In a rain-soaked spectacle at the Dutch Grand Prix, Formula One’s runaway leader Max Verstappen clinched his ninth consecutive victory, equaling Sebastian Vettel’s impressive F1 record. The win also extended his mammoth championship lead to a staggering 138 points, as he edges closer to securing his third consecutive world title.
The renowned Red Bull driver secured his latest triumph from pole position at the Zandvoort track, with veteran racer Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin securing second place and an additional bonus point for the fastest lap.
Reflecting on his extraordinary feat, Verstappen humbly stated, “Nine in a row is something I never even dreamed of achieving. I’m genuinely thrilled about this accomplishment. I have immense confidence in my car’s capabilities.” The passionate Dutch fans, donning their vibrant orange attire, provided an electric atmosphere that further fueled Verstappen’s performance.
He shared, “The moment they played the national anthem before the race, I was already getting goosebumps. Despite the challenging weather conditions, the fans’ unwavering support created an incredible ambiance. I’m going to savor this victory; the pressure to perform is always intense.”
Meanwhile, Alpine’s Pierre Gasly initially finished in fourth place behind Red Bull’s Sergio Perez. However, due to a five-second penalty for Perez’s pit lane speeding, Gasly was promoted to third, marking his fourth career podium.
Perez, who faced the penalty earlier in the race, ended up in fourth position. He was followed by Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr. and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, who secured sixth place. You may also check Bellingham’s Sensational Goal Seals Stunning 1-0 Victory for Real Madrid against Celta.
The race was marked by chaos, including a 40-minute delay due to a late red flag caused by Zhou Guanyu’s crash in his Alfa Romeo. The race resumed with a rolling start on the 65th lap of 72, featuring multiple tire changes due to unpredictable weather conditions.
Verstappen expressed his concern about the treacherous conditions, stating, “The track had so many puddles that it became extremely dangerous.”
Following the restart, Verstappen swiftly pulled ahead of Alonso, Perez, and Gasly. After two laps behind the safety car, Verstappen expertly extended his lead, claiming his 11th victory of the season and further widening the gap between him and Perez.
Vettel’s consecutive wins record was set in 2013 during Red Bull’s dominant era, marked by his four consecutive titles. Verstappen’s triumph established a remarkable 14 consecutive wins for Red Bull, dating back to the previous year’s final race.
Red Bull’s Team Principal, Christian Horner, expressed his admiration, stating, “Matching Sebastian’s record of nine straight victories, achieved twice as a team, is a truly incredible feat.”
The race’s early stages were characterized by frenetic pit stops prompted by a sudden rainstorm from the North Sea. The ever-changing weather disrupted the race order, benefiting Perez, who inherited the lead.
However, Mercedes’ Hamilton and Russell faced disappointment as they stayed out during the pit stops, subsequently dropping down the field. Hamilton managed to recover to a sixth-place finish. You should also read Liverpool’s Secret Weapon.
Verstappen’s remarkable performance stood out as he charged through the field. From fourth place, he overtook Gasly on the sixth lap, followed by Zhou Guanyu on the subsequent lap. Verstappen’s incredible pace saw him reduce the gap to Perez from 11.7 seconds at the beginning of lap seven to 7.4 seconds at the start of lap eight.
As the race unfolded, tension and drama heightened. Rain returned with 11 laps remaining, causing several drivers, including Perez, to lose control. Zhou’s crash into the wall at Tarzan led to a red flag, halting the race for 45 minutes.
Amidst unpredictable weather and a challenging track, Verstappen’s determination shone through. With six laps to go, he masterfully guided his car through the spray, ultimately securing victory. Zandvoort experienced four seasons in a single day, and the Dutch fans celebrated fervently as Verstappen claimed another triumphant win.