Thursday, May 19

Formula 1 | Netherlands GP: Verstappen ecstasy at Zandvoort – home win and lead



Incontestable triumph of Max Verstappen against a Hamilton who tried but had no choice against the Red Bull driver. The Dutchman regained the lead and demonstrated the supremacy of the energy drink team, which was completed by Checo Pérez with an epic comeback that took him from the pit lane to eighth place. Fernando Alonso was sixth, beating Carlos Sainz on the last lap and Mercedes must put out the fire generated after Bottas’ indiscipline, who tried to take away the fastest lap from Hamilton.

Good start for Fernando Alonso, who gained two positions in the first round. He overtook Sebastian Ocon, with a change of line after trying it first on the inside, and later on Antonio Giovinazzi. The Spanish was placed behind Carlos Sainz, who maintained his sixth place, like the rest of the drivers at the head of the grid. Max Verstappen also made a good start, without suffering against Hamilton, and immediately put distance in between. It was the best way not to suffer in a circuit as demanding as Zandvoort and that he had a totally clean start, without any incident. Discomforts and hazards are often the best way to ensure extreme care on the part of all pilots. The team strategies and the duration of the tires seemed key to see how the Grand Prix evolved. On lap ten, between Verstappen, who was leading, and the fourth classified, Gasly, there were 17,552 seconds away. And between the Dutchman and Alonso, seventh, 33.675 seconds. Checo Pérez and Latifi they remained in the last places after having started from the pit-lane due to changes in the configuration of their respective cars. It was a beautiful battle between the Mexican and Mazepin, who he passed cleanly on a circuit not very gifted for overtaking.

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With all the cars so far apart it seemed unlikely there would be a yellow flag or a red flag that would alter the course of the race, except that such a demanding short circuit, full of fast corners and few straights to rest, caused the error of a pilot. After twenty laps everything was the same. In the 21st Hamilton pitted and did not make a good stop because the right front wheel generated more work. Mercedes mounted him means, so it was clear that he was going two stops. Immediately, after the British, entered Verstappen, who was also going to go two stops. The Dutch from Red Bull He came out ahead of Hamilton, maintaining his position, albeit only 1.9 seconds away. Bottas was leading the race, so Mercedes He decided to redefine his strategy by deciding that the Finn would go to a stop with critical tires.

bottas, at a lower pace, slowed down the race and allowed Hamilton to stick to Verstappen, while Red Bull invited their driver to get rid of the Finn. “It’s a strategy to win the race”they explained to Bottas. It didn’t take Verstappen long to pass him, benefiting from the poor condition of the W12’s tires. Bottas did not put up much resistance, who also yielded his position to Hamilton before going into the pits to replace his tires and put some hard. Meanwhile, Gasly overtook Fernando Alonso and a few laps later Carlos Sainz. The youth of his golas dictated sentence. Mercedes dreamed of victory because Bottas was in the window, as both Verstappen and Hamilton had to make another stop, but a spin from Vettel, just ahead, caused him to lose a second and many options to lead the race when the first Red Bull and Mercedes drivers entered the pits .

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With 32 laps to go, Hamilton attempted an undercut with Verstappen. He went into the pits and forced the Dutchman into the next lap. Great stop for Red Bull, who maintained the lead of the race. Christian Horner and Helmut Marko celebrated their response to the silver arrow attack, aware that they were taking a giant step toward the top of the drawer. Hamilton panic ten laps later. “With these wheels I do not reach the end,” the British complained on the radio, although many other pilots must have thought the same. Despite this, he set the fastest lap and approached Verstappen, perhaps thinking of making another stop. At the time, I entered the pits Checo Pérez, after a spectacular comeback. The Mexican was placed at a point position, just behind Ricciardo. He overtook him on lap 57. The Red Bull Mexican was exultant, who had started from the pit-lane and finished eighth. Fernando Alonso was filming in the time of Hamilton and was approaching Carlos Sainz, who was uncomfortable with the hard compound. The Asturian was comfortable, who was also distancing himself from his Alpine partner.

In the absence of ten laps, everything depended on the condition of the wheels for all the drivers, not just for the head of the race. Alonso threw himself on top of Sainz, which seemed to have something else wrong with the tires. He simmered the attack on the Madrilenian, who had speed on the straights. The McLaren driver defended himself as a cat belly up and lost sixth place in the last lap. The last three laps were marked by the act of indiscipline of Bottas, who tried to swipe the fast lap (and the extra point) to Hamilton despite his engineer’s attempts to get him to abort while turning all sectors purple. He forced the Finn to enter the British pit to change tires and finally achieve the fastest lap, with which he saved a point. Big party, orange party in Zandvoort when Verstappen crossed the finish line and regained the World Cup lead.

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