Dutch GP: Max Verstappen races to record-equalling victory

Formula One leader Max Verstappen celebrated a record-equalling ninth successive victory on Sunday after beating the rain to win a chaotic and red-flagged Dutch Grand Prix for the third year in a row.

The Red Bull driver’s home triumph from pole position at a soggy Zandvoort equalled now-retired Sebastian Vettel’s 2013 streak of success and was the team’s 14th consecutive triumph and 13th of the season.

The race started dry before rain caused chaos at the end of lap one, with a dry period followed by a torrential downpour that halted proceedings on the 65th of 72 laps with cars skidding off.

Fernando Alonso put Aston Martin back on the podium with second place and a bonus point for fastest lap after the eventual rolling re-start behind the safety car led to a thrilling final chase.

Pierre Gasly was third for Renault-owned Alpine as Sergio Perez, Verstappen’s Mexican team mate and closest rival, collected a five-second post-race penalty for speeding in the pit lane and dropped to fourth.

Verstappen now leads Perez by a mighty 138 points with nine races remaining.

“Incredible. They didn’t make it easy for us with the weather to make all the right calls. Incredibly proud,” said Verstappen as his army of orange-clad fans began the celebrations.

“I already had goosebumps when they were playing the national anthem before the start,” added the 25-year-old.

“Even with all the bad weather, the rain, the fans are still going at it. So an incredible atmosphere.”

Verstappen’s 11th victory of the season, and 46th of his career, provided another big push towards clinching a third title well before the end of the season.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz finished fifth with Lewis Hamilton sixth for Mercedes and fellow-Briton Lando Norris seventh for McLaren.

Alex Albon collected more precious points for Williams in eighth, ahead of McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and Esteban Ocon 10th for Alpine.

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