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Rediff.com  » Sports » Dominant Verstappen takes Red Bull to historic win

Dominant Verstappen takes Red Bull to historic win

Last updated on: July 23, 2023 22:21 IST
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IMAGE: Max Verstappen took Red Bull to a record 12th straight win. Photograph: Bernadett Szabo/Reuters

Dominant Formula One leader Max Verstappen ran away with the Hungarian Grand Prix by a mighty margin on Sunday as Red Bull made history with a record 12th victory in a row.

McLaren's Lando Norris was runner-up for the second straight race, but 33.731 seconds behind at the chequered flag on a hot afternoon at the Hungaroring.

Verstappen's team mate and closest title rival Sergio Perez had to settle for third after starting ninth and chasing Norris in the closing stages before the Briton built up more of a buffer.

The 44th career win was a ninth in 11 races so far this season for Verstappen, and seventh in a row, stretching his lead over Perez to 110 points with the double world champion also taking the fastest lap.

"What an unbelievable rocket ship that was today. That was so enjoyable to drive. Unbelievable," said Verstappen over the team radio.

 

"For the team 12 wins in a row is just incredible. What we’ve been going through the last two years is unbelievable and hopefully we can keep this momentum going for a long time," added the Dutch driver.

The run of 12, a tally that includes last season's final race in Abu Dhabi, beat McLaren's 11 in a row in 1988 recorded by greats Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna.

IMAGE: Max Verstappen celebrates Red Bull’s historic win. Photograph: Marton Monus/Reuters

Although Ferrari won 14 successive races that they entered in 1952-53, the Italian team did not compete in the Indianapolis 500 which counted as a round of the championship at that time.

Mercedes' seven times world champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth, after starting on pole for the 104th time in his career and first since 2021, with McLaren's Australian rookie Oscar Piastri fifth.

George Russell was sixth for Mercedes, after starting 18th, with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz seventh and eighth.

Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll filled the final two scoring places.

Verstappen seized the lead at the start from Hamilton, who dropped to fourth after also losing out to both the McLaren drivers with Piastri slotting into second, and never looked back from there.

Alpine drivers Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon collided at the first corner of the opening lap and retired in the pits, dealing the Renault-owned team a second successive double blank.

Alfa Romeo's Guanyu Zhou made a slow getaway from fifth place with the Chinese then hitting Yuki Tsunoda's AlphaTauri and triggering a chain reaction that pushed the Alpines together.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo, making his return with AlphaTauri, was also caught up in the chaos and dropped from 13th to 18th before finishing where he started.

Zhou was handed a five second penalty for causing the collision.

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Source: REUTERS
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