Max Verstappen, Red Bull and Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Circuit Zandvoort, 2022

Verstappen passes Hamilton in late restart to win Dutch Grand Prix

2022 Dutch Grand Prix summary

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Max Verstappen overtook Lewis Hamilton during a late Safety Car restart to retake the lead and win his home grand prix at Zandvoort.

The championship leader led the majority of the race but pitted under a late Safety Car, handing the lead to Hamilton until his passed him at the restart. George Russell finished second, with Charles Leclerc taking third for Ferrari.

When the lights went out, Verstappen successfully retained the lead from Leclerc, while Carlos Sainz Jnr held onto third after a close encounter with Lewis Hamilton on the exit of the first turn. Behind, Russell fell behind Lando Norris into seventh while Lance Stroll jumped from tenth to eighth.

On the second lap, Alexander Albon and Kevin Magnussen battled out of the first corner for 15th place, with the Haas driver running off track at turn two and brushing the barrier. Despite dropping to the rear of the field, Magnussen was able to continue.

Leclerc kept in touch of the leader in the opening laps, pulling within DRS range of the Red Bull on lap six. However, Verstappen responded and pulled the gap back to over 1.5 seconds. Sainz in third dropped back from his team mate and was under pressure from Hamilton on medium tyres, but managed to keep the Mercedes from getting a serious run on him.

Sainz pitted with Sergio Perez following not far behind. However, Ferrari failed to have Sainz’s left-rear tyre rear, costing Sainz vital seconds, while Perez emerged from his pit box and ran over the wheel gun, although Ferrari were able to fit Sainz with a new tyre and send him back out having dropped multiple places.

George Russell, Mercedes and Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Circuit Zandvoort, 2022
Gallery: 2022 Dutch Grand Prix in pictures
Leclerc pitted for mediums at the end of lap 17, rejoining in fourth, while Verstappen pitted two laps later, rejoining with a five second advantage ahead of Leclerc in third. Hamilton was now leading on his medium tyres, ahead of team mate Russell, with the two Mercedes the only cars yet to have made their first stop.

Verstappen caught up to the back of Russell and only required one trip through the DRS zone on the pit straight to pass the Mercedes around the outside into turn one and move up into second place. The Red Bull driver inherited his lead back at the end of lap 29 when Hamilton pitted for hard tyres, dropping him back in front of Sainz in fifth, before Russell followed suit two laps later, bringing Leclerc back up to second place.

Hamilton pushed immediately on his hard tyres, catching up to third-placed Perez. As they began lap 36, Hamilton tried to make a move around the outside of turn one but Perez held firm, closing the door on the exit. The next lap, Hamilton managed to get ahead of the Red Bull, but found himself heavily held up by the Aston Martin of Sebastian Vettel leaving the pit lane, who only yielded under blue flags at turn seven. Vettel was later investigated for ignoring blue flags and given a five-second time penalty.

Red Bull chose to pit Perez for hards on lap 41, dropping him to seventh, before Yuki Tsunoda suddenly pulled off the circuit. Ferrari pitted both drivers for hard tyres, dropping Leclerc to fourth behind the Mercedes. Tsunoda pulled back onto the circuit and but was soon told to stop on track a second time, prompting a Virtual Safety Car. Mercedes took advantage to pit both Hamilton and Russell for mediums, rejoining still ahead of Leclerc.

The race resumed when the VSC was lifted on lap 50, Hamilton left with a 12.5-second gap to Verstappen to overcome in the final 23 laps. However, Valtteri Bottas suddenly stopped on-track approaching turn one, which led to the Safety Car being deployed.

Red Bull pitted Verstappen for soft tyres, which meant he fell behind the two Mercedes into third. As the field lapped behind the Safety Car, the FIA directed cars to drive through the pit lane. As they did, Russell pitted for soft tyres, which dropped him behind Verstappen into third but put him on identical tyres to the Red Bull, while Hamilton remained on used mediums.

When the race resumed at the start of lap 61, Verstappen immediately slipstreamed past the Mercedes along the pit straight and retook the lead before turn one. A handful of laps later, Russell drafted his way by his team mate to take second place, with Hamilton dropping another position to Leclerc in similar fashion a few laps later.

Verstappen pulled gradually away from the pursuing Russell and ticked off the remaining laps to take the chequered flag and secure his fourth consecutive victory. Russell claimed second, five seconds behind, with Leclerc crossing the line to complete the podium in third.

Hamilton was deeply unhappy in fourth, with Perez finishing in fifth. Fernando Alonso took sixth ahead of Lando Norris in seventh, with Sainz provisionally classified eighth after a five second time penalty for an unsafe release was applied, but a further penalty likely for overtaking under yellow flags. Esteban Ocon and Lance Stroll took the final points in ninth and tenth, respectively.

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2022 Dutch Grand Prix reaction

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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164 comments on “Verstappen passes Hamilton in late restart to win Dutch Grand Prix”

  1. “Red Bull owned team, with Red Bull contracted driver, creates VSC to hand Red Bull and Max Verstappen the win”

    That’s what the title should be. One car, suddenly having 1. lose tyres, 2. lose seatbelts and 3. lose differential all over the course of one lap when Max needed it. It stinks.

    1. Yeah because with a lead that big in the championship, obviously you want to take the risk that you get punished heavily for wrongdoing of this kind.

      Get real.

      1. Who is to proof this? On Max’s home race, with 300,000 spectators this weekend, they had all the reason to win at all costs.

        1. No they don’t.

          And the one that poses silly conspiracies is the one that needs to prove it. Let’s hear it.

          1. I outlined all above. It stinks.

          2. Your outlines are not proof. Try again.

          3. It was suspicious, but they would be DQ’ed from the entire driver’s and constructor’s championship if they were caught. That means hundreds of millions in lost revenue and marketing value.

        2. So, they must have discussed this on beforehand as race control gets all radio conversations. And I don’t think Marko, Tost, or whoever would order Tsunoda to create a dummy situation on the radio.

      2. He would’ve won anyway. It didn’tmatter much

        1. Yeah, Max had the pace to win anyway. The other 5 drivers from the top 3 teams were pretty much grouped together.

    2. Hahaha, mate.

      Ignoring the fact that Verstappen on twenty-five lap younger hards would easily have caught Hamilton, your theories are just hilarious.

      1. Caughting a car does not equal overtaking one. And George was there too.

        1. With the pace difference between those cars, it wouldn’t have taken very long though @spafrancorchamps

        2. Would be catching, normally don’t correct stuff like this but hurts to read.

    3. You’re forgetting that the VSC handed Hamilton the best seat in the house with Red Bull going for hards and Mercedes going for mediums.
      It was Bottas’ engine causing them to get another go and nail it.

      But I’m guessing Bottas is somehow in on it too in your mind. Since you’re clearly a believer of fairy tales…

      1. Yeah, like with fresh mediums vs hards and a 13 sec deficit to the Red Bull, Mercedes had any advantage. Sure.

        1. Hards they couldn’t get temperature in and Hamilton gaining a second per lap on a constant basis.

          Yeah, sure. But there’s nol point in arguing with you lot, you believe in UFO’s, that the earth is flat and the spaghetti monster…

          1. Don’t patronise me just because you don’t agree with me. No reason to get personally with me, as I didn’t get personal with you either.

            Good day to you.

      2. I think you are right. What really threw a wrench on everybody’s plan was the Bottas related full SC.
        The VSC just took a few seconds from a normal pit stop.

    4. Yeah, why not risk a damn near sure championship by risking points for one driver on a different team, and risk massive penalties and even DQ feo doing something so egregious.

      What you suggested was absurd, even for your kind of fan. We’re all a bit dumbed down for having read that

    5. Got to say, not the first time the b-team coincidentally helps the big team however this time around the circumstances were bizarre.

    6. @spafrancorchamps Bet you weren’t complaining when ridicilously timed safety car gave victory to Hamilton at 2020 Imola.

      These things happen. No team will retire just for the benefit of other team.

      1. @huhhii
        Imola last year too. He beached his car and then broke his wing trying to get out of the gravel, yet a timely SC saved him and he got 2nd. 18pts when he was on for none through human error.

        1. Hamilton would’ve scored points at imola 2021 even without SC, 1-4, something like that, such was his pace.

      2. I complained then and I complain now, I don’t like SC and the likes spoiling the rare chance for a team to win, like red bull in 2020 or merc now.

    7. This is dumb.
      RB has the best team strategy, car, driver, 2nd driver. Cat in the bag. They really read up on Ferrari history in the Todt, Brawn, Schumacher era. Good for them.

    8. @spafrancorchamps yeah great and fully argumented comment ;). I’m glad it is just your OPINION, so let’s go on with the facts…. You must had a busy year last year with such conspiracy mindset

    9. And I thought the flat earthers and Corona deniers were a weird bunch.

  2. Really not sure of how to feel about the Tsunoda situation and if it was really necessary to stop the car on track (instead of bringing him slowly again in pits) and deploy the VSC(which altered the race strategies by a significant margin)…

    Sadly, Zandvoort ain’t a great fit for current generation of cars,and the 2 races have been pretty underwhelming.

    The atmosphere (bar the flare messup of yesterday) looks great (grandstands look like a football stadium) but i don’t think this is enough to justify it’s place on the calendar…

    1. I think we need tracks where it’s fairly hard to overtake, like this or hungary.

  3. I think this race was a farce. Once again safety and virtual safety cars used strategically to benefit 1 driver. Poor strategy from Mercedes in the end for Lewis. Very suspicious that an alpha tauri had 2 issues that benefitted redbul and max.

  4. An investigation is needed as to why AT saw fit to let a car that’s obviously got an issue return to the race track. This is giving me Singapore 2008 vibes.

    1. Yeah, because Bottas is sure to be on the payroll of Red Bull.

      Why is it you Mercedes-‘fans’ are so keen on blaming everything and everyone but the team they’re cheering for?

      1. The bottas situation helped merc not redbull. Before that the race was over lewis being 13 seconds behind max.

      2. Because they take their cues from H and Toto

  5. Feel bad for Lewis but George made his own luck with his awareness.
    Lewis was lucky he didn’t take Sainz out on lap1 again too. If he had clipped his rear right wheel he would have been in the gravel, or worse.

  6. So, the question we are all asking ourselves. Was that Crashgate 2.0? I am, of course, talking about the Tsunoda incident, rather than the Bottas one, which only looked dodgy because of what happened before it and I don’t think anyone would have batted an eyelid if it had been the only safety car-causing incident. Some of it doesn’t look like it could have been a deliberate attempt to fix the race, but it was all so weird that it has to be taken into consideration.

    So then, Yuki Tsunoda pits, and then comes out and reports that the tyres are not on properly and stops. The team tell him that is not the case and he is able to drive round to the pits, but two laps down and there is no point continuing. Obviously this has never happened before (that I can remember), but it is an understandable situation. There must be something wrong with the car.

    Then Yuki gets back to the pits and the team fix a set of soft tyres. Any argument that the tyres weren’t on properly is gone. They fiddle around with the seatbelt for some time, and obviously the seat belt couldn’t possibly be the problem (even if they were trying to avoid an unsafe release fine it wouldn’t fool anybody). But it could be a perfect moment to give Tsunoda some instructions. He then comes out, extremely slowly as if he still feels there is a problem, but for some reason has to stop again immediately, when he was able to make it back to the pits fine before.

    None of it makes any sense. I don’t want to label it Crashgate 2.0 (but worse because it was from a different team) because that would be a little premature with the limited evidence, but certainly think it needs to be investigated. One thing is certain though, pitting under VSC absolutely needs to be banned, as was abundantly clear after Australia 2018, because that would mean it really does ‘neutralise the race’ and with refuelling no longer a thing to mean a stop has to happen on an exact lap, there really are no downsides in banning VSC pitstops. The same is not true of the real safety car, where the closing up means that having to stay out on old tyres is much more of a penalty than getting to pit under the safety car.

    1. the question we are all asking ourselves

      Not ‘we’, just people wearing tin-foil hats who believe the earth is flat.

      Everything that isn’t 100% in favor of Mercedes must surely be a plot

      1. Why are you obsessed with Mercedes and their fans? Can’t you talk about your flat earth things without bringing them up?

      2. “Not ‘we’, just people wearing tin-foil hats” … so true
        but I expected this line of comments (not “thinking’)

      3. F1frog is as neutral as it gets, and if anything I’ve been anti-mercedes in the past, so us claiming conspiracy theory has nothing to do with rooting for a team, and for the record, I believe tsunoda was ordered to stop to help verstappen, then mercedes ordered their ex-driver bottas to stop to recover the situation. At least it makes sense when you consider those drivers’ alliances. At the very least, alfa tauri drivers have been helping red bull drivers for ages, letting them past easily at monaco etc.

    2. They fiddle around with the seatbelt for some time, and obviously the seat belt couldn’t possibly be the problem (even if they were trying to avoid an unsafe release fine it wouldn’t fool anybody).

      Tsunoda probably loosened his belts because he was preparing to jump out, but instead went back to the pits when he learned there was no problem (or perhaps more in line his subsequent retirement: that they initially misinterpreted the problem).

      1. This is a possible explanation and might be entirely correct. But it is still a bit strange. Why send the car back out at all when you are so far behind and there is obviously a problem because Tsunoda has stopped his car?

        1. Because one SC or other shenanigans and you can be back into the race.

          1. Not when you are two laps down.

          2. You get to uncap yourself, so two of those and you are back in it. Where as when you retire you are 100% not.

        2. We will hear soon enough what happened. Only fools jump in with their silly theories without any facts.

          1. I am not saying it was a race fix, just that it might have been and is worth investigating. And saying it definitely wasn’t deliberate is just as much of a theory without fact than saying it definitely was.

          2. @f1frog
            That’s true. 99% of the time there is always a logical explanation though.

        3. At least it shows they don’t have trust in Tsunoda’s assessment of the car not being fine. Which could be true, I’ve seen drivers giving up before the car was toast.

    3. I think that it was more clumsy than naughty, but it should’ve never happened the way it did and I highly that if the positions of Verstappen and the Mercedes were reversed, Tsunoda would have been asked to park on track…
      I agree that VSC needs to be adjusted. Either ban pitting under it completely or apply VSC speed limit only in the area where the danger is. That way the pit lane loss would be the same as pitting under green.

      1. *highly doubt

    4. I have cooled off on the idea of this being a conspiracy considering it would have been far easier and not at all suspicious to just allow Tsunoda to stop when he thought the tyres weren’t on properly. But it is still worth investigating as what happened after was strange and doesn’t add up.

    5. @f1frog IMO 100% the Tsunoda incident was fixed and will be swept under the carpet like Abu Dhabi 2021. The events are too surreal and convenient like Singapore 2008 to be an organic event.

      If you want to see an organic wheel failure Watch the earlier F2 feature race and Marino Sato ( coincidence that the driver was also Japanese..) DNF due to the front left not being fitted properly during the pits stop from a low battery on the rubbish battery powered impact drivers used in F2 . This cannot happen in F1 during Yuki’s pitstop due to the super high torque airguns used and different tethering system so something was deliberately not fitted right as Yuki stopped on the same lap after exiting the pits.

      The BIGGEST red flag was that it looked like the team was determined to get Tsunoda back on track to ‘retire’ when he boxed again, if there was a REAL concern or ANY doubt why did AT not retire him on the spot? Was the goal all along to get Yuki to retire on track to cause a yellow to benefit sister team RB?

      Even Ted Kravitz at skysports said the situation was odd and speculated the ‘belt check’ pitstop was cover for the loose tyre..

      My point is that I am convinced that Yuki’s car was deliberately sabotaged in attempt to cause a crash or retire on track to force a VSC or SC giving max in the sister team a ‘free’ pitstop.
      I guess is that the wheel did not fully separate like Sato’s in F2 and when Yuki drove back to the pits which caught the team out so they sent him out again and forced him to stop the car on track.

      Why? either someone in RB had 7 figures on a max win or Lewis couldn’t win at all cost in Max’s back yard due to security concerns and the pr disaster with thousands of orange army fans booing and abusing Lewis.

      Serious Singapore 2008 and 2021 Abu Dhabi vibes with this one

      1. The BIGGEST red flag was that it looked like the team was determined to get Tsunoda back on track to ‘retire’ when he boxed again, if there was a REAL concern or ANY doubt why did AT not retire him on the spot? Was the goal all along to get Yuki to retire on track to cause a yellow to benefit sister team RB?

        But if you argue that way, why (if, as you assume, their end goal was a VSC or SC) did they bother to get him going again after he stopped on track the first time?

        Why? either someone in RB had 7 figures on a max win or Lewis couldn’t win at all cost in Max’s back yard due to security concerns and the pr disaster with thousands of orange army fans booing and abusing Lewis.

        This is a lot of if. I’m sure anyone within the team can make a lot more money by winning the championship rather than putting it all on the line for a win at home (which Max already had from last year).
        I’m also curious where you get the Hamilton-security concerns idea from, I haven’t heard any reports that Lewis was boo’d this year, let alone that he needed extra security at or off the track. If you have any links that tell otherwise: let me know.

        Of course you can be suspicious and it sure deserves investigating, but stating this happened the way you do deserves more than the assumptions made out of thin air you present to support your ‘case’.

        1. Would also be silly to bet on a win on a driver when you can get reliability issues, especially if like he said we’re talking 1 mil + bets.

      2. I think if you watch the Bottas incident again, the SC was called out AFTER Max pitted. This allows Max to eliminate the delta between himself and Hamilton. Once Bottas stopped, especially there, the SC should have been called MUCH earlier. I think that would have changed Hamilton’s strategy to pit for softs. That’s the conspiracy.

    6. The dodgy thing about the Bottas incident was how long it took them to throw the SC.

      1. Yes, very suspicious they’re trying to favour the home driver.

  7. Another race ruined by SC’s.

  8. It’s a real shame that you (the people of this website) have fostered this culture of treating every race as Abu Dhabi 2021. You’re guilty of charging the atmosphere here, and it shows. The first five comments are all conspiracy nutters. What this website has become.

    1. The conspiratorial thinking is indeed rather silly. However, on a more general note, Alpha Tauri shouldn’t be a thing. If Red Bull wants to train its juniors, let them run an F2 team. That’s what F2 is there for. F1 teams shouldn’t own other F1 teams.

    2. @hahostolze Sure because Singapore 2008 was a figment of everyone’s imagination, not an actual ‘conspiracy.’ Abu Dhabi was something else, wrong (incorrect) decisions by the race director that decided a championship.

      1. @david-br you were one of the sensible ones, once. Pitiful.

        1. @hahostolze Sensible is sometimes presuming the worst, Singapore 2008 was one such case. Abu Dhabi? The worst case scenario was presuming Masi was biased towards one team and driver, which didn’t seem to me the case, more that he was pressurized to make bad (wrong) decisions by various factors. Alpha Tauri’s decisions – against the driver’s own wishes and safety concerns – were bizarre. Irrespective of suspected RBR involvement or not, they should be forced to explain what was going on in some detail.

        2. Because one doesn’t agree with you he’s no longer sensible, got it.

    3. It’s a UK site with mostly Mercedes fans over here.

      1. Jin , Mercedes F1 = Daimler/Toto Wolff = German/Austrian and yes most F1 news media and teams are UK based but that does not mean they are pro British driver propaganda outlets, this is the most ridiculous dog whistling conspiracy that people spread online that the ‘woke’ UK is 100% behind Lewis and conspire to crush non British drivers to push a 4d chess globalist agenda.
        Redbull F1 hq in Milton Keynes is 20 miles away from Mercedes F1 Hq so that mean RB are in on the conspiracy too and pro Lewis?!
        I am surprised that a silverstone 2021 comment hasn’t popped up either yet to complete the ‘evil’ Lewis bingo card..

        users like you would call people crazy for questioning the (later)proven fixed 2008 Singapore GP so don’t gaslight people into thinking the F1 is a pure sport without any cheating or attempts to fix the results.

        Yuki’s bizarre DNF at least deserves close scrutiny because the events do mirror the 2008 race in Singapore..

        1. No reason to bring up silverstone 2021 when hamilton is already the victim in this case, I bring silverstone up when people bring up abu dhabi 2021 as if somehow verstappen was gifted that title, whereas he fully earned it by throwing away less points than hamilton.

        2. Agree that we must keep a watchful eye on these conspiracies.

    4. Then leave. Bye.

      1. It is entirely valid to comment on unwanted behaviour and situations.

      2. Yep, stay in your bubble, cuze the rest must be absolutely crazy. Watching F1 with your logic I can imagine for at least 10 conspiracy theories about the MB team o a certain driver.

  9. Mercedes should ask FIA to look into AT’s & Tsunoda’s actions just to be sure about any possible deliberate intent of helping a senior team driver.

  10. I’m not a conspiracy theorist but the Alpha Tauri situation was very strange. The team seemed determined to get Tsunoda back on track, despite the driver – who should know best – clearly being very concerned. As he left the pits he already knew he couldn’t continue.

    No disrespect to Max though, who drove an excellent race and made overtaking Lewis look easy on the restart.

    1. I mean, think about it for a second. Once you retire a car you are out of the race, no going back. So obviously you have an incentive to try and stay out for as long as you can, especially if you don’t really know what the issue is supposed to be. Yuki couldn’t pinpoint it. They switched all four tires, strapped him back in. Checked three times over and then send him out, it makes sense from their point of view.

      1. I’d say there was something broken in the rear of his car, possibly suspension.
        Once we find out, we can come back here and laugh at all the clowns and their theories about why Lewis didn’t win.

        1. Pff, clowns, one can be a conspiracy theorist, can not be a hamilton fan and can believe verstappen could’ve won anyway, what I can’t stand is that an interesting battle was eliminated this way.

      2. Just to clarify, I wasn’t suggesting that Alpha Tauri were trying to help Red Bull. I was suggesting that there was something decidedly odd going on, especially as they changed wheels, despite telling their driver that the existing ones were fine. You could argue that they had second thoughts about the compound, but you could also surmise that they were trying to avoid a penalty for sending a car out with a loose wheel.

        Anyway, despite what others have said, I enjoyed the race. There was a lot going on on-track and plenty of changes in position.

        Also, I’m looking forward to the ‘Ferrari Bloopers’ special at the end of the season!

        1. The Ferrari bloopers will need to be a three part series.
          My guess with AT is that they just checked all they could during a pit stop then sent him out to see if it was actually a wheel or in fact broken chassis or suspension.
          I didn’t get to see if Tsunoda was undoing his belts to get out or not when he first stopped, so not sure why the mechanics were adjusting those.

  11. No need for insults its just very suspicious. FIA need to look into tsunodas seatbelt issue and car problems to see if they were genuine.

    1. It is so weird to argue for some kind of conspiracy theory for Red Bull though. They didn’t need this win. They were clearly beating Ferrari in this race, and Mercedes isn’t a threat to them at all. Sure. They will want a win. But they really don’t need to risk a DSQ from the championship for a single race win lol.

      1. Never underestimate what teams would do to win, remember brazil 2019, which verstappen was winning in a season where merc won almost everything? Yet they used ocon, lapped, to take verstappen out, to get yet another win, I was outraged, still am.

      2. So I wouldn’t put it past red bull to do the same.

    2. There wasn’t a seatbelt issue. Tsunoda loosened his belts because he was about to get out of the car when his team told him to carry on. Once the driver loosens his belts he can’t tighten them again himself.

  12. Only “Drive to Survive” fans could believe that Alpha Tauri would purposely cause a VSC.

    1. Do you not remember crash gate??

      1. Ah yes, because that was a different team being told what to do and Renault was also miles ahead in both championships. Not to mention they’d probably had also won the race if it hadn’t happen.

        Oh wait! That WASN’T the case then! Silly me

        1. True, there were some differences to crashgate, verstappen had over 50% chance to win no matter the scenario here.

      2. Of course, but Franz Tost is not Flavio Briatore.

  13. I have to agree with Binotto, there is no need to change anything with regard to Ferrari racing operations. It’s too much fun to be honest. The way they were lost when Carlos stopped was priceless albeit a bit dangerous because they were not aware of the wheel gun getting in Perez’s way. Villeneuve was hilarious as always in his commentary mocking Ferrari today.

    1. I imagined them running around the garage looking for the 4th wheel shouting ‘Mamma Mia’! :Where is it’!!

      1. Super Mattia Binotti

  14. If we try to promote women in motorsport – We see lots of shots of Angela Cullen. But of the questions about Mercedes & Ferrari strategies, Red Bull’s principal strategist is a woman. And they would appear to be the one team who seem to nail it every week.

    Never see her interviewed, perhaps thats her choice. I don’t know.

    1. @bernasaurus I’m pretty sure I’ve seen Sky do like a 10-15 minute piece on her with an interview and it acts as a filler between main programming.

      Also for what it is worth, Mercedes only real shot at winning this race was to have no VSC or SC, and it was only a shot and not a guarantee! Also anyone saying Tsounda stopped on track deliberately to help RBR have a screw loose.

      1. @chimaera2003 Well Sky Sports only broadcasts to a tiny island in a middle of Atlantic. Doesn’t change the big picture at all. International coverage should be more aware of her.

        1. @huhhii Seems that no good deed goes unpunished!

          1. @huhhii @chimaera2003 Yeah, I probably got this wrong, a quick google of her name and she seems to do a bit of media. I often skip watching the build ups and the segments broadcasters do, I should have checked that.

            Though to be fair, if you only ever watched Sky Sports you might think Christian Horner was the only one working at Red Bull.

          2. @chimaera2003 I’m just so tired of British people claiming what’s on their TV to be understood as a worldwide fact, while it’s nothing like that. I’m happily in a position to choose between three different broadcasters and luckily Croft has nothing to do with any one of them. Brits should sometimes forget that the Sun isn’t circling around their tiny island, but instead it circles around the whole globe.

            Also @bernasaurus please give a massive hug to your dog from me, and if you ever think of getting a new one have you considered Kimi as an option to name him/her?

          3. @huhhii ha! I definitely will give him a big smush from you. And yeah, Kimi is a cool name, I’d be up for that. My sister is called Kim though, she might raise an eyebrow if I named a dog so close to hers!

  15. So accordign to some ‘fans’ on here, this is what really happened:

    Red Bull has a more than healthy lead in both championships and their main contender is ahead of Leclerc by several positions. Then they’d call up their B-Team to cause a scene because the strategy that they’ve chosen and could’ve changed multiple times without consequences wouldn’t pay off, resulting in a VSC which they then use to change their strategy again.

    Later, Bottas causes a full SC which results in Red Bull calling the strategy shots yet again AND changing theirs.

    An they did all this to win a race which they would’ve won on merrit probably already and didn’t need to win because they are miles ahead (both in the Championship and on track) of their nearest rival.

    Makes sense, I’d risk that too. /sarcasm

    1. Plus there is a decent chance they would have won the race with their original 2-stop strategy.

    2. If you could write Vettel holding up Lewis and Valtteri stopping at an impossible spot into this review/theory too then I’m gonna put it on Wikipedia ;)

    3. @duuxdeluxe What motivation was there for Renault at Singapore 2008 beyond boosting Alonso’s ego and keeping him happy? Motivation for Red Bull in this case would be a Verstappen win in Holland. Is that suspicion proof? Obviously not.

      1. If I remember correctly Renault didn’t win anything in 2008, up to Singapore. I think they hadn’t even been on the podium in one of the last weekends of the calendar.
        That’s a bigger incentive/nothing to loose situation than being ahead by 90 points in the standings.

        1. But renault didn’t get DQ from the championship, did they? So why would red bull?

  16. The implication something fishy is going on with Tsunoda to help Verstappen is utterly insane. Even if it were true, the Bottas safety car undid any advantage they gained and as far as I knew he’s not on Red Bull’s payroll so… honestly have a word with yourselves.

    1. Bottas’ was from Ferrari to get LEC on the podium.

      1. Raising the question, why didn’t Mercedes ask Latifi to crash? At least that wouldn’t have raised any suspicions whatsoever.

      2. That’s also a good point, I had assumed a favor he somehow still owed toto wolff.

    2. yeah because cars breaking down out of a sudden never happened before, right?

      You should be the one having a word with yourself. Terrible comparison.

      1. …. you do realise that *even if* the situation you’re implying is true, the Bottas safety car literally undid it… right?


        1. And in what way did the later Safety Car makes it any less debatable?

          If in Singapura 2008 some other guy crashed late in the race ruining Renault’s plans of victory, it would be all good then? No need to apply fines and bans, life goes on, all good?

          That’s not how it works.

  17. Whatever Alpha Tauri did, that’s unexcusable. Driver reports a problem with the wheel, they DIDN’T CHECK IT, sent him back and he stops and causes a very handy and predictable interruption.

    In what way isn’t that manipulating the events?

    Verstappen was winning this anyway but boy, this was irritating to see.

    1. Two AT mechanics were obviously trying to fix something inside the cockpit, but Tsunoda didnt even accelarate when leaving the pits – he already knew they did not fixed it.

      1. it looked like they were fixing the seat belt only.

        Andretti Autosport and other serious racing stables wanting in and this team purposeless team filling a space.

        Go figure these people..

  18. Bottas stop was abit of luck for Redbull.nothing bad there. Its the alpha tauri issues thats suspicious.

    1. Bottas’ stop can’t be luck for red bull, it gave merc the chance to close up!

  19. Good to see Merc giving it a real go today. They were unlucky with the safety car incidents, but that’s just the luck of the draw. I think they made the wrong call at the end, by leaving Lewis out on old mediums, but allowing George to pit. There were only two sensible options there, which I could see in real-time and therefore assume many others did too:

    1.) Leave both cars out and go all out for the win – the risk is they finish 2nd/4th or 3rd/4th, but leaving George as the rear gunner would have given Lewis a small opportunity to win.

    2.) Pit both cars and accept 2nd and 3rd

    I can absolutely see why they wanted to go for the win, in which case #1 was the option to go with. Splitting it the way they did offered no chance of upside, with just as much potential downside as going all out. One thing I suspected at the time was that they did plan to do #1, but then George told the team he was going to pit anyway. It will be interesting to read the full radio transcript for that.

    On the VSC, whilst the Alpha Tauri incident was very bizarre (and the FIA should get to the bottom of what actually happened), I don’t think there’s any conspiracy there.

    1. I think as soon as the safety car was indicated Mercedes best was result was P2&3, they messed up. They would not have had the pace to defend against Max with the traction in the final corner and top speed of the Red Bull.

      The safety car was a shame as it stopped the Mercedes 1-stop vs Red Bull 2-stop playing out that was potentially more interesting proposition to watch than the Max cake walk at the end.

      Ferrari in no man’s land today, slower than Red Bull and chewed up their tyres bringing Mercedes into the race. Not sure they will even win a race again this season with their current performance.

      1. This is possibly only a point that can be made with hindsight, but I wonder if Merc had pitted Lewis for softs whether Red Bull would have kept Max out or pitted him as well. It would have been a much tougher task for Max to pass Lewis on the same tyres (both in age and compound) than it was passing him on old mediums.

        Lewis staying out makes it a no brainer for those behind to pit (I tend to disagree with people talking about Max and George making great calls, it was the only obvious thing to do for them as individuals).

        Lewis pitting gives Red Bull a slight dilemma.

        1. Your point actually can’t happen, Max was p1 at the SC so he was pitting no matter what, Mercedes just screwed up, George knew that Max was gonna pass them easily and went for the softs.

  20. Great racecraft from Max, great awareness from George, great race from Lewis but poor awareness. He bumped Carlos at the start, didnt make the obvious call which George did, I though he already learnt his lesson in AD but he proves me wrong.

  21. Mercedes missed a huge opportunity here. They got gifted the full SC with the field having to go through the pitlane.
    Had they slowed Russel down just a little bit, Hamilton could have pitted and still be ahead of Verstappen with the same tyres.

    1. That’s what I thought they should have done, but there’s also a rule that forbids leaving more than 10 car lengths to the car in front, if I’m not mistaken.

      1. Jelle van der Meer (@)
        4th September 2022, 16:37

        Mercedes have done it before in Monaco with Bottas holding up Max.

    2. Jelle van der Meer (@)
      4th September 2022, 16:36

      Agree that Mercedes could have done better it would not have mattered, Max would have overtaken Lewis if not immediately it would have been with DRS in last 10 laps.

      Suggesting that Russell should have held up under safety car is of course foul play although Mercedes have done that before with Bottas. They really should tighten up those rules and increase penalties for drivers/teams driving slower than needed under safety car.

      Max finished far ahead of #2 and #3 he was much faster on softs than Leclerc in Ferrari and Russell in Mercedes.

      1. Exactly this, the 2022 Merc with Lewis or George is no match in a straight fight for the 2022 Red Bull with Max.

  22. Abu Dhabi 2021 vibes. Annoying how circumstances “always” seem to favour Redbull and Max. Perez almost taking Hamilton out, with over-the-top defense, convenient VSC caused by Redbull’s second team, and a SC where Mercedes again left Hamilton in a vulnerable position. George was smart and immediately saw the opportunity to have an advantage over Hamilton and triggered the team with the tyre warmup argument.

    1. This year: agreed. I guess it’s the luck of the champion? Verstappen isn’t as dominant as the standings make it seem. Last weekend was exceptional, on other weekends he had to fight for it, though his competitors slipped up.

    2. Or: Lewis and Mercedes didn’t react and adapt to the situation and made a Ferrari like strategy error…

  23. Alpha Tauri will probably get investigated, not for any conspiracy BS but because they released a car into the track while the driver was claiming there was an issue. And there was an issue, since he had to stop it anyway.

    Strange decisions were made, but if Alpha Tauri was trying to cause a SC, they could have just told Tsunoda to leave the car where he first stopped it and claim that they didn’t trust the wheel was properly attached. There was no need to get him back to the pits, then send him back out just so ht stops again. I think this one is just massive incompetence.

  24. Nearly another 1st lap collision by Lewis today. He nearly pit manoeuvred Sainz out of the race this time and nobody is really discussing it.
    He has continued having similar 2021 incidents while Max has had none.
    I just feel if it was the other way round we would have endless comments about Max being reckless & dangerous.

    1. Hamilton could just have easily had his car nose broken off. Was it a bit reckless again? Sure. He’s hardly in the same position as Verstappen this year, though, so any comparison is completely skewed. Verstappen is in the kind of sweet spot Hamilton enjoyed for years, Hamilton where Verstappen was when one or two wins in a year for Red Bull was all they could hope for.

      1. I wouldn’t agree that Max has that sort of Merc era advantage this year. Far from it actually. He has had to do plenty of battling himself and has rarely been on pole.
        Yesterday he was only on pole by 0.02 seconds.

        1. Max himself said he isn’t under anywhere near similar pressure as last year when, in his words, they had to maximize every performance to win the championship. I agree the speed difference isn’t as high as during the Merc era, but with Ferrari imploding again, and Perez nowhere, the pressure is very definitely off.

          1. There isn’t the same pressure on Lewis either as he isn’t fighting for the title, yet the mistakes keep coming.

    2. Are you telling me two cars touched slightly in turn one? When did this insanity start and when will it end?

    3. Absolutely

  25. Ham totally schooled yet again by his teammate. And like an idiot jinking over when George was going for the pass, such dangerous driving man. If it was the other way round he’d be screaming murder!

  26. An intriguing race until AT messed up. Mercedes really did well today to put RBR in a corner, but got unlucky with safety cars. Ferrari did the usual best to provide us with lots of lols and giggles. I mean Sainz’s first pitstop going wrong, pitting Leclerc one lap before a sure shot VSC, then again messing up Sainz’s second stop. You gotta hand it over to Ferrari trying their best to finish 3rd in a season where they started as genuine leaders.

    1. Sainz should be grateful for the pit issues today, they helped hide the fact that he was barely faster than the midfield teams with similar tyres.

      In the last 3 races (Hungary, Spa and here) Ferrari has had awful race pace compared to Red Bull (in Hungary, had Verstappen started first, he would have dominated the race). The strategy disasters and glacial pit stops aren’t helping, but they get a lot more attention than the simple fact that Ferrari have a slower car at this point in the season.

      1. Yes, I was also trying to point this out: they got outdevelopped by both their opponents, like usual.

  27. I blame sky’s coverage for all the conspiracy mongering here. They were trying to cultivate some kind of tension whereas in reality Verstappen was always clear favourite to win, both in an uneventful race and after all the safety cars. People have therefore bought into some scenario where Verstappen was at risk of somehow losing if not for some scheming.

  28. More than anyone, today’s MVP should be Hannah Schmitz and Red Bull strategic team…excellent calls at the end of the race and one of the huge reasons Verstappen can be so confident in the team.

  29. I was so focused on how the race pans out I totally missed the spygate 2.0 speculations. The race had everything but in the end didn’t provide a lot. Ferrari messed up again and Perez had no pace. Good for Charles to get a podium.

  30. The real question here is:

    Should they ban pitting under a Safety Car or Virtual Safety Car?

    Doesn’t it add a random element of ‘luck’ to a sport that is meant to be based on precision, both from a driving and engineering perspective?

    1. @keithcollantine

      Any chance of an article which lists races where there have been Safety Cars and Virtual Safety Cars, showing the forecast outcome pre-SC and the actual outcome?

      It would be interesting to see whether there has been any significant impact on results.

      1. Yes, would be interesting, off the top of my head before this we have abu dhabi 2021, imola 2020, australia 2018, china 2018, this is only when it comes to the winner and there’s surely more even in recent times.

    2. 10 secs wait-time before mechanics are allowed to touch the car in stops under SC or VSC would be good. So you can stop if needed, but it doesnt ruin the competitive result.

      1. Yes, a good solution.

  31. Max is just so fast in that Red Bull.. They make any Mercedes or Ferrari strategy look bad in comparison. Even correct strategies fail.

    Lewis was on for a good result, but was again failed on strategy.

    Years of complacency, driving at the front in a different class has done them poorly to prepare them for races where there are second or third fastest.

    Lewis on right strategy would have been second.

    But with slightly less optimal strategy he was fourth.

    1. Hamilton couldn’t care less about getting 2nd atm, he wants a win this season.

  32. There was really no circumstance in which verstappen did not win this race. It was just a question of which Mercedes would finish second. Pérez was wherever he was and Ferrari were being Ferrari. It’s funny to think that but for verstappen and him alone Mercedes’ would be the front runners as a team right now. They have the best driver combination and don’t have wigs and face paint on the pit wall.

    1. Mercedes have absolutely nothing on Red Bull this year, they’re completely outclassed and shouldn’t realistically even think about defeating Verstappen, there’s no point. The problem is that Ferrari looks worse now than before the new floor regulations, so it basically made Ferrari weaker and Red Bull stronger than before ending a race that was mostly done anyway before the summer break.

      Verstappen have a great opportunity in his hands to completely demolish the opposition for the remainder of the season and break some records.

      1. Especially the victories in a season record looks realistic, however I take those records with a grain of salt cause there’s more races, % would make more sense.

  33. I’ve seen these ridiculous arguments every race this season, seems the Lewis fans just can’t accept that he is in his twilight and no longer the best out there. If he doesn’t win it is because of anything other than his own race pace or decisions…
    All I can say is that there are 6 cars substantially ahead of the field at this stage of the season, 2 x RB, 2 x Ferrari, 2 x Merc, Lewis is 6th.

  34. Chicanery? Definitely! But… I don’t think anything will come from it. Tsunoda’s care legitimately broke during the race. He parked it. A VSC or SC should have been deployed. But before that could happen his team tells him to drive it to the pits. Why? They were now in last place and there was no way they could improve their position. I can’t remember a race where a team that couldn’t improve their position decided to run their car to the end. They usually want to save the engine, gearbox, etc. Yet, after wasting even more time, they send him back out to cause the VSC or SC, that he should have already triggered.
    To recap, there should have been a VSC or SC. AT screwed up and had the car come in. AT then unscrewed up (chicanery) by sending a damaged car back on the track to trigger the VSC or SC.
    For those that don’t agree, please let me know the last time a team sent a last place car back on the track to finish when there was no way to improve their current position?

    1. Coulthard in spa 1998? He was 5 laps down but restarted, back then you couldn’t unlap with SC, so was suspicious considering what happened after.

    2. Obviously there weren’t all those limitations about gearboxes etc. back then.

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