Max Verstappen takes championship lead with Dutch Grand Prix win

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Max Verstappen won his home Dutch Grand Prix for Red Bull on Sunday and took the Formula One championship lead in front of a roaring army of fans hailing their hero with orange flags and flares.

The 23-year-old dominated from pole position to take the chequered flag in the first Dutch Grand Prix for 36 years, finishing 20.932 seconds ahead of Mercedes’ seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Max Verstappen celebrates winning the Dutch Grand Prix.

Max Verstappen celebrates winning the Dutch Grand Prix.Credit:Getty Images

Hamilton’s Finnish teammate Valtteri Bottas completed the podium, moving up to third in the championship, with the rest of the field all lapped by Verstappen.

Hamilton took a bonus point for the fastest lap, but Verstappen overturned a three-point deficit to go three points clear of Hamilton, with 224.5 to the Briton’s 221.5.

The victory was Verstappen’s seventh in 13 races, with nine rounds remaining, and set off a gigantic beachside party.

“As you can hear, it’s incredible,” said the winner over the roar of his home crowd.

“Obviously, the expectations were very high going into the weekend and it’s never easy to fulfil that, but I’m of course so happy to win here, to take the lead as well in the championship as well. It’s just an amazing day. Just the whole crowd, It’s incredible.”

Hamilton also hailed the 70,000-strong crowd for their passion and enthusiasm.

“What a race, what a crowd,” he said. “It’s been an amazing weekend. Max did a great job – congratulations to him. I gave it absolutely everything today, flat out. I pushed as hard as I could, but they were just too quick for us.”

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