Red Bull’s Dutch driver Max Verstappen hopes to reignite the Formula 1 world title race when he takes part in the Dutch Grand Prix, the thirteenth stage of the world championship, at home in Zandvoort this weekend. Erase the memories of “farce” last Sunday in Belgium.
The Dutch Grand Prix, the first since 1985, is the second of three stages to be held over a three-week period.
The first stage in Belgium is still causing a lot of controversy and quarrels so far as the Red Bull Verstappen driver crowned the champion of the shortest race in the history of the world championship, after running only two laps due to torrential rain at Spa-Francorchamps, which hosted the twelfth stage of the first category. Sunday.
Being pole position, Verstappen simply led unchallenged from pole position until the red flag was raised for the race.
The start of the race was initially delayed by 30 minutes in the absence of Red Bull’s Mexican driver Sergio Perez, who lost control of his car on the way to the stopping line, causing damage.
But after starting behind the safety car for one lap, it turned out that the conditions were very difficult and it was not possible to drive due to the lack of vision, which prompted the race observers to raise the red flag and therefore ask the drivers to head to the pit lane waiting for things to happen, after waiting for 3 and a half hours. The race started again and was stopped after just two laps.
According to the law, teams had to run at least two laps to score half the points, with Verstappen ahead of Williams’ George Russell and Mercedes’ Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton ahead of the general classification.
“Mad Max”, who won 12.5 points, reduced the difference between him and the leader in the drivers’ standings, “Sir” Hamilton, to only 3 points, after the latter got only 7.5 points (202.5 compared to 199.5), knowing that the Briton was leading by 8 points before this round.
And the Dutch driver can take the lead in front of his enthusiastic fans with the return of Formula One to Zandvoort, a fast track located on sandy coastal hills in a beach resort near Amsterdam, where the last winner was the late Austrian Niki Lauda with McLaren in 1985.
Featuring sloping corners and sea views, the undulating path has retained its unique, challenging and exotic character, including the famous Tarzan Corner. Even with low attendance, the atmosphere will be festive.
The arena has a capacity of 105,000 people and tickets are all sold out, but attendance for a long-awaited opportunity to see Verstappen compete on home soil will be limited to around 70,000 spectators per day due to the COVID-19 virus.
However, many of the “orange army” will be there in some warm and dry weather, after heavy rain at Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.
Verstappen will try to become the first Dutchman to win the race on home soil, while seven-times world champion Hamilton seeks to become the first driver to win 100 races in Formula One.
“It wasn’t a satisfying feeling to leave Belgium with a few laps behind the safety car, but that’s what it is,” said frustrated Austrian Mercedes principal Toto Wolff. the following”.
“Zandvoort is an exciting circuit for the drivers because it’s fast and flowing, it looks like an old school circuit, so I’m sure they are looking forward to taking on this challenge.”
“As a team, we are enjoying the challenge of tackling a new circuit and that means new opportunities to find an edge. We aim to get to the track on Friday and take the fight to our competitors.”
Despite calls led by Hamilton to consider awarding spectators in Belgium compensation, Wolff insisted it was best to “move forward”, but faced some opposition, with McLaren boss Zak Brown calling for action.
“I think there is a huge amount of learning coming out of that weekend in how to deal with the humidity, how to deal with rules and points, how to deal with fans,” Brown said.
“I am very happy that our sport’s leader, Stefano Domenicali, shares the same views that it was an unacceptable result, and has called on all the team leaders together in the Netherlands to tackle it, learn from it and fix it.”
With the Belgian fans’ compensation controversy continuing, Hamilton is likely to receive a tough welcome by the raucous Dutch fans as he continues his title defense campaign amid a fierce competition with Verstappen.
Mercedes may have a better car on the track than Red Bull in a tight competition in which McLaren and Ferrari could pose a threat, while behind-the-scenes speculation about next year’s driver line-up is likely to increase, with Kimi Raikkonen announcing his intention to retire at the end of this year. Leaving a vacant seat at Alfa Romeo, compatriot Valtteri Bottas is expected to vacate it if he is replaced at Mercedes by Britain’s George Russell of Williams.