Verstappen wins the hat-trick at the Dutch Grand Prix. equals Vettel’s win number
Circuit Zandvoort: August 27 (IANS) Current champion Max Verstappen put in another dominant performance, converting pole position into victory at the Dutch Grand Prix for the third year in a row here on Sunday.
The Dutch Red Bull driver came through an action-packed home race in the rain to take the checkered flag ahead of Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin and Pierre Gasly of the Alps and tied former champion Sebastian Vettel for nine consecutive Formula 1 victories.
Prior to this race, Verstappen had won the last 13 races and 21 of the last 22 races.
Sergio Perez finished fourth while Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz finished fifth with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, McLaren’s Lando Norris, Williams’ Alexander Albon, McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and Esteban Ocon sixth to tenth taking the points at the Dutch Grand Prix.
It started as rain before the start of the race, but turned into rain in the first lap. This prompted the two teams to come up with split tire strategies, with Verstappen leading a group of drivers who initially stayed on the slicks while teammate Sergio Perez led a group into the pits to battle the medium tyres.
On the hectic opening stage, those who switched early to the intermediates came to the front, while those who stayed longer on the slick roads lost ground before the rain settled and the track gradually dried up.
With Red Bull strategizing alternately, it was Perez who led the way as the race settled in, while Verstappen dropped to fourth – behind Zhou Guanyu and Gasly – and had to do some work to regain first place.
Having managed to do it at a much superior pace, Verstappen looked set to cruise to the checkered flag and win on a very dry course, only for more rain to fall on the radar and he hit the track hard in the closing stages.
That led to another flurry of activity in the pitlane, a red flag after a collision with Cho, which led to a seven lap dash to the flag when action resumed, and was a final test for double world champion Verstappen to beat.
Verstappen overcame it as he kept his cool on a slippery restart and managed to maintain the lead over Alonso and Perez, confirming a narrow victory and equaling Vettel’s winning record that had stood since 2013.
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