After a four week-long summer holiday, the 2023 Formula 1 season resumed with the Dutch Grand Prix at the Zandvoort Circuit on Sunday, August 27. While Max Verstappen met expectations with his ninth consecutive victory, equalling Sebastian Vettel’s 2013 record, Scuderia Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc was forced to retire from the race.
Having struggled with his car all weekend and crashing out of qualifying, Leclerc started the race in ninth place, and his struggles did not cease as the lights went down to mark the start of another race to forget for Ferrari.
Leclerc was left to wrestle with the wheel of his dodgy Ferrari, but the ever worsening floor damage proved to be too much, giving the Monegasque no chance and forcing him to retire from the race on the 43rd lap.
The race carried on without Leclerc, but not for long, as the heavens opened to cause some severe slip-ups off the track. Sergio Perez was the first to slide, but was able to just bump the barrier with the rear end of his Red Bull and get back in the race. Zhou Guanyu aquaplaned moments later, locking up both front wheels and subsequently taking a big shunt into the barriers. Fortunately, the Alfa Romeo driver was unhurt, but the conditions were deemed too severe to carry on racing and a red flag ensued.
Little changed after the race resumed, with Max Verstappen storming to his third consecutive win at the Dutch GP in front of roaring home fans, and his ninth in a row this season. Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso crossed the line in second place, while Pierre Gasly claimed third place from Perez, after the Red Bull driver was issued a five-second penalty for speeding in the pit lane.
F1 fans will not have to wait long for the next race, as the Italian GP will take place on Sunday, September 3 at the iconic Monza Circuit.