Our live blog for the race at the Circuit Zandvoort
The 13th race in the 2021 Formula 1 season is here, with the Dutch Grand Prix taking centre stage this weekend. Red Bull star Max Verstappen secured pole position on Saturday on what is his home track, and he will be joined at the front of the grid by Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. Stay with us for all the latest updates from the Circuit Zandvoort.
This is the start of our live blog for the Dutch Grand Prix. Below, we’ll have all the build-up to the race and then lap-by-lap updates once the lights go out.
There we have it. The 2021 Dutch Grand Prix is all done and it’s the dream result for the sold out home crowd. Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton will be keen for redemption at the Temple of Speed, Monza, in a week’s time. See you then!
“As you can hear, it’s incredible,” said Verstappen. “Obviously the expectations were high going into the weekend and it’s never easy to fulfil that, but I’m just so happy to win here, to take the lead in the championship as well. It’s just an amazing day. The whole crowd… it’s incredible.”
The home crowd have gone bananas as Max Verstappen leads from start to finish and retakes the Championship lead as a result. Lewis Hamitlon finishes second and takes the fastest lap on the final tour for an extra point with Bottas third in a quiet day for the Finn. Alonso finally made it passed Sainz for sixth while Russell has issues at the end to drop him back to 17th.
Two laps to go for Verstappen, who has lapped everyone except the Mercedes cars, as Bottas pits for a new set of tyres, although they won’t go for fastest lap to try and keep Hamilton with those honours. Bottas goes on two purple sectors and is told to abort, he slows down slightly but still takes the fastest lap… Hamilton pits as a result to try and retake that accolade. Perez continues his charge, passing Ocon with Alonso and Sainz right ahead of him.
Alonso is now within a second of Sainz, but he can’t find a way through just yet. Sergio Perez, meanwhile, finally makes his way past Lando Norris for ninth and he could yet have time to catch Ocon ahead. There was actually substantial contact between the two out of the first turn, but they both appear to have got away with it.
Maybe an issue for Sainz? Alonso has got within four seconds of the Ferrari very quietly, while Perez gets into Norris’ DRS. The McLaren holds the place into Tarzan.
Everyone’s best friend, the AWS tyre graphic, has returned and it is saying that Verstappen’s tyres are on the edge of the cliff. Whether that is the case or not we’ll find out soon, but it could be cause for concern at Red Bull. Norris has got to two seconds behind Ocon, but he can’t seem to make any further inroads as Perez charges towards them.
Ricciardo’s worn hard tyres have seen him drop eight seconds behind his teammate and he now has Perez right up behind him. The plan from McLaren is to hold up the Red Bull for as long as possible to give the Mexican little chance to catch Norris. The gap at the front, meanwhile, is under two seconds as Perez does pass Ricciardo.
Norris is flying on his hard tyres and he’s halved the gap to Ocon already. After a disappointing display in qualifying, Lando is perfecting the plan today and he should be able to make a move on the Hungarian GP winner when he catches him. Hamilton is still convinced they’ve made the wrong choice, claiming his tyres won’t make it to the end of the 72 laps.
Alonso is into the slipstream past Perez before the Red Bull pits for a set of soft tyres. He comes out just behind Russell, but he quickly finds a way past, which will allow him to chase after the McLarens for the points. Tsunoda has to retire too now reporting no power in his AlphaTauri.
As expected, Norris has passed his teammate for tenth which will release him to set some stellar laps to keep Perez from doing the overcut, and he could even chase down the Alpines, who remain in close quarters with each other. Hamilton, though, thinks his tyres had plenty of life left in them before his second stop. Could he be proven right?
Norris pits this time. It’s a slow stop, but he still jumps Russell and Stroll. Norris now behind Ricciardo but on much fresher and faster tyres. Really clever stuff from McLaren, as Mazepin retires in the Haas from the back.
Maybe some clever tactics at McLaren? Ricciardo is dropping far off the back of the Alpine battle and holding up Russell mad Stroll as a result, so could that open a gap for Norris to pit and come out ahead of his teammate in the points? Norris himself was on the opposite end of this strategy at Monaco in 2019, which allowed his then-teammate Carlos Sainz to pick up big points.
Norris and Perez have now been lapped but there’s movement in the Mercedes garage. Hamilton is the first to pit again for a new set of medium tyres, but the stop has fed the Brit into traffic which might give Verstappen the window he requires. The next time by, Verstappen pits and is back out ahead of Hamilton, although they only have hard tyres for the Dutchman.
A brief yellow flag at turn three as Sebastian Vettel went for a spin as he tried to overtake Kubica, and Bottas has to take avoiding action round the outside, costing the Finn crucial time. The Alpines are once again closing on each other but any battle could be costly, with both Norris and Perez running well ahead with a stop to go.
Alonso finally pits to get rid of his soft tyres and he beats Ocon out to resume that battle. Giovinazzi has pitted again for Alfa Romeo, which drops him to 18th. That promotes Russell one place, but the Brit has a five-second penalty for speeding in the pit lane, which is not ideal in his hunt for more points.
Sainz pits for the Prancing Horse and is in a big gap of clean air behind Alonso. Ocon and Tsunoda also head to the pitlane for a change of tyres, with the former tenth and the latter 17th upon exiting the lane.
Bottas runs slightly off line at the chicane and that gives Verstappen the chance to make the move into turn one and he does exactly that. Bottas then moves over to let Hamilton through as the two stars of the season are separated by less than a second. Ricciardo pits from ninth as Bottas comes in at the end of the lap for his only scheduled stop of the race.
Gasly was behind Alonso for a couple of laps, which will have undoubtedly cost him time, but he is now ahead of the Alpine as Giovinazzi, Russell and Stroll all pit, potentially releasing Norris and Perez.
Gasly pits from fourth but he can’t quite get out ahead of Alonso and into the big gap that had formed, which could be very costly for his race. The two Ferraris will be hoping he gets held up and they can jump the Frenchman when they decide to pit, which can’t be too far away.
Another overtake by Perez as Tsunoda is the driver despatched this time, but it could be trickier now as he closes on Lando Norris in the McLaren, who has been stuck in 13th since the start behind Stroll, Russell and Giovinazzi.
Hamilton is the first to blink at the front; he has the gap to Gasly in fourth and Mercedes have taken advantage. Red Bull are wise to it, though, as Verstappen pits the next time and keeps hold of his gap to the Brit, despite purple sectors by the Mercedes driver. Bottas now leads but that won’t last long as he is only 10 seconds clear of the title-fighting duo.
Perez makes another move at turn 11, swapping places with Latifi, who he has already caught again after he pitted in front of the Williams early on. Hamilton, meanwhile, has to ask his engineer, Pete Bonnington, to repeat his messages on multiple occasions due to small radio problems for the Mercedes team. Perez also passes Kubica into Tarzan as he continues to charge through the field.
Sergio Perez is the fastest man on track as he too makes his way past Mazepin, this time at turn 11, but he will certainly need another stop to make it to the end.
Nicholas Latifi has produced the first overtake of the race, finally finding a way past Nikita Mazepin at Tarzan. It’ll be extremely tough to make moves this race, so any overtake is very welcome, as demonstrated by Lance Stroll, who is stuck behind George Russell in 12th. Gasly and the Ferraris have put 10 seconds on Alonso, who is creating a little train in his mirrors.
Remember that easy one stop we mentioned before the race? Scratch that, Hamitlon could be switching to a two stop as he can’t keep his soft tyres alive. He is setting purple sectors all round the track, but he’s still nearly three seconds behind Vertsappen. Vettel, meanwhile, pits in his Aston Martin to try and get out of traffic.
Ricciardo’s smoking McLaren seems to have fixed itself and is no longer bellowing fumes at Antonio Giovinazzi behind him. Schumacher has already been lapped after his early stop, while his teammate Nikita Mazepin has been holding up Sergio Perez in the Red Bull. The Mexican has a huge lockup into Tarzan and had to pit to abandon his hard tyres.
The best battle on track right now is between the two Alpines in seventh and eighth, as they take differing lines through turn three but Alonso holds onto the place. Hamilton, meanwhile, is doubtful the tyres will last as long as they hoped. Schumacher has had to pit very early in the Haas.
DRS is now active but there are no worries for the front three, as they are pulling a handy gap to the rest of the field. Meanwhile, there could be issues for Ricciardo as he looks to be puffing smoke from his McLaren engine. Both Vettel and Hamilton have had issues with the same engine this weekend, which doesn’t bode well for the Aussie.
We are racing at Zandvoort! And it’s Max Verstappen who gets into Tarzan ahead of the two Mercedes. It’s very tight in the midfield, which has seen Antonio Giovinazzi drop to tenth behind Ricciardo and the Alpines.
The cars are rolling as they begin their one and only formation lap. This will be crucial for tyre temperature, but with only 18 on the grid the wait is slightly shorter for the front row. This should be a one-stop race, with track position king at this circuit. Expect a relatively simple soft to medium strategy for the majority.
Just ten minutes until lights out now, as the drivers have their last moments of calm before hopping into the cockpit. The run to turn one will be vital for Verstappen and Hamilton on the front row, but the latter is on the dirty side of the grid, so he will need a near perfect start to give himself a chance. Bottas could play a part in third and you have to keep an eye on Pierre Gasly in fourth who could produce some magic in his AlphaTauri.
Home hero Max Verstappen has made it to his pole position grid slot with no issues other than perhaps some orange smoke in his helmet. The sold out grandstands were setting off orange flares as the Red Bull star drove past and there’s smoke lingering all around the circuit. This is Valentino Rossi at Misano levels of atmosphere, and they haven’t confined their passion to the circuit either!
The green light is on and the drivers are making their way round to the grid. Well, 18 of them are as Nicholas Latifi and Sergio Perez will start today’s Dutch Grand Prix from the pit lane after changing components in their respective cars after qualifying. It does at least mean Perez can’t repeat his crash from last week’s reconnaissance laps, which took him out of the points.
The grandstands are bouncing at Zandvoort with just one hour to go until F1 races again on Dutch territory. And we will actually get racing this week after the Belgian washout of seven days ago. Clear blue skies carpet over the Dutch coast with perfect temperatures for racing.
Verstappen has the advantage as he will begin on pole position, but will he go on and win the Dutch Grand Prix? Let us know what you think in our poll below.
The Formula 1 Grand Prix is back at Zandvoort after a 36-year absence, with Niki Lauda the last person to win the race back in 1985. Today, Verstappen will be determined to secure his second win in as many weekends, this time in front of his home Dutch crowd.
Verstappen will begin on pole, with Hamilton and Bottas in second and third respectively, but surprisingly Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez will start down in 16th.
The Dutch Grand Prix will get underway at 15:00 CEST local time, which is 14:00 BST for those in the United Kingdom or 09:00 ET for F1 fans on the east coast of the USA.
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