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Formula 1: Lights Out - What to look for at the Dutch GP

Max Verstappen arrives for the Dutch Grand Prix in the form of his life and with a huge 93-point lead in the championship over his Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez.

Little wonder, then, that the Flying Dutchman is just 1/2 to record a tenth win of the season in front of a fanatical home crowd at Zandvoort.

Verstappen won in Belgium last week by almost 18 seconds despite starting the race 14th on the grid, following comfortable victories in Hungary (from tenth on the grid) and France.

While it isn't mathematically possible for him to wrap up his second title in the Netherlands, it looks only a matter of time before he does.


Dutch Grand Prix


Zandvoort, Netherlands


Friday 2nd September-Sunday 4th September

How to watch

Sky Sports F1


(Race win) Max Verstappen 1/2, Charles Leclerc 4/1, Carlos Sainz 9/1, Sergio Perez 10/1, Lewis Hamilton 14/1

Red Bull accelerating away from the pack

What started out as a fantastic duel between two of F1's young chargers, defending champion Verstappen and Ferrari ace Charles Leclerc, has turned into a one-horse race.

A series of slip-ups from the Italian team saw Verstappen go into the summer break with a commanding advantage in the title race.

All the teams brought a host of upgrades as F1 returned from a four-week hiatus at Spa last weekend, and Red Bull looked to have taken a huge step forward.

While Verstappen had to take a grid penalty for fitting new engine parts, he looked like he was playing a video game on too easy a setting as he carved his way through the field.

Teammate Perez missed out on pole position in Belgium to Ferrari's Carlos Sainz, but by the end of the race Sainz was more concerned with keeping George Russell at bay to hold on to third.

Will a different circuit produce a different result?

From the high-speed blast through the Ardennes there is a huge contrast with this week's venue, which winds its way through the dunes on the Dutch coast.

And it's the very different demands that that puts on car setup that will give Red Bull's rivals a glimmer of hope of at least making a race of it this weekend.

Less promising for them is the fact that Verstappen bossed his home race last season, taking pole position and coming home more than 20 seconds clear of his title rival Lewis Hamilton.

However, this year's cars are very different following the extensive off-season rule changes. Twistier tracks have tended to favour Ferrari - particularly over a single lap - and Leclerc will be of interest to some at 9/4 in the fastest qualifier market.

The Monegasque has dropped to third in the standings but has seven pole positions this season to his name. Like Verstappen, Leclerc was hit with a grid penalty in Belgium and he was further hampered by having to pit at the end of the first lap to remove debris from a brake cooling duct.

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Mercedes' search for first win goes on

Mercedes won't be winning their ninth consecutive constructors title this year, but they arrived in Belgium in bullish mood following double podium finishes in the previous two races and a first pole position of the season following Russell's heroic late lap in Hungary.

The team were confident that updates to their troublesome car would see them bag a victory before the campaign was over, but it all went wrong at Spa.

They were 1.8 seconds off the pace in qualifying, where cool conditions and a lack of straight-line speed counted against them, and Hamilton retired on the first lap of the race following a clash with his old sparring partner Fernando Alonso.

Russell fared better in the race, challenging Sainz for third towards the end, but it ended a run of six events with at least one Merc on the podium.

A lack of top speed won't hurt at Zandvoort, where the Silver Arrows' ability to look after their tyres should also be a boon. Hamilton is 13/8 for a top-three finish on Sunday with Russell 9/4.

Consistency paying off for Alpine

Alpine are the only team to have brought both drivers home in the top ten in each of the last four races and that run has seen them take fourth place in the constructors' championship ahead of McLaren.

Esteban Ocon finished seventh at Spa despite being one of the many drivers nominally starting at the back of the grid, while wily veteran Alonso has three top-six finishes in the last five races.

It's 4/6 that the French team score another double points finish at Zandvoort, while Alonso is 8/11 to make the top six again.

What will the weather be like?

A warm weekend is forecast with temperatures in the mid-to-high 20s, although there is a risk of showers during qualifying. It is not expected to be particularly windy, which will be a relief to the engineers as sand blowing across the track has been known to cause issues at Zandvoort.

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