Verstappen victorious in rain at Dutch Grand Prix to equal record of nine wins in row

Red Bull's Dutch driver extends his championship lead to 138 points at home race

Red Bull's Max Verstappen celebrates after his record-equalling win at the Dutch Grand Prix. PA
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Max Verstappen navigated his way through a chaotic and dramatic rain-hit Dutch Grand Prix to equal Sebastian Vettel’s record of nine victories in a row.

The win, a 23rd for Red Bull from the past 24 races, extends Verstappen's lead in the drivers' championship to 138 points ahead of teammate Sergio Perez in second place.

Pole-sitter Verstappen found himself down in 13th place after seven drivers – including Perez – took advantage of a sudden first-lap downpour to move on to wet tyres.

The Dutchman regained the lead on lap 13 of 72 only for the race to be red-flagged with just eight laps to run after Zhou Guanyu crashed out following a second heavy shower.

A 43-minute suspension followed as the tyre barrier at the opening corner was repaired.

But Verstappen beat Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso in a six-lap dash to the chequered flag to match Vettel’s streak, set in 2013.

Perez finished third but was demoted a place after he was hit with a five-second penalty for speeding in the pit lane, allowing Pierre Gasly to take the final spot on the podium.

Carlos Sainz finished fifth, holding off Lewis Hamilton, with Lando Norris seventh. George Russell was forced to retire his Mercedes following a late duel with Norris.

Afterwards, Verstappen said: “Incredible and today they didn’t make it easy for us with the weather to make all the right calls but incredibly proud, I already had goosebumps when they were playing the national anthem before the start. Even with all the bad weather and the rain the fans were still going at it, so an incredible atmosphere.

“I’m going to enjoy this weekend, it’s always tough, the pressure is always on to perform and very happy of course to win here.”

Red Bull team principal Christian Horner said: "The expectation on [Verstappen], how much noise and support that he's had – everyone feels that, we feel that within the team.

"But he's in the zone, he can focus on himself and get the job done. To match Sebastian, nine straight victories, to do it twice as a team is really incredible."

Seven-time champion Hamilton started the race in 13th in the Mercedes and finished in sixth.

Afterwards, he said: "I feel really good, I kind of didn't know how today was going to go. I sat here last night just racking my brain about where did we go wrong and how did we end up in this position, but then I was just working out how I can progress this morning.

"I was the only one on the medium tyre and when that rain then came out, really as a team we made the wrong decision. It was ultimately the team's call and we all paid the price for that, but we came out last and then after that I was just chasing, kept my head down.

"I think it was a really good example of when you fall and stumble to get back up and keep trying, and every time I had to pit I came out behind and just kept on chasing and chasing. I think today I had the pace, in those conditions, if we made the right call, I had the pace to be challenging the top two."

Dutch Grand Prix - in pictures

Updated: August 27, 2023, 4:46 PM