By Score More
Dutch driver Max Verstappen (Red Bull) matched German racer Sebastian Vettel’s record of nine consecutive triumphs in Formula 1 World Championship by winning the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort today.
Verstappen crossed the finish line with a lead of 3.744 seconds over Spanish driver Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) and 7.058 seconds ahead of French racer Pierre Gasly (Alpine), who secured third place.
With this victory, his 11th this season in 13 races, Verstappen extended his lead in the championship to a total of 339 points.
Verstappen completed the 13th race of the season with a time of 2 hours, 24 minutes, and 4.411 seconds, leaving Fernando Alonso in second place (Aston Martin) at 3.744 seconds behind. French driver Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri) seized the third spot, capitalizing on a penalty given to Mexican driver Sergio Pérez (Red Bull) and finishing 7.058 seconds behind.
Today’s race was marked by rain and an interruption of over half an hour, with seven laps remaining, to repair the protective barriers after a crash involving Chinese driver Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo). The rain played a major role in the day’s events, occurring three times, with the last instance being the most intense and prolonged.
The race began on dry asphalt, but as the drivers completed the first of the scheduled 72 laps, the track began to get wet. Mexican driver Sergio Pérez was the first to pit and switch to intermediate tires, enabling him to rise to the lead as other drivers followed suit.
However, as the track started to dry again, Max Verstappen, who had started from pole position, took the initiative to pit before his teammate and switched to slick tires. This move propelled him to the lead when Pérez also made his pit stop.
From there, Max Verstappen demonstrated remarkable skill and never relinquished the lead, clinching his 11th victory of the year in 13 races. This feat secured his ninth consecutive triumph, matching Sebastian Vettel’s record achieved in 2013.
“I’m incredibly proud. I already had goosebumps at the start when they played the national anthem,” the winner remarked.
Fernando Alonso, who began from the fifth position, capitalized on a superior strategy and adapted well to the wet track conditions, securing second place and even setting the race’s fastest lap.
“It was a tense race in these wet conditions. In these circumstances, you need a car you can trust, and I trusted my car. I even thought about attacking during the final restart, but then I realized they might not let me back on the track, so I settled for second place,” the Asturian driver jokingly remarked.
With this result, Alonso surpassed a record previously held by German driver Michael Schumacher for the longest time elapsed between his first and last podiums. It had been 392 Grand Prix races between Alonso’s first podium (a third-place finish) in Malaysia in 2003 and today’s podium, while Schumacher had a span of 347 races between his third-place finish in Mexico in 1992 and his third-place finish in the 2012 European Grand Prix.
For Alonso, the span was 20 years, 5 months, and 4 days, compared to Schumacher’s 20 years, 3 months, and 2 days.
Sergio Pérez experienced bad luck today. He pitted to change tires during Zhou’s accident, and he had also spun off at the same location as the Chinese driver, at the end of the main straight. This pit stop resulted in a five-second penalty for exceeding the maximum speed limit in the pit lane, causing him to lose the third place he had secured on the track.
With these results, Max Verstappen’s points total reached 339, with a 138-point lead over Pérez in second place. Red Bull leads the Constructors’ Championship with 540 points, compared to Mercedes in second place with 255 points.
The next round is the Italian Grand Prix, scheduled for next week.