Chaotic race and Verstappen victory at the Dutch Grand Prix


Zandvoort and the Dutch weather brought the most exciting race of the 2023 season so far and the local hero's record setting.

Chaotic race and Verstappen victory at the Dutch Grand Prix

There are those races when the winner does not reflect the events of the previous laps - the Dutch Grand Prix of 2023 was one of those.

The unpredictable Dutch weather proved to be the most influencing factor in the race; the rainy and sunny stages changed, which gave the teams' strategists a really big task.

The race could be divided into three major stages. The first rainy stage started in the formation lap and its first victim was Logan Sargent, who crashed out on lap 16, bringing the safety car into action. This was followed by a longer stint without rain. The second out of the race was Charles Leclerc, whose car had been damaged earlier. Having already overtaken Liam Lawson, Ferrari called Leclerc back to the pits and the car was retired. Ten laps before the end, another heavy rain followed, and after Guanyu Zou suffered an accident, several people slipped out and the track was practically undriveable, the red flag was thrown. After the rain stopped, the race restarted behind the Safety Car, and then a five-lap sprint followed. Although Alonso did not break away immediately, the excitement of the last stage was mainly provided by the battle between Sainz and Hamilton.

The chaotic race was finally won by Max Verstappen, which is already a special moment on the home track, which was compounded by the fact that the Dutchman's victory also set a record: he equalled Sebastian Vettel’s record of 9 race victories in a row. Red Bull brought Verstappen into the pits late in the rain at the start of the race. Because of this, he fell back significantly, but managed to take the lead back from Perez very quickly. After that, Verstappen proved to be confident and uncatchable in all conditions.

The second place went to Alonso, who made a brilliant start and took the obstacles smoothly, using his vast experience and exceptional skills, not even a bad pit stop stopped him. He also managed to get the extra point for the fastest lap, and he was voted the driver of the day. This is the first podium for the Spaniard since Canada, it seems that Aston Martin managed to make progress during the summer break.

The third place seemed to be the happiest, Pierre Gasly produced an impressive performance and gained his first podium since moving to Alpine.

Sergio Perez went well at the beginning of the race, he managed to pit stop in good time. However, his luck was thwarted by a questionable team decision from his point of view, minor mistakes on the track, and a five-second penalty (exceeding pit lane speed); so he slipped off the podium, even though he finished in 3rd place.

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