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Max Verstappen gave his home Netherlands fans what they wanted on Sunday in the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort.
The Red Bull Racing leader, who already had a large lead in the 2022 F1 driver standings with 284 points coming into this race, took home the victory with his home fans watching.
“It’s always special to win your home GP. This year I had to work for it even more. An incredible weekend and I’m really happy we got the Dutch GP.”
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Mercedes’ George Russell came in second, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc took the final podium spot in third place, and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton finished fourth.
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Red Bull’s Helmut Marko came into this match saying the Mercedes team was “very strong,” but “the start is essential.”
Verstappen was at the first starting position followed by Leclerc, Carlos Saintz, Hamilton, Sergio Perez and Russell. And while it was a back-and-forth jostle for first place, Verstappen’s strategy with his Red Bull team worked out.
“It was not a straightforward race but we had to push, of course with safety car, virtual safety car, making the right calls,” he said.
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Verstappen keeps his win streak alive, pushing it to four straight races now and his 10th win on the season. Verstappen won last year’s Dutch Grand Prix as well.
There was some drama from the Mercedes camp in this race, though, regarding Hamilton and Russell. Hamilton was leading toward the end of the race, but Russell wanted soft tires on his car in a pit stop. Mercedes allowed that to happen, and Hamilton was audibly ticked off on the team’s radio.
The move left Hamilton exposed in first place and he ended up dropping all the way back to fourth in the end.
“I can’t describe how p—– I am,” he said over his team radio via Sky Sports.
But it seemed that Hamilton cooled down a little bit later.
“To all the mechanics, fantastic job today,” he said. “Those are the best pit stops we’ve had all year, so thank you for the continued efforts. Let’s keep pushing. We’ll still get points today.”
“We like to keep it close, you know, always,” Russell said after the race on the podium regarding his passing of Hamilton toward the end.
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Verstappen’s lead in the F1 standings moves to 109 points, which is an extremely comfortable margin.