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The Student Media Site of William Clarke College

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Verstappen Equals Race Win Record whilst Gasly Gains a Motivation Boost!

Taken from Unsplash by Enrico Miglioranza

Max Verstappen Converted his pole position at the Dutch Grand Prix this weekend to further push his record winning streak to equal the one of Sebastian Vettel, Whilst Pierre Gasly got a ‘Massive Motivation Boost’ and Alonso is quite fond of being back on the podium with Aston Martin.


This weekend the Formula One World watched as the teams arrived back from the summer break to arrive in the Netherlands the home of the Dutch Grand Prix. The Dutch Grand Prix held at the Zandvoort Circuit – Formula One would go racing at the Zandvoort Circuit up until 1985 – then in 2019, it was announced to be a part of the F1 Calendar again.

Throughout the weekend the drivers have a non-sprint race weekend meaning we have three practice sessions, one qualifying and a race on Sunday which spans 14 corners over 4.2 kilometres and 72 laps on race day!


The Weekend Report:

During Free-Practice Two Ricciardo tried to avoid the second Aussie on the grid Oscar Piastri who put his McLaren into the wall and put his whacked his Alpha Tauri into the wall having his steering wheel hitting and breaking the left side of his left hand, leaving the track on Saturday to have surgery in Barcelona.


With Ricciardo’s absence, the New Zealander driver Liam Lawson taking on his role as the reserve driver for the remainder of the weekend.

For the first time this year, both of the Williams Cars were in Q3 with Alex Albon qualifying P4 and Logan Sargeant Qualifying P10.


How It Happened:

As the Rain Affected weekend followed on it was looking to be a dry and sunny start to the race just before the dark clouds started to roll into the track… The orange army of the Dutch dominated the noise throughout the track.


“It’s light out and away we go”


Max Verstappen executed a clean start, maintaining his lead into the first corner. He was followed by Norris, Albon, Russell, and Alonso. The highlight of this sequence was Alonso’s impressive double overtake on Norris’s McLaren and Albon’s Williams at Turn 3, showcasing his skill and determination in the upgraded Aston Martin.


However, the spotty rain quickly escalated into a full-fledged shower. This prompted immediate pit stops for Perez, Leclerc, Gasly, Zhou, Tsunoda, Lawson, and Magnussen to swap their slick tires for intermediates. Ferrari faced challenges as they scrambled to prepare their tires, catching them off-guard.


Verstappen received advice over the radio to stay out if he could manage it, but he was later instructed to prepare for a pit stop. He struggled on the track alongside Alonso, who had also passed Norris. Meanwhile, Russell held onto fourth place ahead of Albon and Sainz.


While most of the field had pitted to switch to intermediate tires, a few drivers, including Russell, Norris, Albon, Piastri, Stroll, Bottas, Hülkenberg, Hamilton, and Sargeant, remained on slicks for another lap. The drivers on intermediate tires rapidly made their way through the field, and Perez soon seized the lead.


By Lap 3, only a handful of drivers, including Russell, Albon, Piastri, Stroll, Bottas, Hülkenberg, and Sargeant, persisted with slick tires. This decision resulted in them losing positions, with Perez securing a considerable lead over Zhou, Gasly, and Verstappen, who had dropped due to his pit stop.


Verstappen staged a comeback holding all the grip you could ever need, overtaking Gasly and Zhou in quick succession to reclaim the second spot and set his sights on Perez. The home favourite was making a determined effort to close the gap and regain his leading position.


As the race settled after the rain-related turmoil, the front became a Red Bull-dominated affair, with Verstappen closing in on Perez. Zhou held third, followed by Gasly, Alonso, and Sainz. Alonso managed to pass his teammate Leclerc, who had sustained front-wing damage in early-race contact with Piastri.


Tsunoda managed to retain eighth despite a slow pit stop, while Magnussen showcased his skill in the challenging conditions by progressing from the pit lane to ninth. Norris rounded off the top ten, securing the final points-paying position.


Further pit stops occurred on Lap 11 for Magnussen, Hamilton, and Stroll as they switched back to slick tires from intermediates. However, Russell received information that more rain was approaching, a factor that would play into the race dynamics later on.


Gradually, as the track dried up, Piastri demonstrated strong performance on his starting set of soft tires. This performance prompted the rest of the field to switch from overheating intermediate tires to slicks. Verstappen undercut Perez by pitting a lap earlier on the 12th lap, enabling him to rejoin the track ahead of his teammate and take the number one position.


The race encountered more drama as Sargeant lost control of his Williams, crashing into the barriers and bringing out the Virtual Safety Car, which then escalated to a full Safety Car deployment. This incident prompted the drivers’ rankings to shift, with Verstappen in the lead followed by Perez and Alonso. Gasly, Sainz, and others positioned themselves in the top ten.


When racing resumed after the safety car, Verstappen maintained his dominating lead, while Perez defended his position against Alonso. Gasly managed to overtake Sainz for fourth. As the laps progressed, Albon executed a lovely move on Magnussen, and the battle between the two resulted in Magnussen receiving a black and white flag.


The action continued with pit stops and on-track manoeuvring. Drivers like Alonso and Russell showcased impressive overtakes, and Verstappen’s lead over Perez widened. However, weather forecasts predicted incoming rain that could change the course of the race again.


Around the halfway mark, Verstappen received information about approaching rain, potentially changing the life of the race. Another round of pit stops followed, with Norris and Hamilton opting to switch from intermediates to slicks.


Verstappen and the front-runners delayed their pit stops, staying out longer. Perez pitted on Lap 46, with Verstappen coming in a lap later, successfully rejoining ahead of Perez. However, Alonso’s pit stop didn’t go as smoothly, causing him to lose a position to Sainz due to a sticky front-left tire.


As the laps continued, Verstappen maintained his lead over Perez. Alonso remained in third, followed by Gasly, Sainz, and Albon. Meanwhile, Norris, Piastri, and the top ten battled for the points they desperately wanted.


With the race progressing, the weather remained unpredictable. Rain showers continued to influence strategy decisions. Despite the challenges posed by the weather and competitors, Verstappen’s lead remained secure, and he powered his way to an equal record of ninth consecutive victory this season showcasing the power and dominance of Redbull this season.


Alonso’s impressive performance earned him second place, and Perez, despite a time penalty held onto third.

1 Max Verstappen RedBull Racing
2 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin
3 Pierre Gasly Alpine
4 Sergio Perez RedBull Racing
5 Carlos Sainz Ferrari
6 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
7 Lando Norris McLaren
8 Alex Albon Williams
9 Oscar Piastri McLaren
10 Esteban Ocon Alpine
11 Lance Stroll Aston Martin
12 Nico Hulkenberg HAAS
13 Liam Lawson Alpha Tauri
14 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo
15 Yuki Tsunoda Alpha Tauri
16 Kevin Magnussen HAAS
17 George Russell Mercedes
DNF Gyuanu Zhou Alfa Romeo
DNF Charles LecLerc Ferrari
DNF Logan Sargeant Williams


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