HomeSportVerstappen wins chaotic Dutch GP to equal record

Verstappen wins chaotic Dutch GP to equal record

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Max Verstappen has won his home race at Zandvoort three years in a rowRed 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.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 the only driver to brave staying out on dry-weather tyres throughout the first rain period.McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon completed the top 10 points positions, while Alonso deprived Verstappen of fastest lap by pushing hard as the final rain shower approached the track.Sprint to the chequered flag 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.For Aston Martin it was an encouraging performance, after they slipped to the back of the pack chasing Red Bull in the four races before the summer break.An upgrade featuring a new floor for this race seems to have returned the car to its former position, and Alonso went with it with an outstanding drive.Gasly had benefited from being one of the drivers who stopped at the end of the first lap, and the Frenchman drove a strong race from there on to hang on in the pack at the front and fend off an attack from Sainz. He even managed to make up for a five-second penalty for speeding in the pit lane to take his first podium of the season.More to follow.

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