Formula 1 is back from summer break and this weekend, the drivers raced in Zandvoort, the home of Red Bull driver Max Verstappen.
With over 100,000 fans cheering on the Dutchman in his home country, Verstappen clinched the win at the Dutch Grand Prix.
Verstappen took his 9th consecutive win, breaking the record for most consecutive wins in Formula 1 world champion history, equaling Sebastian Vettel’s victory record. This also is the third Dutch Grand Prix victory in a row for him. Verstappen takes one step closer to taking another world title.
Fernando Alonso, the Spanish driver for team Aston Martin, took second place at today’s race scoring big points for his team and adding more points to his third-place position in the drivers league. Alonso claimed DHL fastest lap of the race with his 1:13.837 finish.
Newly returning driver Daniel Riccardo broke a metacarpal on Friday’s practice session, when he crashed his Alpha Tauri into the side of the barrier, resulting in his ineligibility for the rest of this race weekend in the Netherlands. Riccardo got out of surgery earlier on Aug. 27 but is still ruled out indefinitely because of his broken wrist.
Formula 2 driver Liam Lawson has stepped in as the replacement driver for Riccardo and team Alpha Tauri and managed a 13th-place finish in the race. As it looks now, Lawson will be driving again next weekend at the Italian Grand Prix at Monza.
Logan Sargeant made third qualifying for the first time in his career, the first time an American driver has made it to the top 10 since 1993. Also, it is the first time both Williams cars have made it to the third round of qualifying since Monza 2017.
Verstappen and Lando Norris duked it out for pole position in Saturday’s qualifying race. With the fastest lap time in Q3, Verstappen started pole position for today’s race, with Norris starting second.
Lewis Hamilton had a disappointing qualifying Saturday when he did not make it past Q2, leaving him to start P13 on the grid for today’s race.
Not the weekend team Mercedes expected, with Hamilton’s teammate George Russell placing 17th. Hamilton placed sixth, solidifying the only points for his team this weekend.
The Heineken Dutch Grand Prix circuit consisted of 72 laps total, with 14 turns, an elevation of 8.65 meters, and a total distance of 2.647 miles. Hamilton set the race lap record on this circuit in 2021 at 1:11.097.
All the drivers started today’s race with soft tires for the predicted rain. Except Lewis Hamilton, with Mercede’s strategy, started on medium tires. Turn 3 of Lap 1, heavy rainfall triggered the domino of unpredictable weather, amplifying the amount of strategic planning that teams had to put into tire changes. In the race’s later stages, unpredictable weather intensified, forcing drivers to switch from slicks to intermediate tires.
Sergio Perez crossed the finish line P3 but was hit with a 5-second penalty for speeding into the pit lane, resulting in a demotion to fourth place, gifting Pierre Gasly a podium finish for team Alpine. The French driver Gasly started the race in 12th and ended up taking third.
Zhou Guanyu, the Chinese racer for team Alfa Romeo, did not finish the race after losing control of his car on the wet pavement at turn 1, sliding head-first into the barrier.
There is still speculation as to where Zhou will end up next racing season, but with his high start and top positions in the early stages of the race, and there is good reason to believe he will find a way to stay in Formula 1 for the 2024 season.
A safety car was admitted during lap 16 of today’s race because Williams driver Sargeant spun out of turn 8 and crashed his car’s front wing into the barrier, forcing the car and Sargeant to retire for the remainder of the race. A red flag was waved, and a safety car was deployed shortly after.
Lap 21, the safety car went in, and the drivers were given the green flag. The race picked back up with Verstappen, Perez, and Alonso leading the rest of the race, coincidentally the same order of the driver’s current season standings.
A pit lane incident that involved Haas driver Kevin Magnussen and Alfa Tauri replacement driver Lawson resulted in a 10-second penalty for Lawson on his racing debut for impending in the pit lane.
Charles Leclerc, driver for Ferrari, had a hiccup in the pit lane earlier in the race. Leclerc pitted to change to intermediate tires, but because of miscommunication between the pit and Leclerc, the French driver pulled up to the tires not ready, resulting in a prolonged pit stop and him losing places on the grid.
Leclerc’s situation increased when later in the race, on lap 41, he was told to retire the car because of front wing damage that stemmed from running over gravel on a wide turn.
After welcoming back the teams and their drivers from their summer break, Formula 1 heads to Monza, Italy, home of Ferrari, for the Italian Grand Prix. They are taking place on the Autodromo Nazionale Monza track.