Regardless of how he won the Formula 1 title from Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen is undoubtedly the best driver on the planet right now. And while his entire focus is on defending his crown, he’s also proving to be good enough to equal records, with the next step being to break one.
Of course, the record we’re talking about is the one that was set by Sebastian Vettel when he won an incredible nine Formula 1 races in a row and was the only man ever to achieve the feat.
That was until Verstappen came along and managed to equal the impressive record at the Dutch Grand Prix, which he won in trying conditions. The significant difference here is that the Dutchman can surpass Vettel by winning the upcoming Italian Grand Prix, and F1 betting odds already have him pegged as the winner.
It’s one thing to get close to a record and to equal it, but to go on and smash it will be some achievement, even for a driver as talented and consistent as Verstappen. In the entire history of Formula 1, there has only ever been Vettel and Verstappen to win nine in a row, which shows how much ability they’ve had to put such a streak together. However, if the current Red Bull number one goes on and makes it ten from ten, he’d very much be in a league of his own, and it’s unlikely anyone would match or surpass that, not anytime soon anyway.
Winning nine Formula 1 races in a row, even if you’re the best driver in the sport, will never be an easy achievement. But it was perhaps the Dutch Grand Prix, Vertsappen’s home race, that proved most challenging, so it was fitting this was the one that allowed him to climb level with Vettel. There was light rain when the race began, with Verstappen starting on pole. But by the end of the first lap, rain was falling faster, which not only made conditions difficult to manage, but decisions had to be made in terms of tyres.
Many drivers decided to pit early and put on inters due to the conditions, which seemed wise, but Verstappen held firm and waited it out.
At one stage, it looked like his decision could have backfired, as when he did eventually pit, he came out behind teammate Sergio Perez, and then after regaining the lead, out came the red flag and substantial delay due to torrential rain and track conditions. With the chance to equal Vettel’s nine-wins-in-a-row record on the line, it was never going to be straightforward.
When the action got back underway, Fernando Alonso, driving for Aston Martin, came on strong and mounted a challenge, and on another day, the Spaniard could have pulled it off and dashed Verstappen’s dreams. But, when the tyres on the Dutchman’s Red Bull warmed up, he went on to secure victory, his ninth on the spin, and now he heads to Monza ready to make it ten.