Max Verstappen won the Dutch Grand Prix after a furious attack by Lewis Hamilton for an impressive victory was derailed by a strategic error by Mercedes.
Hamilton was second when Valtteri Bottas broke down in his Alfa Romeo with 15 laps remaining at Zandvoort.
But while those around him stopped for the faster soft tyres, Hamilton was left out on the worn mediums.
Hamilton took over the race lead, but Mercedes’ questionable decision made the seven-time world champion an easy target, just as it was in last season’s title decider in Abu Dhabi, when the race resumed in lap 60 of 72.
Verstappen immediately zipped past Hamilton to the delight of his home crowd before the Mercedes driver set the airwaves ablaze with a series of radio outbursts directed at his team.
“That was the biggest s**t,” Hamilton said.
On lap 64, things would take a turn for the worse for Hamilton when his teammate George Russell passed him for second and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc knocked Hamilton off the podium on the following lap. Hamilton crossed the finish line in fourth place.
“I can’t believe you guys f*cked me,” Hamilton reproached. “I can’t tell you how upset I am.”
Verstappen earned his fourth straight victory to extend his championship lead over Leclerc to 109 points with seven rounds and 191 points remaining.
Hamilton was a contender to take his first win of a poor season after he adopted a one-stop strategy and worked his way from fourth to second.
But Hamilton’s hopes of victory were dashed when Verstappen was handed a free pit stop after Yuki Tsunoda, who drives for Red Bull’s junior Alpha Tauri team, broke down on track with a mechanical failure on lap 48 of 72.
However, Hamilton would get a chance at a reprieve when his former Mercedes team-mate Bottas stopped at the first corner and the safety car was activated.
But his failure to take new rubber spoiled his momentum, and the Briton couldn’t hide his fury. Hamilton crossed the finish line 13 seconds behind Verstappen.
After taking his second win on his native land, Verstappen said: “Before that pace car I thought I was fine, but then I thought ‘we can’t go on like this if we don’t pit’.
I had a good race at the restart and we had a really good balance in the car.
It was not an easy race. It’s always special to win the home grand prix, it was last year and this year, I had to work even harder for it. I am proud to be Dutch.”
Russell said: “The team’s result was not exactly what we hoped for, but we as Mercedes are getting closer to that higher step, so we will keep pushing.
Sergio Pérez took fifth place, one place ahead of Fernando Alonso, with Lando Norris seventh.
Carlos Sainz started third, but his race came undone on lap 14 when Ferrari ridiculously only took out three tires for their first pit stop.
Sainz was stranded for 12.7 seconds as the error-plagued Italian team searched for the left rear of the Spaniard’s car.
“Oh my gosh,” said an incredulous Sainz with his ambitions for a podium finished. He then received a five-second penalty for an unsafe release when he stopped under the pace car, demoting him to eighth place.
After the race, Hamilton again pointed to his team and said on the radio: “I can’t believe it, guys. I can’t tell you how upset I am right now.”
His race engineer, Peter Bonnington, responded: “Copia, Lewis, we’ll chat later.
“Sorry Lewis, it looked good, but we will sit down and review the decisions we made.”
Hamilton’s Mercedes boss Toto Wolff joined in the apology, saying: “Lewis, sorry it didn’t work out. We took a risk and it didn’t work out, but let’s talk to each other in the office.”