ZANDVOORT, Netherlands — Max Verstappen claimed a ninth straight Formula One victory at the Dutch Grand Prix on Sunday to match the record set by Sebastian Vettel in 2013.
Verstappen overcame two heavy rain showers at either end of the event and a 45-minute red flag delay to win in front of his home crowd, moving him closer to a third consecutive championship.
The Dutchman leads Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez by 138 points and is on course to wrap up the title at the Qatar Grand Prix in early October.
Verstappen has won every race since May’s Miami Grand Prix and will surpass Vettel if he wins the Italian Grand Prix on Sept. 3.
Vettel, who retired 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 record-shattering form from Verstappen, who became the sport’s youngest race winner at the 2016 Spanish Grand Prix (18 years old).
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, which eclipsed the previous single-season record of 13 held by Vettel and Michael Schumacher.
Earlier this year, Verstappen moved past Ayrton Senna’s 41 career victories to place himself fifth on the all-time list. He’s now up to 46 with his Dutch Grand Prix triumph, with Alain Prost’s tally of 51 next in his sights.
Should Verstappen’s streak run through the end of the season, he would also pass Vettel’s career tally of 53, putting him third behind Michael Schumacher (91) and Lewis Hamilton (103).
Verstappen’s win keeps Red Bull on course for the first ever unbeaten season in Formula One.