Verstappen unattainable in the Grand Prix of the Netherlands

Max Verstappen; photo: Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen won the Dutch Grand Prix without any problems in front of tens of thousands of his fans, who filled the stands of the track Zandvoort. The drivers of Mercedes Lewis Hamilton and Valteri Botas ranked second and third in the 13th round of the Formula 1 World Championship for the 2021 season.

The air temperature was 21 degrees, that of the track – 35. At the start, Max Verstappen took a clear lead over Lewis Hamilton. Valteri Botas tried to attack, but was third. Pierre Gasley retained his fourth place ahead of Charles Löckler and Carlos Sainz. Antonio Giovinazzi sank back into the column. Fernando Alonso took fifth place ahead of Esteban Ocon and Daniel Ricciardo, Giovinazzi was tenth. There were several dangerous discrepancies between the two Alpins and Antonio. But Ricciardo’s McLaren was smoking and dripping oil on the track.

Boxer Sergio Perez was the only driver on the track with hard tires. George Russell was 11th with a medium. The medium hardness tires were also preferred by Lando Norris, Robert Kubica, Nikita Mazepin and Nicholas Latifi.

Verstappen gained more than 2 seconds ahead of 3 laps out of a total of 72, giving the best times

“Fernando is extremely slow in front of me,” Okon said on the radio.

Hamilton told his team that with these tires (soft) will have problems to keep pace. Mick Schumacher got into the pie, put on the hardest tires and a new front wing. Perez was in boxing on lap 9 and put on a medium. Then make the best lap so far of the race.

In the 20th lap, Verstappen’s lead was 3.7 seconds. Botas was almost 3 seconds behind his teammate. Gasley was much further back, 12.6 seconds behind the Finn. Hamilton entered boxing in the 21st round and put on a medium. In the next round, Verstappen did the same, taking the medium-hard tires.

After returning to the track, Botas led 9 seconds ahead of Verstappen, who was almost 2 seconds ahead of Hamilton.

Walter said his tires were already vibrating. In the 27th lap he assumed that he would spend another lap. Pierre Gasley, meanwhile, boxed and also took a medium, being seventh after coming out.

Botas’ lead over Verstappen drops to 2.5 seconds in the 28th round. Hamilton was 1.4 seconds behind Max. Leukler and Sainz were still fourth and fifth in front of the spiral already in the Gasley pie. In the 29th lap Verstappen caught up with Botas in less than a second, and in the 31st he overtook him. Immediately after that, Hamilton overtook his teammate. Then Walter changed his tires, taking a medium.

Sainz and Okon also went through boxing. The Ferrari driver put a hard, Okon – a medium hardness mixture.

Russell received a 5-second penalty for speeding in a pitlane

Löckler, in turn, entered boxing in the 35th round and took hard tires. After this series of boxes, the order was Verstappen, Hamilton, Botas, Gasley, Leclerc, Sainz. Norris was seventh ahead of Perez, Alonso, Ocon.

“The pace is very good,” was the message to Botas at this stage of the race.

Leclerc was told how different he was from Gasley, but with a reminder that he had to keep his tires. Vettel spun dangerously on the third turn and Botas barely avoided him, but they all passed without a hit.

On lap 40, Verstappen was in the pie again, putting on hard tires

Hamilton was a medium after his second stop, made shortly before by the Red Bull driver. The Englishman asked his team why they chose these tires. Shortly afterwards, he called that he did not see the medium hardness of the mixture as an advantage.

“I will not reach the final with these tires,” Hamilton said on the radio in the 48th lap, and in the 50th he recorded the fastest round in the race.

Perez made another box and put soft for the final part of the competition. Yuki Tsunoda was eliminated in the 50th round with a problem in the propulsion system.

On lap 55, Mercedes and Hamilton realized that the priority was no longer to chase Verstappen, but to reach the final with the tires he was wearing at the time. In the 60th round, Max was 2.5 seconds ahead of him. Botas was far behind in 14 seconds. They were followed by Gasley, Leclerc, Sainz, Alonso, Ocon, Norris, Perez.

On lap 55, Mercedes and Hamilton realized that the priority was no longer to chase Verstappen, but to reach the final with the tires he was wearing at the time. In the 60th round, Max was 2.5 seconds ahead of him. Botas was far behind in 14 seconds. They were followed by Gasley, Leclerc, Sainz, Alonso, Ocon, Norris, Perez. The Mexican driver overtook the British McLaren athlete, taking ninth place. There was a slight blow between them.

“It wasn’t very fair,” Perez said

5 rounds before the checkered flag Botas put soft tires. In the forehead, Verstappen was 3.4 seconds ahead of Hamilton. Lewis also took soft tires just after his teammate made the fastest lap of the race. The Englishman gave the best round in the race at the very end.

Verstappen crossed the finish line first to the applause of the audience. Hamilton and Botas finished second and third. Gasley took fourth place ahead of Leclerc, Alonso, Sainz. Perez, Okon and Norris added the top 10.

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