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Dutch Grand Prix 2023

Verstappen equals F1 record after chaotic rain-hit Dutch GP

The Red Bull driver has equalled the record for most consecutive victories in F1.

Verstappen Zandvoort Sunday wet
Article
To news overview © Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen equalled the F1 record for most consecutive race wins with his ninth in a row at the Dutch Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver was threatened only by the weather as rain twice threw the cat amongst the pigeons at Zandvoort - Verstappen eventually taking a 3.5-second victory over Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso following a late red flag period.

Sergio Perez finished third on the road but fell to fourth after being found guilty of speeding in the pit lane, allowing Alpine's Pierre Gasly to secure a first podium since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix two years ago.

Result Race - Dutch

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Verstappen and Lando Norris made strong starts to maintain position as the fast-starting Alonso jumped ahead of George Russell and Alex Albon.

But the rain took just half a lap to fall and with spray being kicked up between Turns 12 and 13 and prompting a flurry of pit stop gambles.

Perez was the leader of those drivers and would be with the midfield Soft runners by Turn 11 on the second lap as a switch to Intermediates became a necessity.

But Norris and Russell continued with slicks onto lap three as Perez swept past for the lead.

Verstappen and Alonso took the sensible option to make the switch, though the pole sitter was now 13 seconds down on his teammate.

Amid the bedlam, Zhou Guanyu had put his Alfa Romeo up into second, although the pace of those around him would ultimately shuffle him back through the pack.

The shower stopped abruptly to aid those who had stayed out on slicks throughout, including Albon and Oscar Piastri, with the Australian able to set the timesheets alight with purple sectors.

Lap 10 saw the front runners begin to switch back to slicks despite the threat of more rain, which wouldn't come as forecast before lap 20.

Verstappen had cut Perez's advantage down to two seconds before making his pit stop to cover off the advancing Alonso.

Sargeant heartache closes pack up

The Safety Car was deployed on lap 16 after a heavy crash for Williams' Logan Sargeant, who had hit the barriers in qualifying.

The American rookie seemingly suffered a front-right failure through the high-speed Turn 8, driving straight on before spinning into the tyre wall.

That allowed Russell to make a free stop from way down the order to fit Hard tyres in an attempt to rescue a result in the Mercedes.

Leclerc had endured a miserable race in the Ferrari - the team having failed to prepare tyres for his pit stop after a late call on lap 1, leaving the Monégasque stranded on his jacks.

Contact with Piastri on the opening lap led to front wing damage, but floor damage would see Leclerc plummet through the field before eventually retiring on lap 41.

After the field had made the final round of pit stops, the threat of rain began to grow for the final 15 laps.

A heavy shower started at the start of lap 61 as Perez, Gasly, Sainz and both Mercedes pitted for Intermediates.

Red Bull wasn't ready for Perez as Verstappen survived an extra lap, knowing he had a near-10-second buffer.

Despite the sudden deluge, every driver managed to survive on slick tyres as Ocon, who was last to pit, made a brave call to switch to Extreme Wet tyres.

It seemed the wrong call initially as Ocon complained but the rain was so heavy that by lap 63, it was raining enough for Perez to aquaplane off the road and lose a place to Alonso.

Zhou crashed heavily at the same spot as his Alfa Romeo glided across the standing water to trigger the Virtual Safety Car and a pit stop for Verstappen.

Hamilton and Yuki Tsunoda also made trips across the gravel, whilst Perez also pitted for Extreme Wets - glancing the wall upon entry.

But before he could reach the end of the pit lane, the red flags were thrown, stopping the Mexican from being able to rejoin the track with the pit exit light illuminating red.

Race control confirmed, however, that he would take the restart from third, behind Verstappen and Alonso.

After a 45-minute delay, racing got underway for a six-lap sprint as Perez was handed a five-second time penalty for speeding in the pit lane.

Russell had made a stunning move on Norris out of Turn 3, but damage later on in the lap left him crawling to the pits after picking up a puncture courtesy of contact with the McLaren driver.

Hamilton was all over the back of Sainz's Ferrari for fifth on the road but could not get through, allowing Gasly to scamper away in fourth and focus on staying within five seconds of Perez.

Try as the seven-time champion did, the Spaniard remained in front as Verstappen crossed the line.

Norris finished seventh ahead of Albon, who secured yet more points for Williams. Piastri brought the second McLaren home in ninth whilst Ocon rounded out the points.

Lance Stroll missed out on the top 10 by just under two seconds, with Nico Hulkenberg 12th and Liam Lawson a superb 13th on a difficult F1 debut with AlphaTauri - which included a stunning battle with the ailing Leclerc.

Kevin Magnussen finished 14th for Haas ahead of Alfa Romeo's Valtteri Bottas and Tsunoda, with Russell returning to the track to round out the finishers in 17th.

F1 2023 Dutch Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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