The 2023 Dutch GP was the 13th round of the season and the first after the mid-season break. And what an incredible weekend it proved to be.
Only Max Verstappen who started in pole (what’s new!!) finished in the same position. Sergio Perez started in 7th, came in 4th, Lando Norris started in 2nd and finished in 7th and George Russel started in 3rd and finished in 17th!
It will be a race that McLaren and Mercedes will want to forget, and Red Bull will be happy with.
Here are the full 2023 Belgium GP Results.
Dutch GP – Qualifying
The following is the results of the three qualification sessions.
Dutch GP Q1 Recap
Qualifying was held in wet rainy weather conditions which made visibility very difficult. All the cars started the session on intermediate tires.
Early into the session, Verstappen, along with others, slid into the gravel at Turn 1 due to low traction. He mentioned facing challenges with grip.
Notably, Alex Albon clocked 1m20.939s in his Williams car shortly before another spell of rain. This was a mere 0.026s quicker than Verstappen and significantly faster than the McLarens driven by Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris.
The cars that didn’t progress past Q1 included those driven by Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo), Esteban Ocon (Alpine), Kevin Magnussen (Haas), Valtteri Bottas (Alfa), and Liam Lawson, who was 2.4s slower while filling in for the sidelined Daniel Ricciardo at AlphaTauri.
Dutch GP Q2 Recap
The wet conditions persisted in Q2, so the choice of intermediate tires continued for all cars. However, the track condition improved as the session progressed.
By the end of Q2, Verstappen led with a time of 1m18.856s, followed closely by Piastri and Albon.
Exiting the session at this stage were Lance Stroll, whose time in the Aston Martin was edged out by Sargeant’s Williams by just 0.054s. Other drivers who didn’t make the cut were Pierre Gasly (Alpine), Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri), and Nico Hulkenberg (Haas).
Dutch GP Q3 Recap
By Q3, the track had dried sufficiently to switch to slick tires. Early in this session, Albon registered a time of 1m15.743s, but the session was halted when Sargeant had a major incident at Turn 2, leading to a red flag.
After some delay, when the session resumed, McLaren dominated with Norris logging the fastest time, closely followed by Piastri. Verstappen was not far behind. However, another interruption occurred when Leclerc had an off-track moment at Turn 9, necessitating another red flag.
When the action picked up again, with only four minutes remaining, Verstappen set a new leading time of 1m10.567s. Norris was second fastest, followed by George Russell (Mercedes), Albon, Fernando Alonso (Aston), Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), Sergio Perez (Red Bull), Piastri, Leclerc, and Sargeant.
|1||Max Verstappen||RED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT||01:21.0||01:18.9||01:10.6||31|
|2||Lando Norris||MCLAREN MERCEDES||01:21.3||01:19.8||01:11.1||30|
|4||Alexander Albon||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||01:20.9||01:19.4||01:11.4||32|
|5||Fernando Alonso||ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES||01:21.8||01:19.4||01:11.5||30|
|7||Sergio Perez||RED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT||01:22.0||01:19.9||01:11.9||33|
|8||Oscar Piastri||MCLAREN MERCEDES||01:21.2||01:19.4||01:11.9||31|
|10||Logan Sargeant||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||01:22.0||01:20.1||01:16.7||27|
|11||Lance Stroll||ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES||01:21.6||01:20.1||22|
|12||Pierre Gasly||ALPINE RENAULT||01:21.7||01:20.1||21|
|14||Yuki Tsunoda||ALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT||01:21.8||01:20.2||22|
|15||Nico Hulkenberg||HAAS FERRARI||01:21.9||01:20.2||20|
|16||Zhou Guanyu||ALFA ROMEO FERRARI||01:22.1||12|
|17||Esteban Ocon||ALPINE RENAULT||01:22.1||12|
|18||Kevin Magnussen||HAAS FERRARI||01:22.2||11|
|19||Valtteri Bottas||ALFA ROMEO FERRARI||01:22.3||12|
|20||Liam Lawson||ALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT||01:23.4||12|
Dutch GP – Main Race
Max Verstappen tied Sebastian Vettel’s record of nine consecutive Formula 1 wins by securing a victory at the rain-affected Dutch Grand Prix.
Being there was an incredible experience watching Verstappen, driving for Red Bull, navigate through the downpours at the beginning and near the conclusion of the race. He now equals Sebastian Vettel’s record from 2013 with the same team.
Fernando Alonso finished in second place for Aston Martin. Pierre Gasly, meanwhile, achieved third place for Alpine, moving up due to a penalty imposed on Sergio Perez, who then had to settle in fourth. One has to wonder when Sergio will catch a break.
After the qualifying session on Saturday that saw both wet and dry conditions, Verstappen started in pole position. However, a significant rainfall in the first lap changed the track conditions, favoring intermediate tires over the slicks that all drivers initially used.
During this downpour, Perez, along with six other drivers, took a pit stop at the end of the first lap. This strategic move allowed him to take the lead. But Verstappen, after pitting a lap later and rejoining in 13th position, swiftly climbed up to second.
Lewis Hamilton did not pit with the rest of the pack, which proved a bad decision. At one point he was running last in the race.
When the rain subsided and the track favored the slick tires again, Verstappen regained his lead on the 11th lap, taking advantage of an earlier pit stop than Perez.
Talking about pit stops, Red Bull instructed Max Verstappen to undercut Sergio and therefore take a lead. As Sergio was leading by over 3 seconds at that point, it raises suspicions that the team deliberately compromised his race.
Logan Sargeant went into the wall on lap 16 prompting the safety car.
As the race progressed, Verstappen established a 10-second lead over Perez. However, another rainstorm hit with 12 laps left. This sudden change led to cars skidding on the main straight, causing a notable crash involving Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu and leading to a race halt.
After a wait of over 40 minutes, the race resumed. Verstappen held his lead, finishing nearly four seconds ahead of Alonso in the subsequent five laps.
During this restart, an intense battle unfolded as Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz successfully defended his position against Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, securing fifth place. Lando Norris of McLaren managed to finish seventh, although an incident with George Russell left the latter without points, despite his third-place start.
Alex Albon finished eighth for Williams, ahead of McLaren’s Oscar Piastri. Esteban Ocon rounded out the top ten, earning a point for Alpine.
Verstappen now looks ahead to the Italian Grand Prix, where he has a chance to surpass Vettel’s record. This win also continues Red Bull’s undefeated season, marking their 14th consecutive victory since the end of 2022.
With this win, Verstappen edges closer to securing his third consecutive drivers’ title. He now has a lead of 138 points over Perez, with nine races left in the season.
The Race Results
|1||Max Verstappen||RED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT||72||24:04.4||25|
|2||Fernando Alonso||ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES||72||+3.744s||19|
|3||Pierre Gasly||ALPINE RENAULT||72||+7.058s||15|
|4||Sergio Perez||RED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT||72||+10.068s||12|
|7||Lando Norris||MCLAREN MERCEDES||72||+13.232s||6|
|8||Alexander Albon||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||72||+15.155s||4|
|9||Oscar Piastri||MCLAREN MERCEDES||72||+16.580s||2|
|10||Esteban Ocon||ALPINE RENAULT||72||+18.346s||1|
|11||Lance Stroll||ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES||72||+20.087s||0|
|12||Nico Hulkenberg||HAAS FERRARI||72||+20.840s||0|
|13||Liam Lawson||ALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT||72||+26.147s||0|
|14||Kevin Magnussen||HAAS FERRARI||72||+26.410s||0|
|15||Valtteri Bottas||ALFA ROMEO FERRARI||72||+27.388s||0|
|16||Yuki Tsunoda||ALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT||72||+29.893s||0|
|NC||Zhou Guanyu||ALFA ROMEO FERRARI||62||DNF||0|
|NC||Logan Sargeant||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||14||DNF||0|