Max Verstappen won his home race at the 2021 Dutch Grand Prix and retook the lead in the drivers’ championship. This was the seventh win of the season for the Dutchman as he clinched a famous victory in front of his adoring home crowd.
Lewis Hamilton finished in second position and took the extra point for the fastest lap. Valtteri Bottas finished in third position and regained third position in the drivers’ championship.
The race started under clear skies with the air temperature at 21 degrees C and the track temperature at 35 degrees C at the Zandvoort circuit in the Netherlands.
The vociferous orange-clad Dutch fans were out in full force to support their hero Max Verstappen. The air was filled with orange from the flares all around the track.
Verstappen started in pole position with arch-rival Hamilton joining him on the first row. Bottas and Pierre Gasly started on the second row.
Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz were on the third row. Antonio Giovinazzi, Esteban Ocon, Fernando Alonso and Daniel Ricciardo started at the sharp end of the grid.
Sergio Pérez and Nicholas Latifi started from the pit lane after penalties. Robert Kubica started in place of Kimi Räikkönen who has tested positive for Covid19.
The Pirelli tyre choice at this race is the white-striped hard compound tyres (C1), yellow-striped medium compound tyres (C2), and red-striped soft compound tyres (C3). All the drivers in the top ten positions were on the soft compound tyres.
Verstappen made a good start to lead Hamilton and Bottas into Turn 1. Alonso gained places and got ahead of his team-mate Ocon to take seventh position. Giovinazzi lost places at the start and dropped to tenth position.
Mick Schumacher was the first driver to pit and take on the hard compound tyres. Pérez flat spotted his tyres after a big lockup and pitted on lap 9 and rejoined in nineteenth position. Two laps later, Sebastian Vettel pitted and rejoined behind the Mexican.
By the end of lap 20, Verstappen had a gap of over two seconds to Hamilton. Pérez was in sixteenth position after some good overtakes on this hard to overtake track.
On lap 21, Hamilton made his first pit stop to take on the medium compound tyres and rejoined in third position. Verstappen followed him into the pits and rejoined in second position behind Bottas.
On lap 25, Gasly pitted for the medium compound tyres and rejoined in seventh position. On lap 27, Hamilton was rapid on the new tyres and closed within 1.2 seconds to Verstappen.
By lap 28, Verstappen was in DRS-range of Bottas. On lap 31, Verstappen and Hamilton had overtaken Bottas.
Hamilton was now within DRS-range of Verstappen. But Verstappen opened up a gap of 1.5 seconds to Hamilton with clear air in front of him. Bottas pitted and rejoined in third position.
On lap 31, Vettel had a spin and fell to seventeenth position. George Russell was given a 5-second penalty for speeding in the pit lane.
On lap 40, Hamilton pitted for a new set of medium compound tyres and rejoined in second position. Verstappen pitted on the next lap and rejoined in the lead. The Dutchman had a gap of over three seconds to Hamilton.
At the end of lap 42, Lando Norris had not yet pitted and was running in seventh position. Pérez after his early pit stop was in eighth position.
On lap 44, Norris pitted and rejoined in eleventh position. Verstappen was widening his gap to Hamilton to 3.5 seconds. The order was Verstappen, Hamilton, Bottas, Gasly, Leclerc, Sainz, Pérez, Alonso, Ocon, Norris, Ricciardo, Russell and Lance Stroll.
On lap 49, Pérez pitted and rejoined in twelfth position behind Russell. On lap 51, Tsunoda retired from the race and joined Nikita Mazepin on the sidelines.
Hamilton after complaining about his tyres to the pit wall picked up the pace and was just 1.5 seconds behind Verstappen. Pérez was on a charge and was in tenth position by lap 56.
By the end of lap 62 with ten laps to go, Verstappen had an over four seconds gap to Hamilton. Pérez was within DRS-range of Norris for ninth position.
On lap 66, Pérez overtook Norris on the outside for ninth position. On lap 68, Bottas made a pit stop for the soft compound tyres. Hamilton pitted on the penultimate lap to take on the soft compound tyres.
Vertsappen won the race in a canter and was greeted by loud cheering and orange flares from the home crowd. Hamilton took an extra point for the fastest lap on the final lap and finished in second position.
Bottas and Gasly finished in third and fourth positions. Leclerc drove a fine race to finish in fifth position.
Alonso overtook Sainz in the final laps to take sixth position. Pérez finished in eighth position after a strong comeback drive.
Ocon and Norris finished in ninth and tenth positions to round off the top ten positions.
Verstappen has now taken over the lead in the drivers’ championship by three points. The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team has a twelve point lead in the constructors’ championship over Red Bull Racing Honda.
The intense battle between the top two teams and drivers will continue next weekend at the third race of the triple header at the Italian Grand Prix in Monza (10 – 12 September, 2021).
2021 Dutch Grand Prix Results:
|1||33||Max Verstappen||NED||Red Bull Racing||72||1:30:05.395||25|
|2||44||Lewis Hamilton||GBR||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||72||+20.932s||18|
|3||77||Valtteri Bottas||FIN||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team||72||+56.460s||16|
|4||10||Pierre Gasly||FRA||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda||71||+1 lap||12|
|5||16||Charles Leclerc||MON||Scuderia Ferrari||71||+1 lap||10|
|6||14||Fernando Alonso||ESP||Alpine F1 Team||71||+1 lap||8|
|7||55||Carlos Sainz||ESP||Scuderia Ferrari||71||+1 lap||6|
|8||11||Sergio Perez||MEX||Red Bull Racing||71||+1 lap||4|
|9||31||Esteban Ocon||FRA||Alpine F1 Team||71||+1 lap||2|
|10||4||Lando Norris||GBR||McLaren F1 Team||71||+1 lap||1|
|11||3||Daniel Ricciardo||AUS||McLaren F1 Team||71||+1 lap||0|
|12||18||Lance Stroll||CAN||Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team||70||+2 laps||0|
|13||5||Sebastian Vettel||GER||Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team||70||+2 laps||0|
|14||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||ITA||Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN||70||+2 laps||0|
|15||88||Robert Kubica||POL||Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN||70||+2 laps||0|
|16||6||Nicholas Latifi||CAN||Williams Racing||70||+2 laps||0|
|17||63||George Russell||GBR||Williams Racing||69||DNF||0|
|18||47||Mick Schumacher||GER||Uralkali Haas F1 Team||69||+3 laps||0|
|NC||22||Yuki Tsunoda||JAP||Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda||48||DNF||0|
|NC||9||Nikita Mazepin||RAF||Uralkali Haas F1 Team||41||DNF||0|