Christian Horner has hailed “untouchable” Max Verstappen as one of the best driver on the earth after the Red Bull star overcame a chaotic rain-hit Dutch Grand Prix to equal Sebastian Vettel’s document of 9 wins in a row.
Despite two separate downpours wreaking havoc at first and conclusion of Sunday’s 72-lap race in Zandvoort, Verstappen delivered in entrance of 105,000 expectant followers to take the chequered flag forward of Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso, with Pierre Gasly finishing the rostrum.
Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez, slapped with a five-second penalty for rushing within the pit-lane, completed fourth whereas Lewis Hamilton – who bemoaned his Mercedes staff’s poor technique within the inclement situations – got here residence in sixth place.
Verstappen, who has gained 11 of the 13 rounds to date, will head to subsequent weekend’s Italian Grand Prix in Monza 138 factors clear within the drivers’ championship.
There stays an out of doors likelihood he may full his hat-trick of titles on the Japanese Grand Prix on September 24 with half-a-dozen rounds nonetheless to run.
“Max is in a period of his career where he is just simply untouchable,” mentioned Red Bull staff principal Horner, who oversaw Vettel’s streak of 9 straight wins a decade in the past. “I don’t think there is any driver on the grid that would be able to achieve what he is doing in that car.
“To win nine races in a row is insane, and it is something that none of us would have envisaged, and I never thought we would repeat it after we managed it with Sebastian. What we are witnessing is a driver that is generational.
“Max has been in incredible form for the past three years, and the most impressive thing for me is all the pressure that he is under here.
“With the expectation of 100,000 Dutch fans, a lot would have cracked under that pressure, but he kept his composure and delivered, as he has done so many times.”
Come wind, rain or shine, 25-year-old Verstappen is the person for all events. On pole, he discovered himself down in thirteenth place after seven drivers – together with team-mate Perez – took benefit of a sudden first-lap downpour to maneuver on to moist tyres.
But by lap 13, Verstappen – who at one stage was lapping his residence monitor 4 seconds sooner than Perez and two seconds faster than anyone else – was again within the lead.
His record-equalling feat was positioned doubtful when the rain returned with vengeance with a dozen laps to go, and Zhou Guanyu crashed out, and the race was stopped.
A 43-minute delay and six-lap sprint to the chequered flag adopted, however Verstappen denied Alonso any hope of taking his first win in a decade with an assured drive. He completed 3.7 sec away from the Spaniard.
As Verstappen ensured Red Bull’s unbeaten run remained, Hamilton’s afternoon was scuppered by Mercedes’ dithering following the first-lap downpour.
Hamilton was not known as in for moist tyres till the top of lap three with team-mate George Russell following in on the subsequent lap. When the mud settled, Hamilton and Russell, who began third, have been sixteenth and 18th respectively.
From there it was a damage-limitation train for each males, with Hamilton driving effectively to take sixth place.
Russell might need completed seventh however for a late duel with countryman Lando Norris leaving him with race-ending hurt to his Mercedes. Norris crossed the road in seventh place.