What the teams said – Race day at the Dutch Grand Prix
Verstappen made the perfect getaway and didn’t put a foot wrong in his first stint as he held onto P1 comfortably. Needing to get past Bottas to make his strategy work, he used DRS to breeze back into the lead and from there wasn’t troubled as he recorded his seventh win of the season in front of a jubilant home crowd. As for Perez, he had to work harder for his points today after starting from the pit lane thanks to a PU change. Making his way through the field early on, he had to do the same again after flat-spotting his tyres and needing an extra stop. Nonetheless, he had enough pace to make a series of bold overtakes work, including one on Norris that damaged his car.
Max Verstappen, 1st
“It’s incredible to win here today on another home track and it feels great to take the lead in the driver’s championship again. Of course the expectations were very high coming into the weekend and it’s never easy to fulfil that but the whole crowd has been incredible and I am so happy to win here.
"It was quite a tough race, Lewis was really putting the pressure on and both Mercedes’ had really good pace but we managed to have that three second buffer when we needed it and I think that was very important. We can be really pleased with the whole Team performance; we made the right calls and we managed the race really well. 72 laps around this track is cool, especially in front of all these fans, they were incredible throughout the whole race, I’ve never experienced anything like this before in my life. I will of course celebrate at home this evening, but Monza is just around the corner and the championship fight is tight, so I want to make sure we perform at our best.”
Sergio Perez, 8th
“I gave it my all, every overtake was on the limit and I had to take a lot of risks. Today was all about damage limitation as I started from the pits after taking the penalty for the engine change. It was a bit of a shame at the end when Lando and I touched, I had a lot of damage on the right-hand side of the car. I think it was a racing indecent as I wasn’t given enough space and I don’t think he could see me. Since that point I lost a lot of grip, otherwise, I definitely think P6 was on the cards today. I really wish I could have given more to the Dutch fans, they have been incredible all weekend. From now on it’s just about looking ahead and trying to come back strong in Monza.”
Christian Horner, Team Principal
“It was an impeccable race for the team today. There’s a fantastic atmosphere here and I’ve never seen a reaction like that in my whole career, the fans in Holland are incredible. It was important for Max to get a clean start, his ability to judge and read the grip level is very strong. We knew with the strategic options that Mercedes had that they were going to split the strategy and they did exactly that.
"It was also crucial for Max to make that pass on Valtteri quickly and then after that, we were able to cover Lewis. The team did everything they could today to make sure Max had a smooth race and he did everything that he needed. Sergio won driver of the day and he has driven a great race. Not only did he take the penalty, he had a huge flat spot and we had to pit him for safety reasons, so he was in an even more difficult position then.
"He made great progress through the field, scoring important points for us and improving his confidence after a really tough Saturday. Looking ahead, Monza and Sochi are tracks that Mercedes have a stronghold, we’d expect them to have the upper hand, therefore the next two races are about trying to limit the damage and making sure we extract as much as we can out of the cars. It’s going to be really close and this championship looks like it’s going to go all the way to Abu Dhabi.”
Unable to pip Verstappen off the line, Mercedes pushed the button first and tried to undercut their rival only for Hamilton to suffer a slow pit stop. They then left Bottas out on a one-stop strategy but on aging tyres, he wasn’t able to hold Verstappen up long enough to help his team mate out. Second time around, again Mercedes went for an early stop but were caught out by Red Bull pitting for hard compound tyres rather than softs, which easily made the end of the race. Hamilton did pick up the bonus point for fastest lap on a day where he had no answer to the pace of his rival.
Lewis Hamilton, 2nd
"What a race and what a crowd, honestly, it's been an amazing weekend. Max did a great job so congrats to him. I gave it everything I had out there, but they were just too quick for us this weekend. I think even if we'd have got everything right today with the traffic, the pit stops and the strategy, it'd still have been tough to get by them. We didn't get those elements spot on, but either way, we pushed as much as we could and we'll take it offline, debrief and see how we could have improved. We'll be fighting right to the end. It was an incredibly difficult race out there, physically and mentally I think it was one of the toughest, but it's an amazing track. The fastest lap at the end was one of my favourite parts of the race, it's an incredible track to drive on low fuel, this is one of my favourite tracks now and I've had a great time here in Holland, so I'm looking forward to coming back next year."
Valtteri Bottas, 3rd
"It was quite a quiet race for me but as a team, we scored solid points and there's been an amazing atmosphere here. Before the race, there was so much energy from the crowd, and it's a really cool track to drive. Very hard to overtake on, but good fun. I was pushing hard out there but we committed to the one-stop strategy quite early on, and that needed too much management really and proved tricky. It definitely wasn't as fast as the two-stop. We ended up stopping late in the race for safety as we had the gap behind, and I was starting to get some tyre vibrations. We were lacking a bit of speed here compared to Red Bull but Monza is a completely different circuit so I'm hopeful we can compete there."
Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
"Red Bull were faultless out there today so congrats to them and Max on the victory. Whatever we tried on the strategy, it was going to be difficult to compete with them. We tried everything we could, attempted the undercut a few times with Lewis and he was pushing to the maximum, but it wasn't enough. For Valtteri, we put him on the one-stop but towards the end, he was struggling with the tyres, so we stopped him as a precaution as he was getting some vibrations. P2 and P3 is a solid result and good points for us, so now we look to Monza. I'm sure it's going to be another close weekend and an exciting fight. It's a very different track and the Sprint format returns, so we could see a bit of a different story. Let's see how it goes."
Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director
"Our car wasn't quite quick enough today and we ended up in a situation where we had to push in dirty air to keep up and it was just taking too much out of the tyres. The pace at the front was very quick and the degradation was moving it towards a two stop.
"We lost a little time on the first stop with Lewis going onto medium and while Max could cover, our pace seemed a bit better on that tyre and we could close and follow more easily. We didn't have many options by the final stop, we decided to go relatively early, perhaps optimistically hoping they would take a soft to cover us but they fitted the hard and it was working well for them so that was that.
"Valtteri had a straightforward race although perhaps not as exciting as he'd hoped. He managed the one stop well but with a clear window behind, we made a precautionary stop at the end. Overall a solid weekend for him and nice to see him move back into third in the drivers' championship. With Lewis we managed to grab the extra point for fastest lap, which was a bit of damage limitation, but we didn't have the best car here and need to address that for Monza if we're looking to take back the lead of the drivers' championship."
Gasly made a great getaway and from there made serene progress towards another solid result for the team, as he picked up the ‘best of the rest’ slot. As for Tsunoda, he was working harder down in the thick of the action towards the back. The rookie had just started to make headway when he was forced to retire the car after the team spotted a PU issue on the data.
Pierre Gasly, 4th
“P4 is an amazing result today, I don’t think we could really hope for much better and it’s 12 important points for us. I really enjoyed all 72 laps here in Zandvoort, it’s a fantastic track. I had fun today, I’m really pleased with everything, the car is really fast and I managed to get it set-up just the way I wanted. The team did a fantastic job throughout the weekend and today we were flying! I’m obviously very excited to get back to Monza after last year and obviously the expectations are very high. We’ve clearly maximised our package this weekend, so it’ll be interesting to see how it performs next weekend in Italy.”
Yuki Tsunoda, DNF
“Today’s result is disappointing of course, we saw an issue on the PU data and unfortunately had to retire the car. Up until that point the race was going quite well and the pace of the car was there, but it was hard to overtake. I’ve got to look forward to Monza now, I have some experience on that circuit which is good. I’m going to take the same approach as this week, slowly building up the pace and hopefully we can put it all together next week.”
Franz Tost, Team Principal
“Firstly, big congratulations to the organisers of this event. It was fantastic to see the fans in the grandstands and their celebrations across the entire weekend, starting from Friday. Likewise, congrats to Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing and Honda, they’ve dominated this Grand Prix.
"From our side, we’re also quite satisfied because Pierre did a fantastic job this weekend. The team managed to give him a strong car, even yesterday for qualifying where he secured P4. He then managed to keep this position all the way to the chequered flag in today’s race. It was a very good job by Pierre, so a huge well done to both him and the whole team for this great result. As for Yuki, his car suffered a technical failure on the drivetrain during the race and we had to retire the car. We need to go away and investigate the cause of this issue. We are now looking forward to Monza, after this fantastic event here in Zandvoort.”
The Ferrari boys kept it clean off the line, fighting each other hard but fair and then settled into a rhythm for much of the race. They split their strategies slightly, with Leclerc pitting much later than his team mate but looked set to hold station until the end. But on the final lap, Sainz found himself at the mercy of Alonso who managed to sneak past his countryman. Nonetheless, a big haul of points puts the Scuderia back into third in the constructors’.
Charles Leclerc, 5th
"I’m pretty happy with our overall performance of this weekend. Finishing with both cars in the points today is a good result.
"The start was good, but then I didn’t want to take too many risks. I think the main surprise for everyone was how long the mediums could last. Still, I think that the soft–hard combination was the right choice for us. We were very close in pace to the car ahead, but it was just not enough today.
"The atmosphere was amazing, and it was really great to see so many people cheering in the grandstands. I can’t wait to see the same, just in red, in Monza next week."
Carlos Sainz, 7th
"Overall it’s been a positive weekend for the team, although it hasn’t been the best for me, despite the good recovery from yesterday. My race today was very far from what I was looking for. I could not match the pace I had on Friday, as I completely lost the good feeling I’d had with the car up until then. I just couldn’t find the right balance, sliding too much and I had a lot of degradation.
"I was planning to attack and fight for positions, but I ended up having to defend. We need to analyse what happened today and move on. On the positive side, we scored some good points for the team, which puts us in a stronger position in the Constructors’. Now I am looking forward to Monza. It will be my first Italian GP as a Ferrari driver and I am sure it’ll be a weekend I will remember forever."
Mattia Binotto, Team Principal
"A solid race from the whole team, which allowed us to bring home a significant points haul for the constructors’ classification. We knew that, on a track that is very demanding in terms of tyre management, we could have found ourselves in a situation similar to the one we experienced at the French Grand Prix, but the team and drivers have worked a lot on this aspect and the results of our efforts were clear to see.
"Of course, it’s not a result to get really excited about and we are perfectly aware that there is still a lot to do to get back to the same level as those currently fighting for the wins.
"Now our focus shifts immediately to the next race at Monza.After a great show from the Dutch fans this weekend, we can’t wait to be racing in front of our own tifosi and we hope we can give them something to smile about."
Alonso was one of the biggest movers at the start, trying to get around the outside of his team mate and then switching back through Turn 3 to pick off not just Ocon but Giovinazzi as well. He then settled into a more sedate mode, before coming alive at the end and managing to make a move on Sainz for a brilliant sixth overall. As for Ocon, he was forced to sit cooped up behind his team mate for much of the race, with a plastic bag in his wheel not helping matters. He lost out late on to a charging Perez to add insult to injury.
Esteban Ocon, 9th
“It was an eventful race at the wheel, and I’m pleased to score points today. The start was pretty busy, but I enjoyed the battles out there. On our side, we probably had the pace to be a position or two higher, but we weren’t so lucky with some situations like blue flags at crucial times. As a team, though, we’ve shown good pace all weekend and we can be pleased with that. It’s important points for the constructors’ championship and we move onto Monza aiming for a repeat of the same. We were competitive there last year, and the target is to continue the points run.”
Fernando Alonso, 6th
“It was a good weekend for us. We take some good points with sixth position and I thought we were generally competitive all weekend. Our start was good, but it was very close into Turn 1 and 2 and I had to run wide to avoid hitting the cars around me. We then settled into a good rhythm and executed a solid race. Overtaking Carlos [Sainz] at the end felt fantastic, as early in the race I didn’t think we could catch the Ferraris. It’ll be interesting to see if we can carry our form into Monza. Spa in the dry was the first time we ran with a very low downforce, so let’s see if we can have another good weekend there.”
Marcin Budkowski, Executive Director
“In the end it was a pretty exciting race at a circuit where we were expecting it to be difficult to overtake. Both drivers had decent starts, although had a bit of a coming together on the first lap. Fortunately, nothing came out of it and we managed to get past Giovinazzi quickly and put ourselves in a position to manage our tyres to execute a one stop, which we did well. The second part of the race was quite a lot of action and fighting. Esteban lost a position to Checo [Perez] who was on soft tyres and in a quicker car. Fernando had a beautiful fight with Carlos [Sainz] to get sixth. It’s good points in the championship for the team however a strong performance from Pierre [Gasly] and AlphaTauri means they knock two points off us for fifth position in the constructors’ championship. The fight will continue in Monza. Congratulations to Max for his win at home in front of an incredible crowd – it’s been an exceptional atmosphere all weekend, one we haven’t seen for a very long time.”
Ricciardo looked to be in a spot of bother early on when puffs of smoke emitted from his car, but whatever the issue was, it didn’t slow him down overmuch as he held on the ninth for much of the race. Letting Norris through late on thanks to the youngster having fresher tyres, the Aussie did his best to hold up a charging Perez and buy his team mate so breathing room but in the end it wasn’t to be. Norris likewise didn’t let Perez through without a fight, the two making contact in what looked like very hard but just fair racing. But ultimately, it was just the one point gained for the team.
Daniel Ricciardo, 11th
“Difficult race. Coming up to the line, I went to pull the clutch and it wasn’t working, so my preferred clutch paddle had an issue. I did the start with my other hand and that was a big part of losing a position to Russell off the line. But we recovered well and I got back past Russell and Giovinazzi. We actually gained a position on lap one when I thought we were going to lose a few, so that was great. We were then just stuck behind the Alpines. They were saving the tyres and I was just trying to stay with them. Once they opened it up, I didn’t have their pace.
“We put the hard tyre on and were trying to get into a bit of a rhythm. We also tried to execute a team strategy to maximise points, which cost me some race time. It was hard to get going after that and I think ultimately the pace wasn’t that good. We did struggle a bit, for different reasons, in the first and second stint. We were P10 at one point today, but it was hard to see how we could’ve been much higher than that. I'd have obviously loved to score points, but we’ll analyse it and learn from it. Next up, Monza! Give me some pizza!”
Lando Norris, 10th
"A bit of a mixed result today. Disappointing because it’s P10, but good because I didn’t think we could've done a lot more from 13th. It's such a difficult track to overtake on, but we had good pace, we had a good strategy and I think we have to be happy with one point. I think that’s the best we could've done today. Maybe if we'd started in a better position and did a better job yesterday, we could've achieved a little bit more – so we need to look at how we can learn from it. Still, I'm satisfied, and we’ll use it to make sure we bounce back and are much stronger in Monza."
Andreas Seidl, Team Principal
“That was a lot of hard work for one point. It was the race we were expecting, given our starting positions and the way we’ve been struggling for pace this weekend. We gave it our best and didn’t leave anything on the table, with the drivers and their crews working very well together to see if we could extract more. In the end, we had to accept there wasn’t anything else available. Thanks to Daniel for playing the team game today to try to maximise our points, but unfortunately it didn’t pay off this time. Thanks, in fact, to the whole team at the track and back at the factory, plus our colleagues from HPP, for their hard work.
“From a wider perspective, the returning Dutch Grand Prix was a sensational show, with the Dutch fans in the grandstands making it very special. I’m sure it’s a highlight for everyone here at the track – but now we have to regroup and reset very quickly, with the aim of striking back in Monza in just a few days’ time.”
Vettel livened up the action when he tried a move on Kubica into the steeply banked Turn 3 and lost the rear, half sliding through the corner and nearly collecting Bottas for his troubles. Other than that it was a quiet day for the German who didn’t have the pace to move too far forward from his lowly grid slot. It was an even more frustrating race for Stroll, who finished where he started after staring at Russell’s rear wing for the vast majority of the race.
Sebastian Vettel, 13th
“It was one of those days which shows that if you start further back it is really hard to recover, especially on a track where overtaking is so tricky. I had to take a lot of risks when overtaking, but if you qualify out of position it is difficult to come back. When I did have some clean air, in the final part of the race, the pace was very competitive and I found a good rhythm. From where we started, we had to try to do something different with the strategy and I was happy with our approach.”
Lance Stroll, 12th
“We can see from the race just how important qualifying is and unfortunately we were compromised yesterday, so we had it all to do today. I made an okay start off the line, but I was not able to make up any places. After that, I could only really follow George [Russell] for the majority of the race in a train of cars. Without a significant tyre delta, it is almost impossible to overtake here. We will look into the strategy to see what else we could have done, but I do not think we could have done a lot differently. Zandvoort is a great track to drive and it is definitely more of a Saturday circuit. I am happy to see it on the calendar, but perhaps there are ways to look into improving overtaking on a Sunday. For now, we will reset and focus on Monza.”
Otmar Szafnauer, Team Principal & CEO
“On a circuit on which overtaking is extremely difficult, we were unable to make much progress today with either Lance’s one-stop strategy or Sebastian’s two-stopper. Nonetheless, they both drove well in difficult circumstances. The first Formula One Dutch Grand Prix for 36 years was well organised and efficiently run, and, although there was not a lot of on-track action in terms of overtaking, an excited full-house audience was rewarded with victory for the local hero. Next weekend we will be at Monza, a very different kind of challenge, and a welcome opportunity for us to try to improve on today’s performance.”
Kubica had a solid race for the team on what could well be his only outing this year, fighting hard but fair with the likes of Vettel and Tsunoda. Giovinazzi will be the more disappointed of the two today, as he went backwards off the start and soon dropped out of the points. A late puncture forced a second pit stop, which sent him further down the order on a day where on paper, points had looks possible.
Robert Kubica, 15th
“I am quite happy with my race, even if it was not easy to step in on one of the toughest, most physical tracks. Last time I did a full race distance was nearly two years ago in Abu Dhabi, but in the end it was a good race and I even had some fun battles. Everyone probably expected a chaotic race, with yellow flags, safety cars, but none of this happened: I still managed to have a good fight with Sebastian [Vettel] and then catch Latifi and pass him in the final lap, which was fun. Considering the amount of preparation I had, I am very pleased with how the race went and I am ready if the team needs me again.”
Antonio Giovinazzi, 14th
“It was a good start from a good position, but already in the first lap I had contact with Fernando and dropped some places. We were still in the top ten and looking solid, but then a puncture compromised our race. It had been a really good weekend until then but that bad luck during the race means we didn’t score any points. Now we focus fully on Monza, my home race: I’m looking forward to giving a good show to all the Tifosi.”
Frédéric Vasseur, Team Principal
“It was a day in which luck was not on our side, with a potential good result lost to an unfortunate series of circumstances. Coming on the back of our best qualifying performance since 2014, we were confident we could have a good race. Sadly, Antonio suffered a contact in the opening stages and lost a few positions as a result. His race was further compromised when he had a puncture just a few laps after his pit stop and had to return for a fresh set of tyres: after that, he was good to recover a few places but the top ten remained out of reach. Robert had a good race, with some entertaining battles and his final lap pass on Latifi was a nice way to bring the race to a close. We finish 14th and 15th on a weekend where we would have deserved more.”
Not to be for Russell, who held on to P11 for much of the race despite having Stroll for close company in the opening two stints. The Williams man was handed a time penalty for speeding in the pit lane, which looked set to drop him down the order before he retired anyway with mechanical woes. As for Latifi, he started from the pit lane after changing his front wing assembly overnight and was always up against it on a track where overtaking is difficult. He made his way past the Haas drivers with the move on Mazepin a particular highlight, but couldn’t get close to troubling for points out there.
George Russell, DNF
"Our race was respectable. The first stint was good, keeping up with Antonio Giovinazzi and the McLarens ahead. When I pitted, I pushed it to the maximum on the pit entry. It’s a really tricky entry here and I overdid it slightly unfortunately. The five second time penalty didn’t really compromise our race though and we would have come home either 12th or 13th if we hadn’t had to retire the car with a gearbox issue a few laps from the end. I am already looking forward to next weekend in Italy; Monza is a completely different track to here where we run almost minimum downforce compared to Zandvoort which is almost maximum downforce. We also have the sprint race too which will offer opportunities."
Nicholas Latifi, 16th
"As we expected, Zandvoort was a tricky circuit for racing and there weren’t many opportunities to pass other cars out there. It was never going to be easy starting from the pit lane, and it took Sergio (Perez) and I about two laps to catch back up with the pack. The first stint was good; I managed to pass both Haas cars and I was happy with our pace. We did a long stint on the hard tyres though, so managing those became challenging towards the end of the race and I was losing temperature due to the blue flags, so it was a bit of a struggle today."
Dave Robson, Head of Vehicle Performance
"Although the result today was a little frustrating, the pace of the car this week has been good and the way we approached the event at a new circuit was effective and enjoyable.
"George got a good start today but couldn’t capitalise fully due to the Alpine cars ahead fighting with each other. He was able to hold his position throughout the opening stint before getting ahead of Giovinazzi when he had to stop again. The McLarens pulled off a good team manoeuvre on us, which allowed Norris to get ahead and at that point we were destined to finish 12th on the track, ahead of both Aston Martins. However, a five second penalty for a pit lane speeding offence and then a gearbox issue, which we need to investigate, meant that we finished 18th.
"Nicholas started the race from the pit lane following his heavy crash yesterday and a change to a different front wing. His pace was strong, but he was able to make some overtakes and looked like he would finish quite close to George. Towards the end of the race his pace dropped off as he lost tyre temperature when letting the leaders through and this made the last few laps very difficult.
"It has been a great experience to visit Zandvoort and to see the passion and energy of the local fans. We are pleased with how we tackled the weekend and with the overall pace of the FW43B at this circuit.
"Monza marks the end of this triple-header run of races and of course presents a very different challenge to Zandvoort, both in terms of the circuit layout and the event format. We are very keen to get back out on the track and put the FW43B through its paces at this iconic track."
Once again the Haas drivers were involved in some on track incidents between themselves. Schumacher wasn’t a fan of some of Mazepin’s defensive moves as they fought for position down the field, while the Russian did his best to keep his team mate at bay. In the end Mazepin was forced to retire with a hydraulics issue, with Schumacher propping up the field on a difficult day for the team.
Mick Schumacher, 18th
“Tough – it could’ve been better. It seemed there was an issue with the front wing – I’m not quite sure what it was – but I was losing a lot of front end, so I came in to change it. The hard tyre didn’t really run how I wanted it to, so we had to pit a bit early onto the medium and that worked a lot better, so from that perspective we can be quite happy. I’m definitely looking forward to coming back here next year.”
Nikita Mazepin, DNF
“I’m upset on having to retire the car as my job is to drive and I’ve not driven enough over the last few race weekends. Luckily, I don’t feel at fault for this, so that’s one thing to put in the back of your mind. I was having a good race, I was having a lot of fun – I had a very good opening lap, and I was then trying to manage what we had. Unfortunately, the hydraulic issue meant we needed to manage things, turn down the engine – which meant Robert Kubica got by us. As a precaution then we had to stop and retire the car. I was giving it my best and I just want to get the best result for the team. It just wasn’t meant to be today.”
Guenther Steiner, Team Principal
“Obviously it was unfortunate that Nikita’s car had to stop with a hydraulic issue so he couldn’t get to the end. I think once both of our cars got into the running it was respectable what was done. Obviously, we had the contact between the two of them at the beginning of the race. We all sat down afterwards, and my aim now is to work on it and we’ll sort these problems out for the future.”
Mario Isola, Head of F1 and Car Racing
"All three compounds that we nominated for the race played a prominent role, underlining how there was a big variety of successful strategies today on this brand new and very exciting circuit, with the drivers pushing to the maximum all the way to the end. Along with the warmer weather today compared to previous days, this meant that there were plenty of demands placed on the tyres – so it was the right decision to come here with the three hardest tyres in the range. Wear was higher than predicted due to a lack of long runs before the race, while degradation was in line with expectations. Prior to the final stops for the soft from Mercedes at the end of the race, a used medium tyre showed its capability to set the fastest lap. Congratulations to Max Verstappen and Red Bull for an extremely popular home victory."