VERSTAPPEN VICTORIOUS IN ZANDVOORT
Max Verstappen continues to extend his Championship lead over Perez and Leclerc after a rather stressful day around Zandvoort but ultimately despite the worries Verstappen and Red Bull came out on top for the second year in a row at the Dutch Grand Prix.
It was Verstappen (Red Bull) who got away well along with Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) in second but its Max who leads into turn one, with Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) in third and Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) in fourth.
As he attempts a move on the outside of the exit of turn one Kevin Magnussen (Haas) goes onto the kerb and runs wide into the gravel and scrapes the barrier - but is ok to carry on.
On lap 15 Sainz was the first out of the top five to pit (from third) and its a slow stop not only because Perez was coming past but Ferrari were searching for a tyre and Sainz was stationary for 12 seconds and is down into 11th. Ferrari were simply not ready for Sainz to pit and they didn’t have the rear right tyre out ready to be put on the car. A moment in this race which ruined the Spaniards race.
A few laps later on lap 18 Leclerc comes into pit from second - and thankfully for Leclerc all four tyres were ready and he’s back out in fourth behind the two Mercedes. On the next lap Verstappen reacts and pits from the lead and comes out in third. Hamilton now leads the race from Russell (Mercedes).
It wasn't until lap 30 until Lewis Hamilton pitted from the lead of the race, Verstappen now leads. Hamilton is back out in fifth ahead of Sainz and behind Perez (Red Bull).
On lap 44 Yuki Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri) stops on the side of the track but kept his engine running and rejoins the race and is now plum last in 20th. A few laps later on lap 47 after a lengthy pit stop with Alpha Tauri checking everything they can the car is sent back out, but Tsunoda has stopped and the yellow flags are out and tyres are being prepped up and down the pit lane and the Virtual Safety Car (VSC) is out.
The top three react to this with Verstappen pitting from first and holds onto first because of the VSC and its a double stack from Mercedes with Hamilton then Russell in straight away. Three laps after the VSC was deployed the green flag is out. Back to full speed.
Lap 55: Bottas stops on the main straight. Lap 56: Full Safety Car
With a full Safety Car out its Verstappen who pits again and Hamilton now leads this race with Russell in second.
On lap 58 Russell pits and Verstappen is back into second - doesn’t loose any more than the one position because the Safety Car goes through the pitlane due to where Bottas is stopped.
With 11 laps remaining (61/72) the Safety Car is in and the Mercedes have 11 laps to try and win this race - Verstappen leads into turn one after passing Hamilton down the straight. Lewis simply isn’t quick enough. Three laps later Russell passes Hamilton for second and has a 2.9 second gap to Verstappen and the race win. Sadly for the Mercedes the Red Bull of Verstappen is just too quick.
The next race is the Italian Grand Prix.
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