Dutch Grand Prix: Max Verstappen claims seventh win of the 2021 season by taking lead from Lewis Hamilton

Max Verstappen and his ‘Oranje Army’ of fans dominated Zandvoort as Mercedes had no answer. Will the black arrows fly at Monza?

author_img Ajit Devadason Published :  10th September 2021 01:19 PM   |   Published :   |  10th September 2021 01:19 PM
Max Verstappen

Max Verstappen

It was one hell of a weekend for the 70,000 Dutch supporters as DJ Tiesto kept the party-mode on in a special Heineken-sponsored mobile gig truck. And if he occasionally turned down the mix, it was to welcome local hero Max Verstappen to his beloved fans.

On Saturday, Verstappen held off Lewis Hamilton by a ridiculously small .038 seconds and grabbed pole for the Dutch Grand Prix. Valtteri Bottas was third fastest a further three-tenths behind.

On Sunday, the 23-year-old Dutchman claimed his seventh win of the 2021 season by leading from lights-to-flag unchallenged and unfazed by the hot pursuit from Hamilton. Hamilton’s Mercedes pit wall came under scrutiny by fans and pundits alike for not offering a more challenging strategy to Red Bull Honda as their lead driver seemed to have the pace to win or have a thrilling go until the checkered flag.

But instead, all the spectacularly banked sectors of this classic circuit only provided a processional grand prix where only the Top 3 were on the same lap! The last time that happened was Spain 2020.

Also read: Max Verstappen wins the French Grand Prix after a close battle with Lewis Hamilton

Although he was a lap down, Pierre Gasly was sensational for Alpha Tauri as he held on to P4 from the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc. The feisty Fernando Alonso mugged the other Ferrari of Carlos Sainz on the last lap to claim a remarkable P6 for Alpine as Sergio Perez came home in P8 after starting the race in the pit lane.

Esteban Ocon and Lando Norris rounded off the top 10 point-scoring finishers. Earlier in the weekend, Kimi Raikkonen announced his retirement from the sport and also tested positive for COVID-19 and gave up his seat to reserve driver Robert Kubica for the race.

The momentum and the weekend belonged to the ever-amazing, super performing Max Verstappen. He has shown incredible maturity in handling all kinds of situations thrown at him this season, from unforced crashes, DNFs and penalties. Backed by a super-efficient team, his cool head sees him lead the championship into Monza this weekend by three points. It is exciting to see what Mercedes can do at a track that may suit them better than Zandvoort.

But in order to stop the Bulls, the champions have to up their game on strategy and aim for an error free weekend in Italy.

(The writer, an F1 enthusiast covers the 2021 FIA Formula One Championship exclusively for Indulge.)

Round 14 | ITALY | Sunday, September 10

6.30 pm | LIVE on Disney+ Hotstar