Formula 1 | F1 | Motorsport | Dutch Grand Prix | Max Verstappen

The Dutch Grand Prix saw a hell of a race on Sunday, filled with wheel-to-wheel action and wild moments from a number of drivers. Cars running on wheel guns, tires that aren’t mounted properly and rude rants are just a few of the moments you might have missed if you hadn’t been able to tune in on a Sunday afternoon. , so buckle up and catch up on everything that happened. Zandvoort.

Mercedes is back, maybe?

Not that Lewis Hamilton wants to hear that, but Mercedes had a great chance of winning the Dutch Grand Prix this weekend. George Russell settled for second behind eventual winner Max Verstappen but Valtteri Bottas’ stoppage prompted the Dutchman to opt for soft tires with the rest of the field, but Mercedes gambled on Hamilton’s mediums to see him pass as he sat in the first place.

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Verstappen’s soft tires immediately went to work, and he took advantage of Hamilton restarting the action much earlier than usual as he picked up high speed alongside his rival before easily passing him. and win. The former champion was furious with his team, saying they had “f***ed him” and that he was “p*ssed” by their choice of strategy which left him vulnerable. He was eventually passed by teammate Russell and Charles Leclerc and finished fourth.

It was a disappointing day for Hamilton, but second and fourth for Mercedes is great progress from a few months ago, and competing with Verstappen is once again where the winningest racing driver ever belongs. history, so it’s great to see a competitive Mercedes on the grid.

Ferrari is collapsing once again

2016 Drivers’ Champion Nico Rosberg summed up Ferrari best this weekend when he said: “Even Formula 2 or F3 teams do a better job of strategy and pit stops than Ferrari. .”

This weekend saw many problems and they mainly concerned Carlos Sainz. First, his first pit stop lasted over 12 seconds as the mechanics were unaware of the Spaniard’s pit stop and therefore did not have the tires ready for him. Not only that, but Red Bull’s Sergio Perez ended up running over one of Ferrari’s wheel guns which was thrown to the ground during the event. Perez was exonerated thanks to Zandvoort’s pit lane being much shorter than at other circuits.

There was also drama with Sainz’s final pitstop of the race. After a more routine stop, Ferrari held off Sainz to allow former team-mate Lando Norris into their pit area, but released him directly into Fernando Alonso’s path. Sainz thought he had enough time and space to get out of his box easily, but a McLaren mechanic got out of his position, forcing him to brake and so ended up forcing Alonso into evasive maneuvers, resulting in a penalty of five seconds which made him lose three places. .

Another calamitous weekend for Ferrari. Will they improve in time for their home race next weekend?

Gasly to Alpine, Herta to AlphaTauri?

In terms of driver news, it seems likely that Alpine will have their new driver in place for next season in AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly. The Frenchman has been impressive since being relegated to sister team Red Bull when he was allowed a few races under the flagship team following the departure of Daniel Ricciardo in 2018.

AlphaTauri is probing for two replacements, with the main target being IndyCar star Colton Herta, who signed a deal with McLaren earlier this season as a “development driver” and is said to have impressed the team in testing. Red Bull adviser Helmut Marko has confirmed a deal is in place with the 22-year-old, but they have to wait and see if the FIA ​​will grant him a super licence.

He currently only has 32 points when he needs 40 to qualify for the licence, but this can be overridden in cases of force majeure or if they feel circumstances beyond their control have prevented a driver from driving. get the required amount.

The governing body has said it won’t make exceptions for anyone, but Red Bull is hoping to push that through. If they can’t, it’s unlikely Gasly will still be allowed to leave the team.

F2 star Felipe Drugovich is a secondary target for AlphaTauri, with the current F2 table leader seen as the team’s reserve driver for next season thanks to incredible performances so far this year .

Case McLaren Win Piastri CRB

Oscar Piastri will officially race for McLaren next season, after the team won the case against Alpine over the valid contract for the Australian. The contract recognition commission met on Friday to close the case and issue a statement: “The only contract to be recognized by the commission is the contract between McLaren Racing Limited and Mr Piastri dated 4 July 2022.”

Piastri replaces fellow Australian Daniel Ricciardo for the 2023 season and beyond at McLaren, with the team paying off their driver’s contract early. Rumors of where Ricciardo will end up next are still swirling, with teams looking to get their business done sooner. Haas remains an option, while Alpine, which was the biggest rumor so far, is close to finalizing a deal for Gasly.

Verstappen dominates again

It was another maximum points weekend for Max Verstappen. A first-place finish and a bonus point for fastest lap put him 109 points clear of second-placed Charles Leclerc and it looks like the title chase could be over by the end of Monza next weekend.

The Dutchman’s change to soft tires at the end of the safety car period gave him the opportunity to pass Lewis Hamilton and give himself a break in the closing laps. It was an impressive win even though he hadn’t led the race the whole time, which hadn’t happened to him for a few weeks now.

The home crowd were thrilled when their defending champion put on a show for them and took his tenth win of the season. Red Bull are also now 136 points ahead of Ferrari in the constructors’ standings, with a return by any other team looking highly unlikely at this stage.

*18+ | BeGambleAware | Odds are subject to change

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