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George Russell retires in Dutch Grand Prix as Verstappen wins to retake Championship lead

Max Verstappen beat Lewis Hamilton to the Pole in the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort to retake the lead in the Championship in the penultimate fixture of the formula one season. A week after George Russell’s surprise podium finish in Belgium he was back to reality with a bump with a gear box issue forcing a retirement on lap 70. Nicholas Latifi fared better as he finished 16th after a one stop race.

With Valtteri Bottas widely expected to move to Alfa Romeo from Mercedes next season, it seems highly likely that George Russell will be partnering Lewis Hamilton next year. In the race, Bottas defied orders to try for a fastest lap to hint an announcement is due soon.

Coastal Zandvoort had a party atmosphere as Dutch/Belgian Max Verstappen made it a home coming double win for the 23 year old Red Bull driver to the delight of the locals in a sea of orange flares. Verstappen’s form since Monaco has been outstanding, winning 5 of the last 8, and his sixth pole in the last seven.

In practise both Russell and Latifi crashed to hinder their chances, and it gave them too much to do in the Williams cars. Russell received a five second penalty for a pit lane speeding offence before bringing the car in with the gear box struggling.

What did the Williams Team say?

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.

George Russell:

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:

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.

Dutch Grand Prix Results

Track: Circuit Zandvoort, The Netherlands Weather: Warm and dry conditions
Lap Length: 4.259 km / 2.646 miles Temperature: Air: 21-23°C Track: 35-37°C
Pos Driver Team Time/Gap (Fastest Lap) Grid Tyre Changes
1. M. Verstappen Red Bull Racing Honda 1:30:05.395

(1:13.275)

1 2 (21, 40)
2. L. Hamilton Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team + 20.932

(1:11.097)

2 3 (20, 39, 70)
3. V. Bottas Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team + 56.460

(1:12.549)

3 2 ( 31, 67)
16. N. Latifi, FW43B-01 Williams Racing + 2 LAPS

(1:15.790)

Pit Lane 1 (23)
DNF. G. Russell, FW43B-03 Williams Racing DNF 11 1 (27)

 

28-Mar-21 Bahrain Grand Prix Bahrain IC
18-Apr-21 Emilia Romagna Grand Prix Imola
02-May-21 Portuguese Grand Prix Algarve International Circuit
09-May-21 Spanish Grand Prix Circuit de Catalunya
23-May-21 Monaco Grand Prix Monte Carlo
06-Jun-21 Azerbaijan Grand Prix Baku City Circuit
20-Jun-21 French Grand Prix Circuit Paul Ricard
27-Jun-21 Styrian Grand Prix Red Bull Ring
04-Jul-21 Austrian Grand Prix Red Bull Ring
18-Jul-21 British Grand Prix Silverstone
01-Aug-21 Hungarian Grand Prix Hungaroring
29-Aug-21 Belgian Grand Prix Spa-Francorchamps
05-Sep-21 Dutch Grand Prix Zandvoort
12-Sep-21 Italian Grand Prix MonzaItalian
26-Sep-21 Russian Grand Prix Sochi Autodrom
10-Oct-21 Turkish Grand Prix Istanbul Park
24-Oct-21 USA Grand Prix Circuit Of The Americas
07-Nov-21 Mexican Grand Prix Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez
14-Nov-21 Brazilian Grand Prix Autódromo José Carlos Pace
05-Dec-21 Qatar Grand Prix Losail International Circuit
05-Dec-21 Saudi Arabia Grand Prix Jeddah Street Circuit
12-Dec-21 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix Yas Marina Circuit

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