It's a bit like that old saying about buses for Formula 1 fans at the moment - you wait all summer for another Grand Prix, and two come along at once (with a third next Sunday)! So join us as TrackDays rounds up all the action from Zandvoort over the weekend…
His mid season wobbles at Silverstone and Hungary from earlier in the summer clearly behind him, Team Red Bull's Max Verstappen roared to a comprehensive victory at the Dutch Grand Prix yesterday, taking his seventh win of the season in front of his ecstatic home crowd with a final lap time of 1:30:05.
It also means that he is now back at the top of the championship standings to date, as the 25 points he gained means he now edges back ahead of Lewis Hamilton by 3 points. His Team Mercedes rival incidentally finished in second place yesterday, unable to overcome the lead Verstappen never relinquished, whilst Hamilton's teammate Valteri Bottas rounded off the top 3.
As the electric 'Orange Army' audience of 65,000 celebrated at the first Grand Prix to be held at the Zandvoort circuit since 1985, an almost speechless Max took to his Twitter account after the race to say "No words … I'm so happy to win my home Grand Prix and the Orange Army, just incredible … A day to remember."
Speaking of Valteri Bottas, he has confirmed today (6th September) that he will be moving on from Team Mercedes to Team Alfa Romeo as of next season. The Finnish driver's announcement of the move is thus adding more fuel to suggestions that Team Williams Racing's George Russell is about to join Team Mercedes as his replacement that we discussed on this very page last week.
Bottas himself will be replacing the retiring Kimi Raikkonen on Team Alfa Romeo, and in a statement today he said "I am proud of what I achieved at Mercedes and I am fully focused on finishing the job as we fight for another world championship. But I am also looking forward to the new challenges that await me next year with an iconic manufacturer."
During his time with Mercedes, whom he joined in 2017, Bottas has notched up a total of nine GP wins in all, the most recent of which was at last year's Russian Grand Prix, as well as finishing second in the overall F1 World Championship for 2020.
Thai racer Alex Albon was last seen finishing fourth for Team Red Bull at the closing Abu Dhabi GP in December last year. Demoted to reserve and development driver in favour of Sergio Perez for this season, speculation is mounting that not only is he set to return to the driver's seat in 2022, but that it will be on a new team.
In fact, with the moves discussed above of both Bottas and Russell, both Williams Racing and Alfa Romeo are, according to Team Red Bull boss Christian Horner, very interested in signing him, and it is likely he will move to either one of these.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of the qualifying for the Dutch GP, Horner said: "Alex deserves a seat in Formula 1 next year … Williams and Alfa have both expressed interest and we're keen to see him back racing in Formula 1. Hopefully that can get resolved over the next few days."
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