Verstappen led the race from the pole and maintained control through multiple periods of heavy rain and a long red flag owing to treacherous conditions on track near the race’s end. Finishing second was Fernando Alonso, with Pierre Gasly completing the podium after on-track-third-place finisher Sergio Perez was assessed a five-second time penalty.
“Today, they didn’t make it easy for us with the weather,” Verstappen told Sky Sports after the race. “I’ll think about [a 10th consecutive win] next week. I’m first going to enjoy this weekend. It’s always tough, the pressure is on to perform and I’m very happy, of course, to win here.”
Drama struck early in the race when rain began falling during the formation lap. Progressively heavy rainfall forced many teams to pit for intermediate tires within the first five laps, while some teams such as Williams opted to leave their drivers out on softs to trek through the rain.
Perez enjoyed a stint in the lead by virtue of pitting for inters before anybody else, but he was eventually undercut by Verstappen when the Dutchman pitted for dry tires one lap earlier than his teammate. Verstappen controlled the race from that point.
Heavy rain returned to the circuit with 12 laps to go, and eventually brought out a red flag on lap 64 of 72 due to poor visibility and excess standing water on the track. Perez, Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas were among those caught out in the heavy rain, with Zhou making particularly heavy contact with the turn 1 barrier.
Alonso provided the most legitimate challenge to Verstappen at the end of the race when he showed strong pace relative to the Red Bull on the restart. A clear track and the by now well-established Red Bull dominance, however, allowed Verstappen to waltz away from the Spaniard and win his home race by 3.744 seconds.
Logan Sargeant brought out the first safety car period of the day when he crashed in turn 8 on lap 16. By this point, Sargeant had been on one set of soft tires since the start of the race, having never pitted for intermediate tires during the first shower of the day.
The next round of the 2023 Formula 1 season will be the Italian Grand Prix at Monza. Coverage will begin at 9 a.m. ET, Sunday, Sept. 3, on ESPN.
About the author
Alex is the IndyCar Editor at Frontstretch, having initially joined as an entry-level contributor in 2021. He also Co-founded The Asia Cable, a publication focused on the international affairs and politics of the Asia-Pacific region, in 2023. With previous experience in China, Japan and Poland, Alex is particularly passionate about the international realm of motorsport and the politics that make the wheels turn - literally - behind the scenes.
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