His home race, his party, his victory in the rain on the North Sea. Max Verstappen triumphs and equals an old Formula 1 record from Sebastian Vettel. Despite all the rain.
Max Verstappen got on his Red Bull, spread his arms and enjoyed the frenetic cheering at the lavish permanent party all in orange.
Not even a late cloudburst over Zandvoort with a 43-minute race break could stop the Formula 1 emperor from his renewed triumph at the home Grand Prix in front of the eyes of the Dutch royal couple. “The weather didn’t make it easy for us today,” laughed Verstappen via radio: “It’s incredible, boys.”
Around 100,000 fans celebrated their star driver, who with this victory on Sunday equaled Sebastian Vettel’s ten-year-old record with another demonstration of power at the Dutch Grand Prix. “It’s fantastic, enjoy every moment on the way back,” said team boss Christian Horner over the pit radio to his successful driver.
Royal couple in the audience
“I had goosebumps at the national anthem before the start,” said the proud Dutchman himself. And he also appeared on the podium during the anthem with tears in his eyes, while King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima applauded him below. As in 2021, Verstappen won from pole position when the dune course returned to the racing calendar after 36 years and a year ago. He continued his streak after the summer break and, with his ninth win in a row, celebrated as many as Vettel in the Red Bull 2013. With his tenth win in the 13th race this year, Verstappen further extended his lead in the World Championship.
Second was veteran Fernando Alonso in the Aston Martin ahead of Pierre Gasly in the Alpine. Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Pérez couldn’t get past fourth place after a late five-second penalty for speeding in the pit lane. In the standings, Verstappen now leads the Mexican with 138 points.
As soon as the red lights went out, it started raining. Verstappen initially defended his first starting place, the 28th of his career. There was a lot going on behind it. But things got really hectic immediately afterwards. Red Bull immediately called Pérez into the pits, Verstappen had previously driven through while in the lead. Verstappen preferred to steer his RB19 carefully and in a controlled manner through the curves – on the shortest route to a tire change. Mixed tires instead of slicks. He settled into midfield, more than 20 seconds behind Pérez, who was now in the lead.
Verstappen masters rain challenge
Time for a Verstappen show. Lap by lap he reduced the deficit and conceded one after the other. When Verstappen was already in second place behind his stable rival, he came into the pits again: there was the fastest tire compound again. A lap later, Red Bull Pérez called in, his lead gone when he got back on track.
He won ten of the twelve Grand Prix before the summer break. His series began with the spectacle in Miami on May 7th. Ten years ago, a Red Bull Sebastian Vettel also had nine victories in a row. After the fifth triumph in a row “or something like that”, Hesse Verstappen had already written a message this year. “Well done” and he should continue like this was Vettel’s message: Then Verstappen can do it.
“He’s in the zone, so he can focus on himself,” said Horner, describing his current winning driver, Verstappen. The fact that both – Vettel and Verstappen – managed their series in the Red Bull, which would otherwise not even have been achieved by Michael Schumacher, was “truly unbelievable”, stressed Horner.
Fans celebrate despite the bad weather
After all, the wildly changeable weather didn’t make it that easy for Verstappen this time. After 15 laps, a crash involving the American Logan Sargeant in the Williams resulted in a safety car phase, and the race became a challenge, especially for the newcomers to the season. Especially for racing debutant Liam Lawson, who was allowed to train after Daniel Ricciardo’s metacarpal fracture. In the end, he even finished 13th in the Alpha Tauri. The only German in the field, Nico Hülkenberg, finished twelfth in the Haas.
Verstappen set the pace in front. He easily left the pursuers around Pérez behind at the start of the race. But it wasn’t over yet. Verstappen didn’t seem to like it either. The rain degenerated into a downpour, and the rain tires that Verstappen was now driving were of no use. Lap 65 of 72: Red flags, race halted.
Booming basses kept the fans in high spirits, marshals danced a polonaise, tension reigned in the pit lane. Two laps behind the safety car, then it started again. And again Verstappen defended his lead. In just one week in Monza he can become the sole record holder and overtake Vettel. “I’ll think about that, now I just want to enjoy this weekend,” he emphasized.
I am Pierce Boyd, a driven and ambitious professional working in the news industry. I have been writing for 24 Hours Worlds for over five years, specializing in sports section coverage. During my tenure at the publication, I have built an impressive portfolio of articles that has earned me a reputation as an experienced journalist and content creator.