Max Verstappen overcame Mercedes’ bold challenge to win his home race
The 24-year old notched up his 30th victory in Formula 1 and 10th this season!
THE DUTCH SENSATION Max Verstappen is on what seems like an unstoppable mission. At Zandvoort, in the Dutch Grand Prix he and Red Bull Racing thwarted an interesting one-stop strategy from the defending champions Mercedes.
Lewis Hamilton and George Russell almost pulled off a 1-2 finish but a Virtual Safety Car period caused by Yuki Tsunoda, ensured the Dutchman could regain his lead undisturbed.
Another opportunity suddenly arose for the speedy Silver Arrows on Lap 56 when Valtteri Bottas parked his Alfa Romeo on the pit straight forcing the Safety Car to be brought out. The field bunched up behind and Verstappen now shod on the hard compounds to Hamilton’s medium looked destined to lose the lead on the restart.
Instead, his team, arguably the best on the pit wall for a few years now called him in immediately for fresh new soft tyres! Mercedes were too slow to react and instead chose to leave Hamilton out in the lead assuming track position was everything.
Russell realised it was a bad call and quickly corrected it by opting for fresh new soft tyres as well, leaving Hamilton fuming on the radio. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz did the same and made up places. Was Verstappen going to win the race regardless of what tyres his rivals were on in the final laps? Such is his grip on the 2022 world championship that each grand prix weekend resembles a demonstration run for the mighty RB18.
The 24-year-old notched up his 30th victory in Formula 1 and 10th this season! Mercedes is still in the hunt for their first win this season. An unbelievable stat!
Scuderia Ferrari who incidentally have had a very competitive racing car in the SF75, probably second only to Red Bull, require a monumental fix when it comes to race strategy and pit stop executions. It cost them wins, and instead of competing with the leaders, they’re steadily falling into the clutches of third-placed Mercedes AMG.
This weekend is the Italian’s home event at Monza, dubbed the ‘temple of speed.’ Nothing short of a 1-2 finish can bring Ferrari back into the championship equation. It’s prayer time for the tifosi!
The writer, an F1 enthusiast covers the 2022 FIA Formula One Championship exclusively for Indulge.
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