Max Verstappen held onto victory in a captivating 2022 Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix amid a strong showing from the Mercedes and late Safety Car drama at Zandvoort, as George Russell and Charles Leclerc completed the podium.
Click here to subscribe to our print edition!
Verstappen seemed to be assured of victory, having taken a second pit stop during a Virtual Safety Car on Lap 48, with Hamilton second and Russell third as both had extended their opening stint on medium tyres (their rivals having started on softs) to pit for hards, on which they were rapid. However, the events after a Lap 55 Safety Car dashed any hopes of victory that Hamilton harboured.
The seven-time champion stayed out on mediums to inherit the lead while Verstappen came in for softs, followed by Russell and Leclerc, for the restart on Lap 61. In that restart, Verstappen swept past the Mercedes for the lead, with Russell and Leclerc following suit to pry Hamilton away from the podium.
Hamilton ended up fourth at the flag as Carlos Sainz and Sergio Perez – the former held back by a calamitous Ferrari pit stop earlier on, before a five-second penalty for an unsafe release in a later stop – battled late on for P5. That allowed Alonso and Norris to close in too, and when the penalty kicked in, Sainz was dropped to eighth, promoting Perez to fifth, Alonso to sixth, and Norris to seventh.
Esteban Ocon finished ninth, just ahead of Lance Stroll – who started and finished 10th for Aston Martin. Pierre Gasly missed out on the points in P11 for AlphaTauri, while Alex Albon finished 12th from 15th on the grid.
Sebastian Vettel started 19th and finished 14th, losing out to Mick Schumacher – who lost out due to a pair of slow pit stops. The four-time champion was given a five-second penalty for ignoring blue flags earlier in the race.
Kevin Magnussen hit the barriers on Lap 2 but continued to finish 15th, behind his Haas teammate. Daniel Ricciardo pitted first out of the pack and couldn’t make up ground, finishing 17th for McLaren behind Zhou Guanyu, who served a five-second penalty for speeding in the pit lane.
Valtteri Bottas was classified 19th for Alfa Romeo, his car stopping on track to bring out the late Safety Car.
Yuki Tsunoda stopped on track on Lap 48 after reporting a driveshaft issue, the AlphaTauri driver having previously reported that his tyres were incorrectly fitted before a lengthy pit stop.
Mario Isola – Motorsport Director, Pirelli:
We saw an exciting and emotional race, ultimately influenced by two variables that can happen at a tricky circuit like Zandvoort: different strategies thanks to the contained degradation of the soft and the strong performance of the hard compound. There was also a virtual safety car and then a safety car, which kept the action unpredictable all the way to the flag, with plenty of overtaking thanks to the latest regulations as well. We saw a sea of orange in the grandstands, and I’d like to add another colour to the Dutch Grand Prix’s panorama: white, the colour of our hard tyre. That hard tyre was one of the show’s stars, thanks to very low degradation and plenty of speed. The track evolution over the course of the weekend ensured that it came into its own on race day, with many teams adapting their strategies to make use of it. All three compounds played an important role over Zandvoort’s rollercoaster lap, with three drivers from three different teams on the podium.
How the race was won:
The phenomenal performance of the P Zero White hard tyre, along with a virtual safety car and the safety car, influenced the outcome of the race. Verstappen started from the pole on the soft tyre in his Red Bull and then switched to the medium tyre, giving Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton – who had started on the medium – an advantage in track position. Once Hamilton switched to the hard, he was able to make his pace count. But during the race neutralisations, Red Bull made exactly the right strategy calls, with all the frontrunners making the same number of tyre changes in the end. At the final re-start, Verstappen found himself on soft tyres behind Hamilton on the medium tyres, and he was able to use the speed of this compound to help make the difference.
The alternative strategy:
Of the 20 drivers on the grid, 16 started on the soft tyre and just four on the medium – including both Mercedes. This set up a brilliant alternative strategy, as it unlocked the door to a one-stopper, thanks to the incredibly low degradation of the hard tyre over a long stint. Mercedes was the first to realise this, which is what put them in a position to challenge for victory from P4 on the grid – but then the safety car periods mixed up the cards.
2022 Formula 1 Dutch GP Race Results
|1.||1||Max Verstappen||Netherlands||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:36:42.773||26||310|
|2.||63||George Russell||Great Britain||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||+4.071s||18||182|
|3.||16||Charles Leclerc||Monaco||Scuderia Ferrari||+10.929s||15||201|
|4.||44||Lewis Hamilton||Great Britain||Mercedes-AMG Petronas||+13.016s||12||158|
|5.||11||Sergio Perez||Mexico||Red Bull Racing Honda||+18.168s||10||201|
|6.||14||Fernando Alonso||Spain||Alpine F1 Team||+18.754s||8||59|
|7.||4||Lando Norris||Great Britain||Mclaren Racing||+19.306s||6||82|
|8.||55||Carlos Sainz||Spain||Scuderia Ferrari||+20.916s||4||175|
|9.||31||Esteban Ocon||France||Alpine F1 Team||+21.117s||2||66|
|10.||18||Lance Stroll||Canada||Aston Martin F1 Team||+22.459s||1||11|
|11.||10||Pierre Gasly||France||Scuderia AlphaTauri||+27.009s||0||18|
|12.||23||Alexander Albon||Thailand||Williams Racing||+30.390s||0||4|
|13.||47||Mick Schumacher||Germany||Haas F1 Team||+32.995s||0||12|
|14.||5||Sebastian Vettel||Germany||Aston Martin F1 Team||+36.007s||0||20|
|15.||20||Kevin Magnussen||Denmark||Haas F1 Team||+36.869s||0||22|
|16.||24||Zhou Guanyu||China||Alfa Romeo F1 Team||+37.320s||0||5|
|17.||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Australia||McLaren Racing||+37.764s||0||19|
|18.||6||Nicholas Latifi||Canada||Williams Racing||+1 lap||0||0|
|19.||77||Valtteri Bottas||Finland||Alfa Romeo F1 Team||DNF||0||46|
|20.||22||Yuki Tsunoda||Japan||Scuderia AlphaTauri||DNF||0||11|
2022 Constructor Standings
|1.||Red Bull Racing||759|
|3.||Mercedes-AMG F1 Team||515|
|4.||Alpine F1 Team||173|
|6.||Alfa Romeo Racing||55|
|7.||Aston Martin F1 Team||55|
|8.||Haas F1 Team||37|