flag dropped Verstappen passed Hamilton as Sainz moved into fifth overtaking Perez.

Russell passed Hamilton four laps later with Leclerc doing the same soon after while Alonso and Norris battled for seventh as Ocon fought Pierre Gasly and Lance Stroll for tenth.

Verstappen took his tenth win at his home race with Russell and Leclerc in second and third with Hamilton fourth.

Fifth originally went to Sainz but an unsafe release in the safety car pit stop brought a five second penalty dropped him to eighth with Perez, Alonso and Norris gaining a place.

In the last two point scoring positions Ocon held of Stroll as Gasly lost out in eleventh.

Williams’ Alex Albon finished twelfth with Haas’ Mick Schumacher in thirteenth, Vettel fourteenth, Magnussen recovered to fifteenth and Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu took sixteenth.

The outgoing McLaren driver Daniel Ricciardo finished seventeenth and the last moving driver was Williams’ Nicholas Latifi.

Italy waits for Formula One and Monza for the Italian Grand Prix on September 9-11 where the Ferrari fans will be in full voice.

Drivers Championship

  1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – 310
  2. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) – 201
  3. Sergio Perez (Red Bull) – 201
  4. George Russell (Mercedes) – 188
  5. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) – 175
  6. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – 158
  7. Lando Norris (McLaren) – 82
  8. Esteban Ocon (Alpine) – 66
  9. Fernando Alonso (Alpine) – 59
  10. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) – 46
  11. Kevin Magnussen (Haas) – 22
  12. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) – 20
  13. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) – 19
  14. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) – 16
  15. Mick Schumacher (Haas) – 12
  16. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) – 11
  17. Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo) – 5
  18. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) – 5
  19. Alex Albon (Williams) – 4
  20. Nicholas Latifi (Williams) – 0
  21. Nico Hulkenberg (Aston Martin) – 0

Constructors Championship

  1. Red Bull – 511
  2. Ferrari – 376
  3. Mercedes – 346
  4. Alpine – 125
  5. McLaren – 101
  6. Alfa Romeo – 51
  7. Haas – 34
  8. AlphaTauri – 29
  9. Aston Martin – 25
  10. Williams – 4