Max Verstappen wins the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort and takes back F1 title lead

(Motorsport news) As Max Verstappen crossed the finish line at Circuit Zandvoort, there was a mighty roar from the fans as Verstappen won his first race in the country he calls home. The fireworks were set off and Red Bull and Verstappen had plenty of reasons to celebrate. The Dutch racing driver didn’t put a foot wrong throughout the race, leading from the pack from the get-go in front of vocal, orange clad supporters for the very first time. Approaching the race, Hamilton enjoyed a three point lead over Verstappen which has now become a three point deficit as the race for the title heats up.

Both Verstappen and Red Bull needed a perfect performance and they got it, which was the only reason why Hamilton and Mercedes couldn’t finish first in the Netherlands. The British racing driver ended the race in second position ahead of Valtteri Bottas and Pierre Gasly who impressed in the AlphaTauri. Charles Leclerc finished fifth ahead of the Spaniards Fernando Alonso and teammate Carlos Sainz.

The race did have its fair share of last minute drama as Bottas was called for a late tyre change after which he finished with the fastest lap, much to Mercedes’ dismay as they urged him not to compete for the bonus point. This forced the Silver Arrows to call Hamilton before his penultimate lap so that he would get the fastest lap bonus instead to close the gap with Verstappen in the title race. The British racing driver duly obliged and managed to finish fastest in the final lap, much to Toto Wolff and Mercedes’ relief.

Fernando Alonso overtook countryman Carlos Sainz in the final lap of the race, much to Ferrari’s disappointment as Alpine finished in sixth position. Sergio Perez finished in eighth position, giving Red Bull some much needed four points in their pursuit for the Constructors Championship. However, the gulf between the two teams grows wider with every race and 12 points separate Mercedes and Red Bull currently.

The next Formula 1 race will be held at Monza on Sunday, 12th September at 6:30 pm IST.

Also read: Kimi Raikkonen retires from Formula 1 at the age of 41

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