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F1 leader Max Verstappen takes record-tying 9th win in a row


ZANDVOORT, Netherlands, August 30 ------ Runaway Formula One leader Max Verstappen celebrated a record-equalling ninth successive victory after winning a rain-hit and red-flagged Dutch Grand Prix for the third year in a row.


The Red Bull driver’s home triumph from pole position at a soggy Zandvoort equalled now-retired four-time world champion Sebastian Vettel’s 2013 run of success with the same team. It was Red Bull’s 14th consecutive triumph and 13th of the season, with the Italian Grand Prix at Monza following next weekend.


Rain brought chaos at the end of lap one, with a further dry period followed by a downpour that swept in from the North Sea to halt proceedings for 40 minutes on the 65th of 72 laps with cars skidding off. Fernando Alonso put Aston Martin back on the podium with second place and a bonus point for fastest lap after the eventual rolling re-start behind the safety car led to a thrilling final chase at the seaside circuit. Pierre Gasly was third, his first podium finish since he joined Renault-owned Alpine, as Red Bull’s Sergio Perez collected a five-second post-race penalty for speeding in the pit lane and dropped to fourth.


Verstappen now leads Perez, his closest rival, by a mighty 138 points with nine races remaining. Red Bull lead Mercedes by 285 points with Aston Martin 40 points further back and 14 ahead of Ferrari. “Incredible. They didn’t make it easy for us with the weather to make all the right calls,” said Verstappen as his army of fans prepared to party into the night. I already had goosebumps when they were playing the national anthem before the start,” added the 25-year-old, who chatted happily with the Dutch king and queen before the podium ceremonies. “Even with all the bad weather, the rain, the fans are still going at it. So an incredible atmosphere.”


Verstappen’s 11th victory of the season, and 46th of his career, provided another big push towards clinching a third title well before the end of the season.


Source: rappler.com

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