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Verstappen wins chaotic Dutch GP and equals Vettel's record of nine consecutive wins

The Dutch Grand Prix at the Zandvoort circuit took place on Sunday and Max Verstappen was masterful as he came through the rain to take victory.

Mexico's Sergio "Checo" Perez was very close to the podium but an unfortunate 5 second penalty towards the end of the race took 3rd place out of his hands.

Perez gave an excellent display on Sunday afternoon and his fourth place finish leaves a bad taste in the mouth, as he deserved to join Verstappen and Alonso on the podium.

When a sudden rain downpour came with six laps to go, a crash involving Zhou Guanyu forced a red-flag whilst Perez was in the pits.

The Mexican was adjudged to have been guilty of speeding in the pit lane, and was handed the aforementioned penalty.

The Dutch driver took his ninth win by finishing first. Fernando Alonso, the experienced and excellent Spanish driver, finished second.

Fernando Alonso completed his best race of 2023 to finish second in the Dutch Grand Prix, just three seconds behind Max Verstappen and the 33rd career victory that he has been searching for.

The Dutchman recorded his eleventh win of the year, his eighth in succession, and remains on course for a record setting points haul, despite heavy showers that intermittently turned a race that lasted 152 minutes of pure excitement and uncertainty into a thriller.

There is nothing that fazes the championship leader, who with the best car makes the most of every chance he gets, despite the unforeseen events and the changing track.

His concentration and his driving are to be commended. He has equaled the record of nine consecutive victories, which was held by Sebastian Vettel during his own glory days, also at Red Bull.

The only driver who was at his level was Fernando Alonso (voted best of the day by the fans), with the Spaniard taking his seventh podium in 13 races, and who overtook Sergio Perez through sheer persistence, which he still has plenty of at the age of 42.

It will go down as the 105th podium for the man from Oviedo who continues to make history for F1 and for Spain every day he takes to the track for a Grand Prix.

"It's a very special circuit and I never thought two years ago that I could be on the podium at Zandvoort with Verstappen. It was difficult to keep my concentration, but the strength of the crowd kept me on top," Alonso added.

The final downpour was very intense and came with around 11 laps to go, but it allowed Alonso to take advantage of a spin from Perez,

Sainz fifth, Ferrari's best

Carlos Sainz also completed his best race of the year, finishing fifth, with 10 points taking him past Russell and Leclerc in the World Championship table.

In his own right he is Ferrari's best driver so far this year, after 13 races. His consistency and tenacity in the personal duels, where he held off Hamilton in 5 final laps when he looked like easy prey, give him his best moment of the season.

Leclerc, who damaged his Ferrari on the first lap when he went off in the first rain shower, retired on lap 45 after struggling on track, when he was 15th.

Despite a car with a rear wing with a lower load than they wanted, as the rear wing designation was not working, Carlos competed fiercely with the SF23 to put in one of his best performances in F1. To hold on to fifth place from a seven-time champion is not the level of many on this grid.

Dutch GP 2023 Final Classification

1st M. Verstappen (L) Red Bull 72/72

2nd Fernando Alonso (I) Aston Martin

3rd P. Gasly (I) Alpine

4th S. Perez (L) Red Bull

5th Carlos Sainz (L) Ferrari

6th L. Hamilton (L) Mercedes

7th L. Norris (L) McLaren

8TH A. Albon (L) Williams

9th O. Piastri (L) McLaren

10th E. Ocon (I) Alpine

11th L. Stroll (L) Aston Martin

12th N. Hulkenberg (L) Haas

13th L. Lawson (L) AlphaTauri

14th K. Magnussen (L) Haas

15TH V. Bottas (L) Alfa Romeo

16TH Y. Tsunoda (L) AlphaTauri

17th G. Russell (L) Mercedes

18th G. Zhou (I) Alfa Romeo Retired

19TH C. Leclerc (B) Ferrari Retired

20th L Sargeant (B) Williams Retired

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