Verstappen reclaims title lead from Hamilton after Zandvoort cruise

The Dutchman sent the fans home happy with victory in the first race in the Netherlands in 36 years

By Toby Lock
Sunday, 5th September 2021, 3:47 pm
Updated Sunday, 5th September 2021, 3:50 pm
Max Verstappen was the home crowd favourite at the Dutch Grand Prix
Max Verstappen was the home crowd favourite at the Dutch Grand Prix

Max Verstappen was the home crowd hero as he won the first Dutch Grand Prix since 1985 with a comfortable drive at Zandvoort and with it, reclaimed the world championship lead.

In a relatively uneventful race, where more excitement was seen in the stands than on the track, the Red Bull Racing man covered off Lewis Hamilton' s various attempts to come close the gap.

On the tight Dutch circuit, the only overtaking was seen by Sergio Perez, who started from the pitlane and had to fight through the slower cars, but for the most part the race was a routine run and largely uneventful - not that the vocal local support minded a bit.

The partisan Dutch fans

Verstappen said: "As you can hear, it's incredible! The expectations were high, so to take the lead of the championship is amazing. It's a very good day.

"Mercedes tried to make it difficult for us, but we managed to get there in the end."

Hamilton added: "It has been an amazing weekend. Congratulations to Max. He drove an amazing race, we gave it everything.

"It was hard to navigate the traffic, but this track is incredible on low fuel. I'm already looking forward to coming back next year."

Valtteri Bottas claimed third spot, adding: "Unfortunately for me, it was pretty uneventful. I tried to go one-stop but we had a big gap at the end and I stopped for safety. I just didn't have enough pace at the end."

Pierre Gasly took a lonely fourth spot, ahead of Charles Leclerc, Fernando Alonso, Carlos Sainz, the late charging Perez, Esteban Ocon and Lando Norris.