Dutch Grand Prix | Verstappen wins at home

Max Verstappen won his home Dutch Grand Prix for Red Bull on Sunday and took the Formula One championship lead in front of a roaring, dancing army of fans hailing their hero with orange flags and flares.

The 23-year-old dominated from pole position to take the chequered flag, in the first Dutch GP for 36 years, 20.932 seconds ahead of Mercedes’ seven-time World champion Lewis Hamilton.

Verstappen overturned a three-point deficit to go three points clear of Hamilton — 224.5 to the Briton’s 221.5.

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The victory was Verstappen’s seventh in 13 races, with nine rounds remaining, and set off a gigantic beach-side party.

“As you can hear, it’s incredible,” said the winner over the roar of the crowd.

“Obviously, the expectations were very high going into the weekend and it’s never easy to fulfil that, but I’m of course so happy to win here, to take the lead as well in the championship as well. It’s just an amazing day. Just the whole crowd, It’s incredible.”Hamilton also hailed the 70,000-strong crowd for its passion and enthusiasm.

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“What a race, what a crowd,” he said. “It’s been an amazing weekend. Max did a great job, congratulations to him. I gave it absolutely everything today, flat out. I pushed as hard as I could but they were just too quick for us.”

French driver Pierre Gasly was fourth for AlphaTauri with Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc fifth and Fernando Alonso sixth for Renault-owned Alpine.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was seventh with Red Bull’s Mexican Sergio Perez being the ‘Driver of the Day’ after racing back to eighth from a pitlane start.

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Esteban Ocon took two points for Alpine with McLaren’s Lando Norris completing the top-10.

Mercedes continued to lead the constructors’ championship with 344.5 points to Red Bull’s 332.5.

AlphaTauri’s Japanese rookie Yuki Tsunoda and Haas’s Nikita Mazepin were the only retirements.

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The Italian GP will be held next weekend.

The results: 1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing): 1:30:05.395, 2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +20.932, 3. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 56.460; +1 lap: 4. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri), 5. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), 6. Fernando Alonso (Alpine), 7. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), 8. Sergio Perez (Red Bull), 9. Esteban Ocon (Alpine), 10. Lando Norris (McLaren), 11. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren); +2 laps: 12. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), 13. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), 14. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo), 15. Robert Kubica (Alfa Romeo), 16. Nicholas Latifi (Williams); +3 laps: 17. George Russelll (Williams), 18. Mick Schumacher (Haas); DNF: Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri), Nikita Mazepin (Haas).

Standings: Drivers: 1. Verstappen 224.5; 2. Hamilton 221.5; 3. Bottas 123; 4. Norris 114; 5. Perez 108. Constructors: 1. Mercedes 345; 2. Red Bull 333; 3. Ferrari 182; 4. McLaren 170; 5. Alpine 90.

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