Max Verstappen secured a remarkable ninth consecutive victory in the Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix on a rainy Sunday at Circuit Zandvoort, his home event. This win means he has equaled the decade-long record set by Sebastian Vettel during his time with Red Bull Racing.
The race started with Verstappen on pole position alongside McLaren’s Lando Norris. Verstappen had a strong start, but heavy rain began to fall during the first lap, catching some drivers off guard. Verstappen, however, continued racing on his starting soft tires.
Meanwhile, Verstappen’s teammate, Sergio Perez, who started seventh on the grid, made a strategic decision to pit for intermediate tires. This dropped him down the order initially, but as the rain intensified, it proved to be a wise move. Other drivers, including Verstappen, also opted for intermediates.
Perez briefly took the lead by the third lap, with Verstappen dropping to fifth after his second pit stop. However, Verstappen made a comeback, lapping up to two seconds quicker than his teammate. After a lap 11 pit stop, Verstappen returned to soft tires and regained the lead on lap 13 when Perez made his own stop for soft tires.
The race settled for a while, but chaos erupted on lap 16 when Williams’ Logan Sargeant crashed at Turn 8, resulting in the deployment of the safety car. The race resumed on lap 21, with Verstappen still leading and Perez in second place.
With 10 laps remaining, Verstappen had built up a comfortable 19-second gap between himself and Perez. However, Perez made a mistake at Turn 1, losing second place to Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso. As the rain intensified, other drivers also struggled, with Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu crashing into the barriers at Turn 1, leading to the virtual safety car being implemented.
Verstappen and Perez both switched to full wet tires, and the race was eventually stopped due to the heavy rain. After a 45-minute delay, the race resumed with a rolling restart. Verstappen remained in the lead, followed by Alonso and Perez.
However, Perez’s hopes for a podium finish were dashed when he received a five-second penalty for exceeding the pit lane speed limit earlier in the race. Despite his best efforts to widen the gap with Pierre Gasly of AlphaTauri to more than five seconds, Perez could only manage three seconds, resulting in a fourth-place finish. Carlos Sainz of Ferrari claimed fifth place.
Unfortunately for Daniel Ricciardo of AlphaTauri, he had to sit out the race due to a broken wrist sustained in a crash during Friday’s practice session. He was replaced by reserve driver Liam Lawson, who performed admirably in his Formula 1 debut, finishing in 13th place.
As a result of his Dutch Grand Prix victory, Verstappen’s points tally in the 2023 Drivers’ Championship has risen to 339. Perez is currently in second place with 201 points, followed by Alonso in third with 168 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull leads with 540 points, followed by Mercedes-Benz AMG with 255 points and Aston Martin with 215 points.
The next race on the calendar is the Italian Grand Prix, scheduled for this weekend.
Full Results from the 2023 Formula 1 Dutch Grand Prix:
1) Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing
2) Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin (+3.744 seconds)
3) Pierre Gasly, AlphaTauri (+7.058 seconds)
4) Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing (+10.068 seconds)
5) Carlos Sainz, Ferrari (+12.541 seconds)
6) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-Benz AMG (+13.209 seconds)
7) Lando Norris, McLaren (+13.232 seconds)
8) Alexander Albon, Williams (+15.155 seconds)
9) Oscar Piastri, McLaren (+16.580 seconds)
10) Esteban Ocon, Alpine (+18.346 seconds)
11) Lance Stroll, Aston Martin (+20.087 seconds)
12) Nico Hulkenberg, Haas (+20.840 seconds)
13) Liam Lawson, AlphaTauri (+26.147 seconds)
14) Valtteri Bottas, Alfa Romeo (+27.388 seconds)
15) Yuki Tsunoda, AlphaTauri (+29.893 seconds)
16) Kevin Magnussen, Haas (+31.410 seconds)
17) George Russell, Mercedes-Benz AMG (+55.754 seconds)
DNF) Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo
DNF) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
DNF) Logan Sargeant, Williams