Dutch GP: George Russell leads Mercedes charge in first practice as local hero Max Verstappen crumbles

George Russell sets the tone in the first practice session, two tenths ahead of Lewis Hamilton; Ferrari and McLaren behind Mercedes while Max Verstappen only completed seven laps before a gearbox problem; Watch the second practice session on Sky Sports F1 at 3pm, with a ramp-up from 2.45pm

Last update: 09/02/22 1:21 p.m.

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Max Verstappen’s Red Bull breaks down in early Dutch Grand Prix practice, leaving home fans in stunned silence at Zandvoort

Max Verstappen’s Red Bull breaks down in early Dutch Grand Prix practice, leaving home fans in stunned silence at Zandvoort

George Russell led a surprise Mercedes one-two in an intriguing first test for the Dutch GP, as local favorite Max Verstappen’s F1 momentum took a sudden turn after crashing on the track in his Red Bull.

Verstappen completed just seven laps before suffering a gearbox problem, with a raucous Zandvoort crowd left in stunned silence as the Dutchman’s car came to a halt.

Verstappen was unable to come back into the session, unexpectedly leaving him on the back foot after dominating the Belgian GP last weekend, where a charge to win from 14th to first earned him 93 points ahead in the title race.

In Verstappen’s absence, Ferrari and McLaren battled for the top spots before Mercedes fitted the fastest soft tires and rushed to the front.

Red Bull's Sergio Perez was inches away from hitting the wall in early practice for the Dutch Grand Prix

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Red Bull’s Sergio Perez was inches away from hitting the wall in early practice for the Dutch Grand Prix

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez was inches away from hitting the wall in early practice for the Dutch Grand Prix

Russell led with a 1:12.455, two tenths quicker than teammate Lewis Hamilton.

Carlos Sainz finished third for Ferrari with Lando Norris fourth, with McLaren significantly quicker than midfield rivals Alpine – their off-track battle continues as the off-track dispute over Oscar Piastri rumbles without announcement.

Daniel Ricciardo finished fifth ahead of Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez, who were surprisingly late in their Ferrari and Red Bull cars.

Although we don’t yet know Verstappen’s pace at Zandvoort, the early signs for Mercedes are certainly positive after a disappointing weekend at Spa.

McLaren's Lando Norris and Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel nearly crashed in opening practice for the Dutch Grand Prix

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McLaren’s Lando Norris and Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel nearly crashed in opening practice for the Dutch Grand Prix

McLaren’s Lando Norris and Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel nearly crashed in opening practice for the Dutch Grand Prix

“It feels more like a weekend in Budapest than a weekend in Spa,” said Sky Sports F1’s Karun Chandhok, referring to the Hungarian GP where Mercedes took pole and the Belgian GP where they were 1.8 seconds down in qualifying.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner says Red Bull do not yet know the full implications of Verstappen’s failure.

“We lost the drive, going from fourth to fifth, so we have to get the car back and figure that out,” Horner told Sky Sports F1. “Hopefully we can get it rolling quickly for the next session.”

Both Alpines were in the top 10, with Alex Albon continuing to outdo himself in the Williams.

Dutch GP Practice One Timesheet

Driver Crew Time
1) George Russell mercedes 1:13.416
2) Lewis Hamilton mercedes +0.240
3) Carlos Sainz Ferrari +0.390
4) Lando Norris McLaren +0.474
5) Daniel Ricardo McLaren +0.622
6) Charles Leclerc Ferrari +0.672
7) Sergio Perez Red Bull +0.961
8) Fernando Alonso Alpine +1.178
9) Esteban Ocon Alpine +1.508
10) Alex Albon williams +1.608
11) Mick Schumacher Haas +1.708
12) Start the walk Aston Martin +1.802
13) Kevin Magnussen Haas +1.950
14) Pierre Gasly Alpha Tauri +2.019
15) Sebastien Vettel Aston Martin +2.045
16) Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo +2.079
17) Yuki Tsunoda Alpha Tauri +2.175
18) Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo +2.240
19) Max Verstappen Red Bull +2.259
20) Nicholas Latifi williams +2.667



Dutch GP: George Russell leads Mercedes charge in first practice as local hero Max Verstappen crumbles

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