Over the course of the last eight Formula 1 races, Max Verstappen has found a way to guide his RB19 to the front of the field.
If he does that again on Sunday, he will join an extremely elite club.
With a win in the Dutch Grand Prix Verstappen will notch his ninth-straight victory, matching the mark set by Sebastian Vettel back in 2013 that currently stands as the longest winning streak for a driver in F1 history. Given Verstappen’s current form, the fact that he is starting on pole, and the fact that Verstappen has won the prior two Dutch Grands Prix, there is every reason to believe that Verstappen will join that club later today.
Still, the rest of the field is going to put up a fight, and there are potential spoilers lurking throughout the top ten. Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri have been strong all weekend for McLaren, and Norris will start alongside Verstappen on the front row. George Russell will be right behind Verstappen, and certainly keep an eye on Alex Albon who starts fourth, as both Williams drivers found a way inside the top ten and the FW45 has been strong all weekend.
The Grand Prix is set to get rolling around 9:00 a.m. Eastern, and we will have you covered throughout the day, so come back early and often!
Dutch Grand Prix
Update 11:28: Verstappen makes history! He takes the checkered flag for his ninth-straight F1 victory, tying Sebastian Vettel’s mark set in 2013.
Alonso comes across for second. Pérez finishes third, but cannot get enough of a gap ahead of Gasly, and the five-second penalty for the Red Bull driver will hand Gasly his first podium since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in 2021.
Update 11:25: Race officials have already determined that the contact between Russell and Norris requires no further investigation.
Update 11:23: Race officials are going to investigate contact between Russell and Norris.
Update 11:22: Disaster for Russell, as he loses his front wing somehow and comes into the pits.
Update 11:21: Race officials have given Pérez a five-second penalty for speeding in the pit lane. That might see him lose out on a podium if he cannot extend his current lead over Gasly.
Update 11:19: Green flag is out, and Alonso is trying to stay on the rear of Verstappen. Russell gets by Norris and into P7.
Update 11:18: The safety car is coming in this lap, and we will have six laps to complete the story.
Update 11:15: The safety car is on the track, and the drivers will do two laps under safety car conditions before the rolling start.
Update 11:08: Race officials indicate that the race will resume with a rolling start, and the use of intermediates is required for all teams.
Update 11:04: Race officials indicate the race will resume in ten minutes.
Update 10:53: An important update.
Update 10:39: Race officials have set the order for the restart.
That will be the top ten for the restart, whenever that happens.
Update 10:32: Zhou slides off the track as well, and the Virtual Safety Car comes out. Verstappen comes in for the full wets, and the F1TV commentary box is speculating that a red flag is coming.
Pérez coms in for the full wets, and that pushes Gasly up into P3.
Now the red flag comes out. With the flag coming in with Pérez and other drivers on pit lane, how will the field be shuffled for the restart order?
Update 10:31: Pérez slides off the track as the rain pours down. That opens the door for Alonso to slither past him for P2.
Update 10:30: 18 of the drivers are left, with 17 of them on intermediates. Only Ocon made the switch to the full wet compound.
Update 10:28: Rain is “hammering down” now and stops are underway. Verstappen manages to get around for a stop and comes out still in the lead, but the field has tightened.
Ocon is told that the rain will be “very heavy.”
Race control has disabled DRS.
Update 10:25: Russell puts his right tyres into the grass, and somehow saves it with a move the F1TV commentators describe as the “save of the century.”
Gasly gets by Sainz and into P4. This is a tremendous run for him after serving a five-second penalty.
Also, the rain is “imminent.”
Lots of things are happening.
Update 10:21: Albon gets by Russell to get into P6, and just behind them Hamilton gets past Norris for P9.
Here is the current top ten as the ponchos start to come out in the grandstand:
Verstappen asks whether intermediates, or the full wets, will be needed. Things could get sporty here in a minute.
Update 10:20: Alonso is told that “when the rain comes, it will be heavier than the start of the race.”
Update 10:18: Tsunoda is in eighth place, and holding on for dear live as his rear-view mirrors are filled with Ocon and Norris.
Verstappen is told that rain expected around ten laps from the finish, and some of it will be “pretty heavy.”
Update 10:17: Alonso gets by Sainz, overtaking him for P3. If this holds it would be Alonso’s first podium since the Canadian Grand Prix.
Update 10:16: F1TV shows a weather radar and it certainly looks to these untrained eyes that some heavy rain is coming.
Update 10:15: Gasly gets by Tsunoda, his former teammate, for P5. Tsunoda is now back into P6.
Update 10:14: Alonso gets by Tsunoda rather quickly, but is over two seconds behind Sainz for P3.
Update 10:13: Alonso comes into the pits, but it is a slow stop with some struggles to the front left tyre. Both Sainz and Tsunoda are able to pass Alonso as he leaves the pits, shuffling Alonso back into P5.
Update 10:12: Tsunoda is sill on the track in P5, and speculation in the commentary box is that the team is hoping that weather comes in which requires everyone to pit and switch to intermediates.
Update 10:10: Gasly comes in and serves his five-second penalty. He comes back out onto the track in P6, and will be locked in a battle immediately with Russell for the position.
Update 10:08: Albon finally pits on Lap 45. He certainly made the most out of those soft tyres.
Update 10:06: Ocon comes into the pits, giving up his place in the points. Now currently running in P10? Russell, on a set of hard tyres. With the Mercedes driver able to go to the end — and a lot of drivers in front of him who will need at least one more stop — Russell might make something of this day after all.
Update 10:04: After “41 laps of pain,” Leclerc’s day is over as the team decides to retire his car. Leclerc was locked in a battle for P15 with Liam Lawson which ... yeah.
Update 9:59: Leclerc keeps sliding back through the field after suffering some front-wing damage early in the race which required a new assembly. Valtteri Bottas gets by him, pusing Leclerc back to P15. It might be time to retire that SF-23 for the day.
Update 9:55: Reaching the halfway point and here is the current top ten:
Gasly is facing a five-second penalty.
Update 9:42: Albon gets by Zhou for P6. Remember, he is on soft tyres that are now on their 25th lap.
Update 9:39: Albon — running on 23-lap-old softs — gets past Magnussen and into P7. That Williams is fast.
Update 9:37: With the safety care coming in on Lap 21, here is the top ten.
Update 9:34: Safety car is still out as a mobile crane works to get Sargeant’s FW45 off the track.
Update 9:29: Russell comes in to pit under the safety car, and a set of hards are bolted onto his W14.
Update 9:27: Sargeant goes off the track and into the wall, bringing his day to an end. That draws the full safety car.
Update 9:24: Russell on the radio: “I was forecast for a podium. ****, how did we mess this up?”
Update 9:23: “Did Max undercut us?” asks Pérez.
Spidey senses are tingling ...
Update 9:22: The Red Bull duo makes a sequence of pit stops, and with Verstappen coming in a lap ahead of Pérez, the championship leader comes around to take the lead again as Pérez exits pit lane.
Update 9:16: For teams that made the decision to stay out on the slicks, the race might have already gotten away from them. Albon is down in 15th after starting fourth, and is approximately 40 seconds outside the top ten. He is the highest-running driver on the softs.
Mercedes tells Russell that rain is coming, but it will be lighter than before.
Update 9:14: Verstappen then gets by Zhou Guanyu at Turn 3, and is back into second. Now he needs to track down his teammate to get back into P1.
The track is drying out, but a bit more of rain is expected momentarily.
Update 9:13: Verstappen gets past Pierre Gasly for P3, but Alpine might take issue with the move, as Verstappen forced Gasly up high and near the barrier.
Update 9:08: Pérez, who was one of the first to make the switch, immediately rides the intermediates to the front of the field.
Update 9:07: Verstappen and Alonso dive in for intermediates. Norris and George Russell stay out, and while the McLaren driver leads for a moment, Russell almost immediately takes the lead away.
Update 9:05: Rain is pouring down, and a few drivers come into the pits. Sergio Pérez and Charles Leclerc are among those drivers coming in. On the track Alonso gets past Norris and into P2.
Update 9:04: Lights are out at Zandvoort as the rain starts to fall. Verstappen keeps his lead into Turn 1, holding off Lando Norris at the start. Fernando Alonso pulls off a double overtake through Turn 3 to push into third ahead of Alex Albon and George Russell.
Update 9:01: 19 of the drivers are on the soft compound to start. Only Lewis Hamilton is on the mediums.
As noted by F1 journalist Albert Fabrega, with overtaking at a premium during the Dutch Grand Prix, teams might try and make this a one-stop race. Here are the potential tyre strategies today:
Neumáticos diaponibles y estrategias . Entre 1 y 2 paradas. Es difícil adelantar, por lo que algunos equipos intentarán 1.— Albert Fabrega (@AlbertFabrega) August 27, 2023
Tyres available. Between 1 and 2 stops. Difficult to overtake here, so some teams will push for 1. #f1 #tyres pic.twitter.com/LEbODUdrsx
Update 9:00: Rain is expected minutes after the start:
Update 8:56: We are just minutes away from lights out so ... opening titles!
Update 8:52: James Vowles praises Logan Sargeant pre-race, noting that he had a “confidence” that the Williams Team Principal wanted to see. Vowles also states that Sargeant has a “point that is his to take.”
Vowles is also “incredibly proud” of the gains that Williams has made this season.
Update 8:50: Toto Wolff joins F1TV and notes that the team expects rain in “20 to 25 minutes.” He also sets what he terms is a “realistic” goal for the race.
Update 8:48: The risk of rain is increasing at Zandvoort.
Update 8:42: With Magnussen dropping to pit lane, that means Liam Lawson will make his F1 debut from P19. During Will Buxton’s grid walk on F1TV, AlphaTauri Team Principal Franz Tost relays that his main message to Lawson is to finish as many laps as possible, to learn something for Monza next week.
Update 8:39: Things will get underway from Zandvoort shortly. The main news this morning? Haas driver Kevin Magnussen will be starting from pit lane after the team added some new components overnight, including a new Power Unit: