Mercedes Miss Out as Verstappen Wins Home Grand Prix

The Dutch Grand Prix is quickly making a name for itself on the F1 calendar. The sea of Max Verstappen shirts made it clear that the orange army was out in force. While Verstappen appeared to struggle during practice, the home favourite extended his championship lead by winning at Zandvoort. That win didn’t come as easily as Spa.

Mercedes mounted a fight back after its struggles at Spa, looking set for a double podium finish in the latter stages of the race. Ferrari’s bad fortune continued with a difficult pit stop ruining Sainz’s race, while Leclerc finished in 3rd.

Zandvoort delivered an action-packed race with Mercedes shaking up the grid and a late safety car making last-minute tyre strategy decisions vital. We’re recapping everything you need to know about the 2022 Dutch Grand Prix.

Mercedes Fightback at Zandvoort

Mercedes needed to make a statement at Zandvoort. Lewis Hamilton is running close to losing his record of winning a race in every season of F1 that he’s competed in. The Dutch Grand Prix was his best chance yet to secure that win.

Qualifying proved that Mercedes had better pace as a direct competitor to Ferrari and Red Bull. Both Mercedes cars had a good start off the line and opted for an aggressive one-stop strategy to get track position. 

Mercedes looked set for a double podium finish when a safety car was caused by a technical issue with Tsunoda’s car. Hamilton stayed out to keep track position, while both Verstappen and Russell pitted onto new tyres.

George Russell eventually overtook his teammate in a move that raised eyebrows and was reminiscent of the Hamilton-Rosberg days. Hamilton was clearly frustrated with Mercedes’ strategy, treating F1 fans to an expletive-heavy radio message. He dropped from 1st to 4th within the final 12 laps after the safety car to finish off the podium.

Verstappen Runs Away with Championship

Max Verstappen left his home Grand Prix with over a hundred-point lead in the Driver’s Championship – but it wasn’t all smooth sailing. After a dominating win at Spa, Verstappen’s win was more difficult on home soil. He struggled during Friday practice before snatching pole position by a narrow margin from Charles Leclerc.

Verstappen lost track position to Mercedes, running an aggressive one-stop strategy against Red Bull’s two-stop strategy. It appeared he would have to overtake both Mercedes drivers to win on a track where overtaking opportunities are limited. 

A late safety car gave Red Bull a window to pit Verstappen onto soft tyres to take the lead immediately at the restart. The reigning World Champion now has a 109-point lead over Leclerc and Perez.

Ferrari’s Pains Continue

Ferrari needs to make an impression at the Dutch Grand Prix to eat into Verstappen’s championship lead. Mercedes posed the biggest competition for Ferrari with both cars getting a decisively good start.

Questions are once again being asked about the team’s strategy and personnel. Carlos Sainz was running in third place before a 12.7-second stationary pit stop saw him drop out of the podium places. The Spanish driver was also given a five-second penalty for an unsafe release.

While Leclerc secured a podium finish, his man battle was with Mercedes, instead of his title rival. Monza is a crucial moment for Ferrari – and Leclerc – to live up to their potential. The Tifosi will turn Monza into a sea of red with Ferrari team t-shirts and Ferrari F1 merchandise.

Elsewhere on the Grid

Alpine – at the centre of the summer’s ‘silly season’ – secured a double-point finish with Alonso and Ocon in 6th and 9th. Lando Norris finished in 7th, with Stroll rounding out the points finishers in 10th.

Daniel Ricciardo struggled throughout the race, finishing 17th after a difficult week that saw him announce his exit from McLaren. AlphaTauri, Williams, Haas, and Alfa Romeo will be keen to win points at Monza after securing zero points at Zandvoort. 

The paddock moves to Monza this weekend for the final race in the triple header. Ferrari will be under pressure to deliver in front of its home crowd. Get ready to celebrate Ferrari’s 75th anniversary by exploring our range of Ferrari F1 merchandise.