Dutch Grand Prix: Rampant Bull vs Prancing Horses chased by Silver Arrows
As the title suggests, a lone Red Bull driver takes on two Ferrari drivers and two Mercedes lads all determined to win the 2022 Dutch Grand Prix at Circuit Zandvoort.
[Note: This report will be updated at the end of the Dutch Grand Prix today. Refresh the page to stay updated. Enjoy!]
Amidst the stupid flare launchers, unable to shake the joyful spirit of the Orange Army which descended en masse on the small seaside town of Zandvoort (pop. 17,000) to honor their hero Max Verstappen, running across its soil for the first time in Formula 1 World Champion.
And boy did he turn it on to give them a magnificent performance in qualifying, single-handedly – because his Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez was absolutely nowhere while Max was on another again planet.
After a thrilling qualifying session, it was indeed Verstappen who edged out Charles Leclerc by a smidgeon of 0.021s with Carlos Sainz also a hair’s breadth away for the tightest qualifying in recent memory at which we have attended on Saturday.
With Max on pole and Perez fifth, both Ferraris have the advantage in terms of attacking the #1 car, but also in the mix and speaking of a practical Mercedes in terms of race pace, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell will follow with interest and chase the trio up front.
Verstappen, of course, is the rampant bull, out of nine wins it would be hard to bet against him to make ten today, with his name chanted at every turn, energy alone is sure to make him invincible this post- midday.
Verstappen won starting 10th (Budapest) and 14th (Spa) can you imagine pole today?
Unless Lady Luck decides to be cruel in the way and level she wishes to inflict pain; reliability is a factor, as Friday’s problems will have served as a warning sign to Red Bull and will keep them nervous until the checkered flag drops or the car blows up.
But at the same time it has to be said that Max and Red Bull are at the top of their game and apparently getting better and better. Clever teamwork, good management at all levels and that genius Adrian Newey who joins the dots, it’s hard to bet against them.
Ferrari on the other hand, who knows what game they will bring to the race today in Holland? If they play their cards right, they could pull off like they did in Austria, pooping the Red Bull party on their own track.
This is Verstappen country everything is orange so no better place to paint the town red in a race they HAVE winning to keep this title race alive, doing it to Max at Zandy today would be the best way to remind him that the game is not over.
Both Leclerc and Sainz are capable winners, but with Ferrari under duress, strategy hasn’t been their forte, to say the least. Nevertheless an interesting afternoon of Reds in action awaits us… as well as the post-race apology.
Mercedes think they have a strong race car for the Dutch Grand Prix
Behind the three pacemakers, Lewis Hamilton felt he had a chance in the front row until Perez’s rotation affected the laps of those behind him, which included the two Mercs; therefore, the seven-time F1 world champion will start fourth with teammate George Russell directly behind him in sixth.
The drivers and their team are confident in the race pace of their package, with Hamilton believing the W13 will look after its tires better than its rivals, which remains to be seen. But there is a more familiar air of confidence in the garage of the reigning world champions.
Behind the Big Three teams, Lando Norris was the best again and will be keen to poke his nose into those ahead, but realistically he will be looking to finish the best of the rest, which is quite possible as he is surrounded by drivers who may be further up the grid than they anticipated.
Among them, Mick Schumacher who has done an excellent job under a cloud of uncertain future. The German will line up his Haas eighth on the grid, as will Yuki Tsunoda in the AlphaTauri who came out of his socks on Saturday to edge teammate Pierre Gasly who lines up 11th, both higher than expected.
And also in this mix, the 10th start is Lance Stroll who had one of his best performances in the Aston Martin. Not the usual suspects in these positions and all quite explosive, which is going to make for an interesting turn 1 and first lap.
SCH-TSU-GAS-STR is bent metal waiting, it just needs a detonator which all four are able to set off. Look who starts with interest.
Beyond that, it’s also worth keeping an eye out for the Dutch Grand Prix
- A couple of alpine boys in Fernando and Esteban from Nowhereland and not shy to flex their muscles;
- Among their neighbors on the wrong side of the street is poor Daniel, the guy is mercilessly skinned by the still-burning Lando, how much worse can the pain get for the Aussie?
- K-Mag and Seb will be watching the grid with binoculars to see their teammates position themselves in the top ten of the grid and plotting to make amends, both can be happy in the event of a crash which should be entertaining from where they begin.
- Keep an eye on Alex and Zhou. Both shone for their teams yesterday. What can they do today?
- And finally, who will plant first? Answer: Throw a dart at this grid ten paces where it lands! In other words, anyone!
Dutch Grand Prix Facts & Stats
- Zandvoort tour
- 15th round of the 22-race championship:
- Lap distance: 4.259 km. Total distance: 306.587 km (72 laps)
- Pole position 2021: Max Verstappen (Netherlands) Red Bull one minute 08.885 seconds.
- 2021 race winner: Verstappen
- Race lap record: Lewis Hamilton (Great Britain) Mercedes 1:11.097, 2021
- Start time: 1300GMT (1500 local time)
- Last year’s race was the first Dutch Grand Prix since 1985.
- Zandvoort opened in 1948 in the coastal sand dunes and is often described as ‘the old school’ – a fast, flowing circuit with high-speed changes of direction and much of the lap spent in the corners.
- It is about half an hour by train from Amsterdam.
- The last two banked corners have a steeper angle than the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The pit lane of 235 meters is the shortest of the season.
- Red Bull have won 10 of 14 races this season and Ferrari the rest. Verstappen won nine, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz three and one respectively, and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez one.
- Verstappen is aiming for his fourth straight win and his 10th of the season.
- Mercedes’ Hamilton has a record of 103 wins and 188 podiums in 302 starts. The seven-time world champion last won a race in Saudi Arabia in December and is now enjoying the longest streak of his career without a win.
- Ferrari has won 242 races since 1950. McLaren has 183 wins, Mercedes 124, Williams 115 and Red Bull 85.
Pole position and fastest lap
- Leclerc has had seven poles this year, Verstappen three, Sainz two, Perez and Russell one each.
- Hamilton has a career-high 103 poles, most recently in Saudi Arabia last year.
- Six drivers have set the fastest laps this season.
- Leclerc won the bonus point in the first three races, Verstappen in Imola, Miami, Austria and Belgium, Perez in Spain and Azerbaijan, Lando Norris of McLaren in Monaco, Carlos Sainz of Ferrari in Canada and France and Hamilton in Great Britain. Britain and Hungary.
2022 Formula 1 Championship Points
- Verstappen leads Perez by 93 points. Red Bull leads Ferrari by 118 points in the constructors’ standings.
- Williams’ Nicholas Latifi is the only racing driver yet to score this season.
- Mercedes are the only team to have scored in every race.
- Belgium was Red Bull’s 150th start in the top tier.
- Verstappen’s victory in Belgium made him only the second driver, after the late Bruce McLaren, to win successive races from 10th or lower on the grid. He started 10th in Hungary and 14th in Belgium.
- Spa was the weakest grid position ever won by Red Bull.
- Hamilton’s first-lap retirement at Spa was only the fifth time it has happened to the seven-time world champion in his F1 career, but the third time on the Belgian circuit.