ZANDVOORT, Netherlands — Max Verstappen claimed a ninth consecutive Formula One victory at the Dutch Grand Prix on Sunday to match the record set by Sebastian Vettel in 2013.
Verstappen overcame two heavy rains and a 45-minute red flag delay at either end of the event to win in front of his home crowd, moving him closer to a third consecutive championship.
The Dutchman leads Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez by 138 points and is set to win the title at the Qatar Grand Prix in early October.
Verstappen has won every race since May’s Miami Grand Prix and will overtake Vettel if he wins the Italian Grand Prix in September. 3.
Vettel, who retires at the end of 2022, messaged Verstappen earlier this year to support his quest to break the record, which the German also did while driving for Red Bull.
Formula One is currently witnessing the record-breaking form of Verstappen, who became the sport’s youngest ever race winner (aged 18) at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix.
He has won 11 of the 13 races so far this year, with Perez claiming the other two.
Verstappen is on pace to surpass the 15 wins he claimed last year, surpassing the previous single-season record of 13 held by Vettel and Michael Schumacher.
Earlier this year, Verstappen surpassed Ayrton Senna’s 41 career victories to move him into fifth place on the all-time list. With his Dutch Grand Prix win he is now 46, with Elaine Prost’s tally of 51 in his sights.
If Verstappen’s streak continues through the end of the season, he will also surpass Vettel’s career tally of 53, which would put him third behind Michael Schumacher (91) and Lewis Hamilton (103).
Verstappen’s win keeps Red Bull on course for a first-ever unbeaten season in Formula One.