Home favorite Max Verstappen snatched the World Championship lead from Lewis Hamilton on Sunday as the Red Bull driver performed brilliantly to win his first Dutch Grand Prix since 1985.
A week after the ridiculous outing in Belgium, pool sitter Verstapen controlled the race from the start in the scorching sun on a circuit set up in the beach sand dunes at the coastal resort of Zandwort.
His seventh win in 13 races this season turned the three-point deficit over seven-time world champion Hamilton into a three-point lead over Monza next weekend.
Hamilton came in second with the fastest lap in the last lap to earn a satisfactory bonus point, with Mercedes teammate Voltaire Botas in third place.
“As you may have already heard, it’s just unbelievable,” Verstappen said, with nearly 70,000 orange-covered spectators flocking to a venue where the last winner for McLaren was Nicki Lauda 36 years ago.
“Expectations were high over the weekend. I’m very happy to have won here. It’s been a wonderful day, the whole crowd, incredible.”
Werstapen, who scored half a point for his win on two laps behind the safety car at the spa last Sunday, walked away from the lap that opened here, placing Hamilton in his rearview mirror and making it clear. ۔
“It’s definitely been a great day. The start was very important, I think we did it well,” said Verstappen.
“Of course, Mercedes tried to create problems for us but we competed very well with them all the time. We can be happy with the performance of the whole team today.”
A narrow track made it difficult to overtake, with deep gravel nets being punished, with Mercedes urging Hamilton and Botas to use a variety of strategies to increase pressure on Verstapen.
Hamilton stood on lap 21, Red Bull immediately called Verstapen inside, and Botha briefly left to head the field.
Verstappen regained the lead when he threw Botas straight in the final on the lap 31 at the roar of the Grand Stand, but Finn allowed Hamilton to eat into the Dutchman’s space.
Hamilton once again landed on lap 40 and switched to mid-range tires, returning to the track, he had to make his way through the traffic.
An anxious Versatopin kept disappointing his title rival who feared his tires would run out.
As Worstapen traveled to the line, igniting joyous, orange-smoked festivities on the North Sea coast, Hamilton entered the pits for the third time in an attempt to make the last ditch in the fastest lap.
One day that Versatapen showed Dutch King William Alexander and Queen Maxima around the Red Bull Garage, Hamilton had no answer to the 23-year-old’s Regal display.
“Max did a great job, congratulations to him. I gave it all up, he was too quick for us,” said Hamilton, once again disappointed to be the first man to win 100 Grand Prix.
“They had an upper edge, and it’s very difficult to get here. The last leap was one of the best parts of the race for me – single leap, low fuel. It’s one of my favorite tracks now.”
Perry Gasley finished fourth in his Alpha Tory ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc. Fernando Alonso finished third on the grid and finished sixth, while Carlos Sanes finished second in the second Ferrari.
Sergio Perez, who started running in the pit lane after the engine change, Esteban Okun of the Alpine and Lando Norris of McLaren made it into the top 10.