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Max Verstappen won at home again. In a wet-dry-wet race, the Dutchman dropped down the order on the second lap, but retook the lead and never looked back. The two-time champion made it through five pit stops and a red flag restart to claim his 11th victory of 2023.
F1 Dutch GP results: who won the race?
Max Verstappen won the Dutch Grand Prix, securing his third consecutive win at home. The race saw interchangeable weather conditions, which cost Verstappen the lead early on. But the Dutchman was able to fight back, securing a record-tying ninth consecutive win. Fernando Alonso scored a brilliant second, benefitting from a late off by Sergio Perez. The Mexican dropped to fifth following a speeding penalty, which promoted Pierre Gasly to the final spot on the rostrum.
Early rain shower promotes Perez to the lead
The race got off to a fairly tame start down the tricky Tarzan corner. Verstappen retained his lead ahead of Lando Norris. With a bold dive down the inside of Hugenholtz, Alonso passed Alexander Albon and George Russell to go from fifth to third.
A few spots of rain were showing up, and a shower came at the end of the opening lap. Perez was the first driver to dive into the pits, which proved to be a crucial decision. He was followed by Zhou Guanyu and Gasly.
Verstappen stayed out, along with most of the front-runners. Alonso passed Norris for second. Verstappen and Alonso pitted at the end of the second lap, while Norris and Russell continued on. The Mercedes driver got around his compatriot into Tarzan for first at the start of the third lap.
Russell’s lead, however, was short-lived. The intermediate-shod Perez came in flying to demote the British pair. Norris pitted at the end of the third lap, while Russell chose to remain out.
Verstappen, who had emerged in fourth place among the intermediate-shod drivers, made short work of Gasly and Zhou to move into second place. Perez, meawnhile held a massive 11-second lead.
The order settled down with Perez ahead of Verstappen, followed by Zhou, Gasly, Alonso, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr. Down the order, Alexander Albon led a small group of slick-shod runners, ahead of Oscar Piastri and Valtteri Bottas.
Verstappen back in front
Verstappen set off in pursuit of Perez, slashing his teammate’s lead. On lap 11, Alonso and Zhou pitted for slicks again, as the track had already dried out. Verstappen and Alonso followed suit a lap later. By that time, the Dutchman had already taken nine seconds off Perez, and the overtake looked imminent.
Perez pitted on lap 13, and Verstappen secured the undercut to retake the top spot. Alonso got the jump on Zhou and Gasly, moving back to third place. Gasly, meanwhile, picked up a five-second penalty for speeding in the pits.
On lap 15, Logan Sargeant crashed hard into turn 8, bringing out a Safety Car. The action resumed seven laps later, with Verstappen quickly pulling away from the pack and out of Perez’s DRS range.
Perez loses second, rain brings out a red flag
Sainz kicked off the final pit stop window on lap 42. Albon, who had yet to stop since the start, finally dove into the pits a lap later. The Thai driver had quietly put on a bit of a show, surviving on slicks under the rain and running as high as fifth on his 40-plus lap old tyres.
Perez pitted at the end of lap 47, with Alonso doing the same a lap later and Verstappen following suit on lap 49. Aston Martin had problems with the front-left, leading to a loss of six seconds. Alonso emerged in fourth, behind Sainz, but reclaimed third place two laps later with an aggressive move into Tarzan.
The rain fell again with 12 to go, prompting Perez to pit. But Red Bull did not have intermediates ready, leading to an agonizingly slow stop for the Mexican. Verstappen followed in on lap 62 along with Alonso. Despite Red Bull’s rare miscue, Perez retained the runner-up spot.
The rain picked up and Perez aquaplaned into Tarzan and brushed the barriers rear-first, promoting Alonso into second. Zhou also crashed into turn 1, bringing out the Virtual Safety Car. Verstappen took the chance and pitted for wets, but didn’t get much out of the late switch. With conditions worsening by the second, the race was red-flagged on lap 65.
Perez, who had also pitted for wets and dropped to sixth as a result, was promoted back to third on the countback to the previous lap.
One final restart, Verstappen drives off to win
The race resumed behind Safety Car with six to go, and all drivers forced to switch to intermediates. The restart happened on lap 67, and Perez picked up a five-second penalty for speeding in the pits. Alonso tried to keep Verstappen at bay, but the Dutchman innevitably pulled away from the Spaniard.
Verstappen took the checkered by 3.3s from Alonso, with Gasly, Perez, Sainz, Hamilton, Norris, Albon, Piastri and Ocon completing the points-paying position. Alonso secured the bonus point for the fastest lap.
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