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F1: Verstappen also triumphs at home, Leclerc podium ARRIVAL AND RANKINGS – F1

A new triumph, yet another, moreover at home, which confirms if there was still a need for the Formula 1 2022 World Championship already has its name. Faced with the orange tide of Zandvoort, Max Verstappen is the strongest of all and everything: he starts from pole position leading a race almost always in command between virtual and safety car always behind the curve. A week from the Italian GP in Monza, the flying Dutchman thus brings the advantage over Charles Leclerc to 109 points, who closes a race below expectations on the third step of the podium behind a beautiful Mercedes, that of George Russell. Fourth Lewis Hamilton protagonist of a sparkling test but a bit unlucky in the decisive phases. Carlos Sainz’s Red car was only eighth at the end, paying two fatal mistakes in the pits, first the delay of the mechanics in replacing the tires, then an ‘unsafe release’ which cost the Spaniard a five-second penalty. In the top 5 was Sergio Perez, with the second Red Bull, ahead of Fernando Alonso, always positive driving the Alpine, and Lando Norris with McLaren.

For Verstappen this is his thirtieth career victory (the fourth in a row, the tenth this year and the second in the Dutch GP): a third of his career victories were obtained in 2022 and a third last year. He now has 310 points in the standings, with a huge margin over Leclerc and Perez (side by side with 201), when there are seven races to go until the end of the season. Today’s triumph of their idol, after yesterday’s pole, sent the tide of orange spectators into a frenzy, the vast majority of the over one hundred thousand present on the track overlooking the North Sea. “It was not a linear race, I had to push all the time – said Verstappen, who was also in the lead from start to finish -. I had to push for the entire race. There were safety and virtual safety cars, but we made the decisions. In these cases there is always a question mark, but it went very well. Once we reassembled the soft we found a great step. We talked a lot about a possible restart: with the banking in curve 1 there is a very strong descent and so we were able to get back to the front and winning the home race is special.

It had already been last year. This year I had to sweat more but it was an incredible weekend, I’m really happy to have won the Dutch GP and to be Dutch. “Leclerc is satisfied with third position, who after a difficult race limited the damage in final part of the GP thanks to the safety car called for the withdrawal of Valtteri Bottas’ Alfa Romeo. The Monegasque was quick to put on the red tires and to recover up to third position passing Hamilton’s Mercedes with momentum. “Honestly I think it would have been difficult to do better – explained Leclerc -. We had bad luck with the virtual safety car but I don’t know if it would have changed anything. Max was too fast and the Mercedes flew on hard tires, while we struggled to find the feeling. Overall we have to accept this third place. The fight for the title? Now the gap is very large. Let’s take one race at a time and see what will be possible “, concluded the Ferrari driver. Now everyone in Monza, where the Reds are called to overtime even on a track that Red Bulls like best.