Max Verstappen scored a comfortable victory in his home grand prix at Zandvoort ahead of Lewis Hamilton. How did the results of the Dutch Grand Prix affect the 2021 F1 drivers’ championship battle?
Verstappen regains lead of F1 drivers’ championship
Verstappen’s 17th career Formula One victory came as the series returned to Holland for the first time since 1985.
The Dutchman, who also won the aborted ‘race’ in Belgium last week, headed title rival Lewis Hamilton throughout the 72 lap affair at Zandvoort.
Mercedes driver Hamilton headed Verstappen in the standings by just three points going into the Dutch GP weekend.
Verstappen’s win – his seventh of the season – earned him 25 points to move the 23-year-old onto 224.5 points from 13 races.
Hamilton scored 18 points for his second place, and received the bonus point for posting fastest lap – a 1m:11.097s on the final lap.
These 19 points were not enough to prevent Hamilton losing the championship lead to Verstappen, as the Briton has 221.5 points from the 13 races.
Third place finisher Valtteri Bottas – who was subject to team orders in the race – scored 15 points.
This was enough to move the Mercedes driver up to third in the 2021 F1 drivers’ championship, but he is over 100 points behind Verstappen.
Who else improved their championship standings?
The other big mover in the standings was Fernando Alonso in the Alpine.
The two-time world champion secured a sixth place finish, overtaking Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr on the final lap.
This was enough for the Spanish driver to break into the top 10 in the standings, ahead of teammate Esteban Ocon.
Ocon had informed his team that Alonso was driving slowly in the early stages.
However, 32-time grand prix winner Alonso responded and pulled away.
At one point, he was 15 seconds behind Sainz, but hunted down his compatriot to grab a ninth points haul of his comeback season.
What about the 2021 constructors’ championship standings?
Mercedes out-scored Red Bull in the Dutch GP by five points.
While Mercedes scored 34 points for its two-three plus fastest lap bonus point result, Red Bull posted 29.
Red Bull’s other driver Sergio Perez started from the pitlane following an engine change before the race.
He salvaged an eighth place finish at Zandvoort.
Mercedes’ haul was enough to move the seven-time champions onto 345 points.
Red Bull is now 12 points behind, having accumulated 333.
Elsewhere, a strong showing for Ferrari has moved the Italian squad up to third place in the constructors’.
Charles Leclerc took fifth place, coupled with seventh for Carlos Sainz Jr earned the team 16 points.
Rivals McLaren only took one point for 10th through Lando Norris, losing their grip on third place.
Just 12 points separate Ferrari on 182 and McLaren on 170.
Pierre Gasly’s stunning run to fourth place earned AlphaTauri 12 points.
This narrowly reduced the Italian outfits deficit to Alpine in their battle for fifth place in the constructors’ to six points.