Max Verstappen had to work hard to claim back-to-back victories at his home Grand Prix, but nevertheless delivered the goods in front of a sold-out Zandvoort crowd.
The Dutchman extended his lead in the Drivers’ Championship to a staggering 109-points over Charles Leclerc, with the reigning World Champion likely to retain his crown as soon as the Singapore Grand Prix.
It wasn’t the easiest race for the 24-year-old, as Red Bull Racing had to ace their strategy in order to beat Mercedes.
In traditional Red Bull fashion, they got every call right with Verstappen, which included pitting under a Virtual Safety Car whilst Yuki Tsunoda’s stricken AT03 was recovered.
The Dutchman did actually lose the lead in the closing stages of the race, after opting to pit again, whilst a very late Safety Car was introduced after Valtteri Bottas grinded to a halt down the main straight.
Verstappen moved onto a set of Soft tyres, whilst Sir Lewis Hamilton claimed the race lead but whilst continuing on old Mediums.
When the racing got underway, Hamilton was instantly overtaken by Verstappen, with the Dutch driver having both superior grip and straight-line speed.
It certainly wasn’t a “straightforward race” for the championship leader; however, he believes that this made the victory “extra rewarding”.
“Yes, it was not a straightforward race, so I think it’s extra rewarding to win the race,” said the Dutchman to the official Formula 1 website.
“We couldn’t really do our preferred strategy to the end. That made it a little bit more difficult for us up until the last Safety Car, because I think we were just a bit more competitive on the softer compounds.
“But then of course with that late Safety Car we could switch back to the preferred tyre, the soft one, and could get back into the lead.
Verstappen’s victory was met by a huge roar of emotion from the Dutch crowd, who partied long into the night.
The Dutch driver is seemingly a superstar in his home country, which saw fans remain in the grandstands long after the race had finished in order to enjoy the celebrations.
Verstappen clearly loved the noise being generated, as the Red Bull driver went onto the grid long after the race had finished to further excite his following.
Hilariously, whilst climbing through a gap in the fencing where his team put out the pit-board, he banged his head; however, the Dutchman couldn’t give a care in the world!
Verstappen later added that it’s “always special” to win his race, where the orange army certainly turned out in their thousands!
“It’s always special to to win your home Grand Prix,” Verstappen added.
“This year. I have to say I have to work for even more. An incredible weekend and I’m really happy we got the Dutch Grand Prix.”