Reigning FIA Formula One World Champion Max Verstappen secured his 30th Grand Prix victory and 10th win of the 2022 season with a brilliant drive for Oracle Red Bull Racing on home soil in the 2022 Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix, with team-mate Sergio Pérez claiming a fifth place at the Circuit Zandvoort.
Verstappen started his home race from pole position and was totally dominant after making a perfect start and leading the field away on the short run to Zandvoort’s first turn.
Despite a Virtual Safety Car and later Safety Car throwing potential spanners into the works, Verstappen was simply too good for the rest of the field and cruised to victory over Mercedes driver George Russell by 4.071s, much to the delight of the massive Dutch crowd.
With Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc finishing in third place, Verstappen extended his lead in the Drivers’ Standings to an impressive 109 points over both Leclerc and team-mate Sergio Pérez, who both started and finished the race in the fifth position. The pair are now tied on 201 points each after Zandvoort.
Today was quite eventful and not a straightforward race at all. We had to make the right calls, and it all worked out well in the end. Mercedes were very quick on the harder compound, which we didn’t expect, so it made it more difficult for us as we were less compatible with the hards. We managed everything quite well, and we made the right calls on the strategy, so well done to the team here and back at the factory. It’s always special to win your home Grand Prix, but I had to work even harder this year for it. It’s incredible to win again in front of this crowd, we’ve had unbelievable support here, and I’m proud to be Dutch.
Obviously, this was a great day for the team, but it wasn’t the best day at the office for me. I struggled with tyre degradation in the first and second stints, and I never quite got the balance where I wanted it to be. It was a hectic race with incidents in the pit lane, but I was lucky that my front wing wasn’t damaged when I drove over the wheel gun. Despite the difficulty I had, we managed to save some good points. There is a lot to take away from today and plenty to understand from our side so that we can come back strong in Monza.
Christian Horner – Team Principal & CEO
This was a huge race with an incredible amount of anticipation and pressure. It was also a strategically tough race. First, with the virtual safety car and then the full safety car. To pit Max in the lead with 12 laps to go, putting him behind two Mercedes, is a big call, but it was the right one. We would prefer to be on the better tyre. However, what you see here is only 10 per cent of the team; what goes on behind the scenes makes this possible. The team is operating at an extremely high level, and it’s all the support and effort that you don’t see back in Milton Keynes that makes a victory like this possible. All in all, it was a fantastic team performance, and both drivers were in the zone from the moment they arrived at the track. Checo was unfortunately jumped at the restart by Carlos, and I think, in hindsight, we should have overruled his preference for the medium tyre, but he had a strong race. We’re in a great position and happy, although nothing is done until it is done. We operate one race at a time and don’t allow ourselves to think too far ahead. It’s Monza next week. We’re looking forward to it and hopefully can carry this form into that race.