When I tell you that nothing in this race made sense, believe me...NOTHING MADE SENSE!
Alright so it was a fairly standard race until about lap 45 when Yuki Tsunoda started having issues with his car on the track.
Originally, he stopped his car on the track claiming a tyre was loose and then heard back from his team that everything was fine. So, he continued with the race at much slower speeds. He decided to pit after the lap, change tyres and have his team "adjust his seatbelt." Shit started getting weird because most times the team will listen to the driver if he feels something off.
After about 4 turns, Yuki then fully stops his car and deploys a Virtual Safety Car.
Now this is where it gets interesting, if Yuki doesn't stop on track, then everyone felt like Lewis Hamilton would've overtaken Max Verstappen and came out with the win. Hamilton had fresher tyres and Max would've needed to pit for a tyre change. However, with this VSC deployed, it gave Max Verstappen a chance to pit and not lose his position.
ALSO, it's important to keep in mind that Yuki's team, AlphaTauri, is a brother team to Red Bull…weird….very weird…
So Verstappen, Russell and Hamilton all pit. Verstappen goes to the hard tyres, while the Mercedes drivers all go to the medium compound.
Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Bottas stops right before turn 1. This time, an actual safety car gets deployed:
So this is about 7 laps after the Yuki incident.
In an interesting move, Red Bull decide to pit AGAIN and switch Max to the soft compound. The soft tyre is the fastest compound, however it wears the quickest. So the remaining laps would've put it out just enough for Max to finish the race without worrying too much about losing grip on his tyres.
HOWEVER, this made Max Verstappen give up position to Lewis, putting him in P2. So the cars were free to race at lap 61 and immediately Super Max took the P1 position back from Hamilton:
From there on out, it was the Max Verstappen show. He coasted to a victory in front of his home crowd at Zandvoort.
Remember how Hamilton was P1 after the safety car restart? Well he ended up finishing out of the podium, with a P4 finish. Russell took second after going wheel-to-wheel with his teammate, while Leclerc managed to salvage a 3rd place.
It seems like Lewis and the team fucked up by not switching him to soft tyres after the safety car was deployed because of Bottas. Russell, Verstappen and Leclerc all benefitted from the soft compound. Lewis was in a shitty position because he didn't want to give up the race lead. Formula 1 strategy is a tricky bastard sometimes, and today it was Hamilton that was on the losing end.
In other highlights, Ferrari continues to be the joke of Formula 1. First, they managed to give Carlos Sainz a pit stop time of 12.7 seconds (average is typically 2.5) AND managed to leave the tyre gun out which Checo ran over:
You can see how Ferrari leave out the wheel gun in the bottom left picture below:
Next week, we're racing at Monza!