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Zandvoordt

It’s lights out and away we go in Zandvoordt…

He did it in 2021, he did in 2022, he comes home to win the Dutch Grand Prix in 2023. It’s a hattrick of home Grand Prix’s for Max Verstappen at Zandvoordt, who remains unchallenged on the pinnacle of Formula One standings. Red Bull and Christian Horner are on track to remain undefeated all season and Max Verstappen remains invincible since Miami in early May. Their juggernaut roars on, as the title grows inexorably closer.

Along the sand dunes of Zandvoort, in treacherously wet conditions, the Dutch Champion remained unfazed. Max Verstappen took the chequered flag to the elated raptures of the orange army of home fans, and a record-equalling ninth successive victory is a remarkable achievement indicative of his crushing domination

this season. Sebastian Vettel’s record seemed unsurmountable, yet from the moment Max Verstappen won in Bahrain, this season, in that car, with this driver behind the wheel, it seemed shockingly, achievable. There is an inevitability around Verstappen finishing first, his victory almost a foregone conclusion.

With rain torrenting down and gusts of wind bellowing, an adoring home crowd of 105,000 remained determined, steadfast in their support for their man. Fernando Alonso and Pierre Gasly starred, grabbing much deserved podium finishes. Sergio Perez came home to finish in fourth, in yet another recovery drive, still faltering against the high standards of an utterly dominant RB-19.

For Ferrari, Sunday was a contrast of fortunes, Carlos Sainz defended astutely to finish fifth, while Charles Leclerc tumbled down the order with floor damage, forcing a retirement. Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton gained up the order to finish sixth, in an overall underwhelming weekend for the Silver Arrows. McLaren failed to live up to the promise in qualifying, just securing limited points, however a weekend marked by extreme weather, red flags and disrupted strategy, perhaps limited their progress. All credit must go to Alpine, who delivered a competitive car throughout the weekend, while Alex Albon impressed for Williams.


In Saturday qualifying, it was the papaya McLaren livery that threatened for pole, but when it mattered, Max Verstappen delivered. An utterly dominant final lap exhibiting immense pace and obliterating any competition with ease, truly representative of Max Verstappen thriving under pressure. A winner, fierce, invincible. With changing conditions and a rapidly drying track, the tension was palpable, contenders emerged for pole, and Max Verstappen seemed, almost, lacking.

Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari stalled, but the session recommenced with a 1:10.567 for Verstappen, a crushing hot run executed precisely, and the World Champion roared to pole position. All season, qualifying has been enthralling, but there is an expectation that Max starting anywhere except on pole would be an upset.

Amongst all the excitement, one certainty remains unyielding, no matter the circumstances, Max Verstappen will take the chequered flag in 2023…

It is almost without doubt that Max will surpass the record at Monza.




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