5 Winners and 5 Losers from the Dutch GP – Who kept their head when the heavens opened?
Max Verstappen gave his loyal orange army the result they had hoped for – and become increasingly accustomed to – with a brilliantly judged victory in a rain-hit Dutch Grand Prix where he pitted a remarkable five times.
But as the double world champion inched ever closer to a third successive title success by dancing his way through changeable conditions, others did not cope so well in the wet stuff. We’ve picked five winners and five losers from the race at Zandvoort.
Winner: Max Verstappen
On the face of it, this was just another Verstappen victory – a ninth in succession which ties Sebastian Vettel’s record, and 11th of the season (the latter stat matches the most wins scored by Lewis Hamilton in any season).
However, he had to work for it – losing the lead when the rain came just after the start, lapping quickly on slicks when another downpour came and judging every restart to perfection to keep his incredible unbeaten run going.
The Red Bull driver has led 628 laps so far this season, more than he managed last season and the seventh-highest of all time. If he manages to lead 112 more in the remaining nine races – a feat it’s difficult to imagine him not achieving – he’ll take the record.
He's putting together the kind of season that is edging towards the most crushing of all-time and one which we’ll be talking about for decades to come.
Loser: Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo was one of the happiest drivers in the Zandvoort paddock on Thursday, the Australian itching to get going, having got two races under his belt before the break on his return to F1 with AlphaTauri.
But by crashing into the barriers in practice, to avoid hitting the stricken McLaren of Oscar Piastri, he broke his fifth metacarpal, forcing him out of the race weekend.
He headed to Spain for surgery, which was successful, on Sunday – and is now laser-focused on nailing his recovery to trigger a return to the cockpit as soon as possible.
Winner: Fernando Alonso
Fernando Alonso was in his element at Zandvoort, the double world champion making the most of an upgraded Aston Martin and exuding confidence in the changeable conditions to grab his first podium since Canada in June.
The Spaniard’s superb second-place was his seventh rostrum of the year, extending his advantage over Hamilton to 12 points in the battle for third in the drivers’ standings.
His appearance on the podium also broke Michael Schumacher’s record for the longest interval between first and last career podiums, with the 42-year-old’s first coming back in the 2003 Malaysian Grand Prix, 7,399 days ago.
Loser: Logan Sargeant
Try as he might, Logan Sargeant has struggled to make an impact at Williams in his rookie season, the American comfortably outperformed by his highly-rated team mate Alex Albon.
He arrived at Zandvoort still hunting his first points, but made the most of a Williams – that for reasons still unclear to the team was very quick on the narrow track – to secure his first Q3 appearance of the season.
Unfortunately, he crashed in Q3 forcing a big rebuild overnight. He then dropped back in the early phase of the race, and when he touched a kerb, he said “it seems that from the impact of that, we had an issue with hydraulics and power steering” – and he was soon pitched into the barriers and out of the race.
Winner: Pierre Gasly
It’s been a challenging few months for Alpine following a dramatic senior management overhaul – but there was sweet relief for the French squad in Holland as Pierre Gasly mastered the tricky conditions to take his first podium since Azerbaijan 2021.
The Frenchman’s haul of 15 points is almost half what he’s managed collectively in the previous 12 Grands Prix and helps Alpine narrow the gap to McLaren to 38 points in the fight for P5 in the constructors’ championship.
Losers: Alfa Romeo
In splitting their strategies when the rain came, Alfa Romeo gave themselves a shot at some decent points, with Zhou Guanyu among the first to pit for intermediates and moving up inside the top-five.
But as conditions improved, the car simply wasn’t quick enough relative to its rivals and the Chinese driver fell back, before crashing out when a heavy downpour struck in the closing laps.
With Valtteri Bottas also failing to score, the Swiss team extended their run outside the points to five races.
Winner: Alex Albon
Alex Albon tied his best-ever grid slot with fourth after a sterling lap in qualifying to set up the prospect of a chunky points haul for Williams.
Though the decision to stay out on softs ultimately didn’t pay off, he drove well in all stints of the race to secure eighth, his third top-10 in six races which pushes his team four clear of Haas in constructors’ championship.
McLaren were in good shape for a third podium in four races when Lando Norris put his papaya-liveried machine on the front row next to Verstappen.
But their decision not to pit when the rain came dropped the Briton down the field, and while he recovered to finish seventh with team mate Oscar Piastri ninth, it was an underwhelming result on a day that promised so much more.
Winner: Liam Lawson
Daniel Ricciardo’s misfortune was Liam Lawson’s gain, as the Red Bull junior – competing this year in the Japanese Super Formula series – was given the nod to step in as super sub and make his F1 debut.
Considering he had just one wet practice session to get to grips with the car before qualifying – and then had to contend with the most unpredictable race of the season in terms of the weather, seeing the chequered flag in 13th was a very impressive result.
Loser: Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc’s qualifying ended early when he crashed in Q3, the Ferrari driver starting Sunday’s race from ninth as his Ferrari team struggled for overall performance.
Contact with Piastri on the opening lap damaged his floor, which lost him huge chunks of performance and ultimately forced his third retirement of the season.