21/04/2024

Dutch Grand Prix winner Max Verstappen celebrating winning his home race. (Photo: F1/Twitter)

Max Verstappen has taken out the Dutch Grand Prix in front of his home fans while Aussie Daniel Ricciardo missed out on a points finish again.

Red Bull and Max Verstappen have won the Dutch Grand Prix at Circuit-Zandvoort, claiming the number one spot back atop the Driver Standings in the process.

This was the first time Formula One action had returned to Zandvoort since 1985, a track which proved to be difficult to overtake on.

From the moment the lights went out it was all Verstappen, getting off to a dream start with a 1.7 second lead after the first lap over rival Lewis Hamilton.

From there Mercedes and Hamilton attempted an undercut on Verstappen, pitting on lap 21. Each time they pitted however, Verstappen would pit the lap later, denying the attempt.

Mercedes attempted the manoeuvre again on lap 40, however it was again unsuccessful with Verstappen’s pace proving too much for Mercedes to handle.

Ultimately Mercedes threw in the towel, accepting it could not overtake Verstappen and opting to pit again to chase the fastest lap, which Hamilton secured on the final lap.

It was not all bad for Mercedes, securing two podium finishes and extending its lead in the Constructors Championship above Red Bull into double digits, 344.5 to 332.5.

The win was even more special for the Dutch driver, as he got to do it in front of his fans who were rejoicing in the stands.

With the win, Verstappen now regains his lead over Hamilton, 224.5 to 221.5.

Ricciardo unable to get going

Aussie Daniel Ricciardo had another uneventful race finishing in 11th, just missing out on securing a points finish for the fourth time this season.

Ricciardo started the race climbing from 10th to ninth, however his race looked in jeopardy with smoke spilling out of his exhaust on the second lap. Fortunately, the issue subsided and he was able to continue racing.

As the race moved on Ricciardo’s teammate Lando Norris ended up behind him, however due to Norris having the fresher tyres and quicker pace the team ordered a change of places, putting Ricciardo out of the points where he finished the race.

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Perez turns around disappointing qualifying

Red Bull was bitterly disappointed with Sergio Perez’s qualifying result yesterday, with the Mexican driver finishing in 16th.

Prior to the weekend, Red Bull had also opted to replace Perez’s engine for the fourth time this season following his crash last weekend, which meant he would start in last place.

Under the rules a team can only change a car’s engine three times throughout the season, however if a team exceeds this limit, they start the next race in last place.

Perez got to work straight away, overtaking each car one by one and electing to try to stay out as long as possible without pitting. This paid off with Perez climbing as high as seventh place.

However, following a pit stop, Perez saw himself back down to 12th but again climbed up the grid, finishing in eighth place and collecting a handful of points for Red Bull.

Perez appeared the only driver able to have sustained success, overtaking with the majority of other racers relying on pit stop strategies to move up the grid.

Ferrari gallop up the constructors standings ahead of home race

Ferrari has cemented its spot in third place in the Constructors Championship, following another strong weekend. Both Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz had good performances in qualifying, finishing in fifth and sixth place respectively.

Leclerc stayed in fifth the entire race, while Sainz dropped to seventh after being edged out by fellow Spaniard Fernando Alonso on the final laps.

Ferrari now sits 11.5 points clear of McLaren on 181.5 points to 170, and will go into next weekend’s race at Monza with plenty of confidence.

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