Verstappen wins rainy Dutch GP, equals Vettel’s record with 9th win in a row

2023-08-27 17:08:02

ZANDVOORT, Netherlands (AP) — Max Verstappen was unfazed by the rain as he took victory at the Dutch Grand Prix on Sunday to equal Sebastian Vettel’s record of nine consecutive Formula One victories.

To the delight of his compatriots, the Red Bull star took his third consecutive victory at the Zandvoort circuit. Spaniard Fernando Alonso finished second behind the wheel of his Aston Martin and bagged the bonus point for fastest lap.

“I got goosebumps when the national anthem was played before the start. Despite the bad weather and the rain, the fans kept singing. An amazing atmosphere,” Verstappen said. “I’m going to enjoy this. It is quite difficult to achieve, you always carry the pressure that you have the obligation to meet expectations.”

Pierre Gasly (Alpine) entered fourth behind Sergio Pérez (Red Bull), but the Frenchman finished fourth as the Mexican received a five second penalty for accelerating in pit lane.

For Gasly, who had previously received the same penalty, it was the fourth podium of his career.

“I’m hallucinating, what a race,” he said.

Pérez had to settle for fourth place, followed by Carlos Sainz Jr. (Ferrari) and Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes).

The chaotic race had to be interrupted for 40 minutes due to a red flag in the final laps, displayed when China’s Zhou Guanyu crashed his Alfa Romeo. It resumed on the 65th of 72 laps. It was a race full of tire changes, as the weather conditions put a stop to the strategies.

At the restart, Verstappen went ahead of Alonso, Perez and Gasly. After two laps behind the safety car, Verstappen pulled away at ease to set his sights on his 11th victory in a sweeping season. He leads the championship with an abysmal difference of 138 points over Pérez.

Vettel set the record for consecutive victories in 2013, during Red Bull’s first era of dominance. It was one in which the German won four titles in a row.

Verstappen’s win extended Red Bull’s record to 14 in a row, dating back to last season.

Verstappen also came close to the F1 record of 15 wins he set last year to 46 career wins.

The Dutchman, who will turn 26 next month, is already fifth in the all-time victory table. Alain Prost (51) and Vettel (53) are within reach with nine races left to play.

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