Losers from F1 Dutch Grand Prix
Ferrari’s run of calamitous errors this season continued at Zandvoort, with a disastrous first pit stop ruining Sainz’s race.
With Sainz struggling to keep up with Verstappen and Leclerc, Ferrari called the Spaniard into the pits early. But a late call led to a shambolic mix-up which meant Ferrari’s crew did not have a left rear tyre ready in time.
A 12.7-second stop sent Sainz tumbling down the order and out of contention for the podium. He eventually recovered to fifth, only to drop to P8 after the chequered flag after picking up a time penalty for an unsafe release.
To add insult to injury, on another day to forget for Ferrari, Leclerc ended up dropping from second on the grid to third at the flag.
Hamilton saw a podium and a potential victory slip away in Zandvoort despite turning in a great drive that would have been deserving of a step on the rostrum.
Mercedes’ decision not to pit Hamilton backfired, with their split strategy ultimately working out better for Russell.
Hamilton was left furious at the outcome, leading to a sweary outburst over team radio, which the seven-time world champion later apologised for.
Amid the frustration, Hamilton made two errors at the restart; first he had the engine in the wrong mode, and he arguably should have waited until the last possible moment to shorten the main straight.
Ultimately, Verstappen had the pace, top speed and tyres to get the job done regardless. Either way, Hamilton was a sitting duck, much like he was on the final lap of last year’s controversial Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.
A second straight defeat to Russell has seen Hamilton fall 30 points behind his teammate in the championship.
Daniel Ricciardo and McLaren
Will Daniel Ricciardo’s slump ever end? The Australian was dumped out of Q1 in a lowly 17th after being hampered by Stroll on his final run.
But Ricciardo’s race was hugely disappointing. The eight-time grand prix winner made no progress and finished where he started with on another dismal day.
Things were better for teammate Lando Norris, who also finished where he started in seventh, but it was a bad day for McLaren overall as rivals Alpine celebrated their latest double points haul.
McLaren’s performance has tailed off recently and the team are at risk of being left behind by Alpine in the battle over P4.
The Dutch Grand Prix was far from Sebastian Vettel’s finest hour in F1.
Vettel should have joined Aston Martin teammate Stroll in Q2 but a mistake at the final corner left him second slowest in qualifying.
While making steady progress through the field, the retiring four-time world champion was penalised for ignoring blue flags and inexcusably holding up Hamilton and Sergio Perez for several corners.
A five-second time penalty for some scrappy driving from Vettel saw him fall behind close friend Mick Schumacher – who he had battled throughout – and be classified 14th.
Winners from F1 Dutch Grand Prix
F1 2022’s runaway championship leader could have hardly wished for a better day on home soil.
Max Verstappen was once again in imperious form as he charged to his 10th victory in 15 races this season to delight his home crowd and move another step closer to winning an inevitable second world title.
When Verstappen looked under threat from Lewis Hamilton, Red Bull aced their strategy during a late Safety Car to hand the Dutchman a tyre advantage over his main challenger on Sunday.
Verstappen judged the restart to absolute perfection to cleverly draw alongside Hamilton as they crossed the line, before using Red Bull’s superior top speed to get the move done by the first corner.
With his nearest championship rivals faltering, it was another perfect day for Verstappen, whose fourth consecutive win sees him further extend his advantage at the top of the standings to 109 points with seven races remaining.
George Russell was once again the beneficiary of a Safety Car period to get the better of his Mercedes teammate on his way to claiming his best result of the season.
The Briton’s sixth podium finish of 2022 came after Mercedes opted to split the strategy of their two cars for the sprint to the finish, leaving Hamilton out in the lead on medium tyres, while pitting Russell for softs.
Russell dropped from second to third on track behind Verstappen, who also switched onto softs under the late Safety Car.
Along with Verstappen, Russell capitalised on his tyre advantage to pass Hamilton and secure second and leapfrog Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz into fourth place in the championship.
Alpine finished in the points with both cars for the fifth successive race as the team strengthened their grip over fourth place in the constructors’ championship.
Such a result seemed unlikely when Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon were dumped out of qualifying in Q2, but the pair worked their way back into the top-10 thanks to Alpine’s well-executed strategy and strong race pace.
Switching to the hard tyre early was key to Alonso’s impressive recovery, with the two-time world champion charging through to sixth, ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris, Sainz – who was demoted to P8 following a post-race time penalty – and Alpine teammate Ocon.
Alpine are enjoying a real purple patch of form at a crucial stage of the season and are now 24 points clear of their nearest rival McLaren.
Zandvoort arguably marked Lance Stroll’s most impressive performance of the season as he converted just his second top-10 starting berth of the year into 10th.
Stroll turned in a fine drive to score points for only the fifth time this season, but it was his qualifying display that really caught the eye.
He was the only Aston Martin driver to progress into the final part of qualifying, thanks to a superb lap in Q2, and felt he had the pace to potentially secure a grid spot as high as seventh.
Following his Q2 heroics, Stroll was unable to take part in Q3 after his team discovered a hydraulic problem with his car that kept him in the garage, leaving him to start from 10th.