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Dutch Grand Prix: Charles Leclerc forced to retire, Max Verstappen unstoppable

Charles-Leclerc
Charles Leclerc had a difficult weekend in Zandvoort (Photo © Scuderia Ferrari)

The Dutchman won the race at Zandvoort on Sunday in hellish conditions. The Monegasque driver had to call it a day on lap 42. 

The race: Verstappen. And the rest.

Suspense was not the order of the day. At least not at the front of the race. Winning his ninth consecutive Grand Prix, Max Vertsappen (Red Bull) once again destroyed the competition in the Netherlands, despite several torrential downpours on the Zandvoort circuit.

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Starting from pole position, the two-time reigning world champion led the race all the way to the finish, ahead of Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin), who drove admirably in the wet conditions, and Pierre Gasly (Alpine), who was a surprise third thanks to strategic choices and rain showers.

As for Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), there was damage to his front wing after a little encounter with Oscar Piastri’s McLaren on the opening lap of the race, which left him short on pace throughout the Grand Prix. The race came to a premature end for the Monegasque, who was forced to retire on lap 42.

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A Grand Prix that Charles Leclerc will want to forget, and which he intends to make up for quickly. Next up is the Italian Grand Prix at Monza on September 3, where the tifosis are expected to be very vocal.

The number: 11

With his eleventh victory of the season, the ninth in a row, Max Verstappen equalled Sebastian Vettel’s single-season record. And the season’s not over yet!

The quote: “I can’t wait to get to Monza”

Charles Leclerc: “There was a brush with Oscar (Piastri), which had no great consequences. It was a small impact, but it broke an important part for the car and I lost a lot of grip after that. We kept hoping for rain to try and make a different choice from the others and see if we could score a point or two.

(…) I can’t wait to get to Monza and feel all the support, given how difficult the season has been. We’ll do our best. It’s one of the most difficult tracks of the year in terms of the car’s balance. But at Monza, we’ll have a different package.”

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The standings: Verstappen way out front

With this latest win, the two-time reigning world champion is one step closer to a third consecutive world championship title, with nine races still to go.

With 339 points, Max Vertsappen is well ahead of team-mate Sergio Perez (201 points) and Fernando Alonso (168 points). Charles Leclerc is sixth (99 points).

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