Record equalling Verstappen survives chaotic race | Sunday Observer

Record equalling Verstappen survives chaotic race

3 September, 2023
Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen survived losing the lead in early rain and a red flag for a late torrential downpour to win a chaotic Dutch Grand Prix.

Verstappen equalled the all-time record of nine victories in a row and took his 11th win of the season to extend his championship lead to 138 points.

A shower just as the race started dropped Verstappen to second behind team-mate Sergio Perez before he repassed on lap 13, while heavy rain with eight laps to go forced a red flag and a 45-minute delay.

But through it all Verstappen was always in control, as he has been for the entire season, and never really looked like losing the race.

Fernando Alonso starred in the Aston Martin to finish second after a typically combative race, while Alpine’s Pierre Gasly took the final podium position after Sergio Perez, who finished third on the track, was penalised for speeding in the pit lane.

Perez had been running second behind Verstappen but lost the place to Alonso when he went off at Turn One after changing to intermediate tyres when the rain came down just before the race was stopped.

In the final seven racing laps, Perez did enough to prevent dropping behind Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, who fended off an attack from Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes.

McLaren’s Lando Norris took seventh ahead of Williams’ Alex Albon, outstanding in being one of only two drivers to brave staying out on dry-weather tyres throughout the first rain period, before doing a super-long stint on his starting set.

The final sprint to the end was relatively uneventful after such a madcap race, as Verstappen eased away from Alonso on a wet track following a restart behind the safety car and the Spaniard held off Perez’s attacks.

(BBC sport)