Verstappen wins Dutch Grand Prix equaling Vettel’s record

Verstappen wins Dutch Grand Prix equaling Vettel's record

Max Verstappen tied Sebastian Vettel for the most consecutive Formula 1 victories with his third straight Dutch Grand Prix win.

Reigning world champion Max Verstappen overcame rain, Safety Cars, and a red flag to win the Dutch Grand Prix for the third time in a row and tie Sebastian Vettel’s ten-year record of nine straight victories.

The home favorite extended his championship lead over teammate Sergio Perez, who came in fourth, to 138 points with his 11th victory out of the 13 races run this season.

The Red Bull star temporarily forfeited the lead after teammate Sergio Pérez had to pit for intermediate tyres halfway through the first lap due to severe weather while Verstappen waited until the end of the second lap.

Verstappen overtook Fernando Alonso in Aston Martin and the excited Pierre Gasly in his Alpine after switching to Inters and continued to lead the race through Safety Cars, more severe rain, and red flags in the closing laps to win for the 46th time in his career.

Verstappen took the lead ahead of Lando Norris of McLaren as the starting lights went out after the Dutchman executed a strong start from pole position. The main runner behind them was Alonso, who in the first three corners went from fifth on the grid to third.

Pérez was among the first to take action as the skies suddenly opened up halfway through the opening lap. The Mexican pitted for Intermediate tyres but Verstappen, Norris, and Alonso continued to use their slipping Soft tyres, followed by a queue of cars.

Pérez plummeted in the rankings, but as the downpour got worse, it became obvious that slick tires weren’t practical, therefore Verstappen stopped at the conclusion of lap two. Verstappen had dropped to fifth place, behind Gasly, but Pérez had shot through the rest of the field and, after passing Mercedes’ George Russell at the start of the third lap, the Mexican had taken the lead by 14 seconds.

Verstappen, however, quickly gained ground as Russell pitted and fell back, overtaking Gasly on lap 6 and Guanyu Zhou of Alfa Romeo on the subsequent lap to move into second place, 9.5 seconds behind Pérez.

But as the downpour subsided and the track swiftly dried, Verstappen rushed to the pits and switched to Soft tyres. A lap later, Pérez made the identical maneuver, but Verstappen’s edge prevailed. As his teammate approached the pit exit, the Dutchman sped through to recover the lead, with Alonso in third place ahead of Gasly and Carlos Sainz.

The initial pandemonium was quickly replaced by more orderly sprinting, but on lap 16, Williams’ Logan Sargeant wrecked at Turn 8, changing the course of the race once more. The field gathered behind the Red Bulls after the Safety Car was deployed up until lap 21, when the caution was lifted.

At the restart, Verstappen successfully maintained the lead while Pérez clung to his teammate’s RB19 to hold off Alonso. Gasly maintained fourth place behind the front three despite intense pressure from Sainz.

Once the race resumed, Albon made the most progress. The Williams driver quickly overtook Haas’ Kevin Magnussen and Zhou to claim sixth place. But farther back, Charles Leclerc was having trouble, as on lap 27, he lost two places as both McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton overcame him.

The Ferrari driver eventually withdrew from the race after contact with Oscar Piastri’s McLaren and sustaining floor damage.

Verstappen was steadily edging out his teammate at the front; by lap 44, his lead had grown to 11 seconds. After making his second pit stop for additional softs, Pérez fell to fourth behind Gasly.

When the Frenchman conducted his pit stop on lap 47, Perez went back to third place, which then shifted to second when Alonso made his pit stop at the end of lap 48.

The Aston Martin driver also incurred a five-second time penalty for earlier speeding in the pit lane. Due to a problem with his front left tyre, the Spaniard’s stop took longer than expected, costing him third place to Sainz.

At the conclusion of the next lap, Verstappen took his third pit stop. After switching to a new pair of Soft tyres, the Dutchman resumed in first place, six seconds ahead of his teammate as well as Alonso and Sainz.

Behind, Albon moved back to sixth place at the beginning of lap 57 by passing Russell, who had climbed up the order following his stop for hard tyres early in the race. Gasly was running strongly in fifth place and was poised to heap pressure on Sainz.

At the beginning of lap 60, Gasly overtook Sainz, but rain, which had been headed toward Zandvoort started to pour within a lap. Once more, Pérez was the first to respond, and switched to Inters.

A number of cars came after the Mexican before Verstappen made his pit stop and reclaimed the lead on the next lap.

Afterwards, Pérez sped through Turn 1 and struck the barriers. He was able to keep going on but Alonso took P2. However, Zhou lost control and crashed into the barriers at Turn 1 as the rain started to fall harder, and the Virtual Safety Car was sent out.

Verstappen approached the pit lane for full wet tyres with a significant lead, and Pérez followed as rain began to pour once more. However, the race was red flagged during the Mexican’s stop, forcing him to stop at the end of the pit lane as the rest of the field cautiously made their way to join him.

Red Bull also had the opportunity to analyze the damage done to the car during his Turn 1 spin, contact with the barrier, and pit entry contact with the wall, which would later jeopardize his race.

Approximately 45 minutes later, Race Control announced that the race will resume with a rolling start, with intermediate tyres specified, and Max leading the field ahead of Alonso and his Red Bull teammate.

Verstappen effectively handled the restart as the Safety Car left the track at the end of lap 66 to hold off a charging Alonso. Pérez, however, received a five-second penalty for exceeding the pit lane speed limits while changing tyres in the pouring rain.

Russell effectively overtook Norris to claim P7 further back, but the McLaren driver fought back, and there was contact in Turn 11. Russell had to return to the pit lane after suffering a puncture.

However, Verstappen was gaining ground at the front, and after 72 laps of action-packed racing, the Dutchman crossed the finish line to claim his ninth victory of 2023.

Alonso took second place despite being under pressure from behind, while Gasly moved up to third as Pérez’s penalty was assessed. In fourth place, the Mexican finished ahead of Sainz, Hamilton, and Norris.

Albon came in eighth place, ahead of Piastri, and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon earned the final point.


1Max VerstappenNEDOracle Red Bull Racing72 Laps
2Fernando AlonsoESPAston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team3.744s
3Pierre GaslyFRABWT Alpine F1 Team7.058s
4Sergio PerezMEXOracle Red Bull Racing10.068s
5Carlos SainzESPScuderia Ferrari12.541s
6Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team13.209s
7Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team13.232s
8Alex AlbonTHAWilliams Racing15.155s
9Oscar PiastriAUSMcLaren F1 Team16.580s
10Esteban OconFRABWT Alpine F1 Team18.346s
11Lance StrollCANAston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team20.087s
12Nico HulkenbergGERMoneyGram Haas F1 Team20.840s
13Liam LawsonNZLScuderia AlphaTauri26.147s
14Kevin MagnussenDENMoneyGram Haas F1 Team26.410s
15Valtteri BottasFINAlfa Romeo F1 Team Stake27.388s
16Yuki TsunodaJPNScuderia AlphaTauri 29.893s
17George RussellGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team55.754s
 Zhou GuanyuCHNAlfa Romeo F1 Team StakeDNF
 Charles LeclercMONScuderia FerrariDNF
 Logan SargeantUSAWilliams RacingDNF

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