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Formula 1 Dutch GP

F1 Dutch GP red-flagged after Zhou crashes in downpour

Formula 1's Dutch Grand Prix has been red-flagged following a torrential downpour with seven laps remaining.

A marshal checks on Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C43, following an accident

On lap 61 of 72 anticipated heavy showers hit the Zandvoort track, prompting the entire field to change to intermediates of full wets.

But even on rain tyres, drivers struggled to navigate the Turn 1 hairpin, with Alfa Romeo's Zhou Guanyu helplessly aquaplaning off the road and into the Tecpro barriers.

That caused an initial Virtual Safety Car, which was soon converted into a red flag after 65 laps were completed.

At the time of the red flag, home hero Max Verstappen was commandingly leading the race for Red Bull.

Verstappen's team-mate Sergio Perez also went off in Turn 1 before Zhou's crash, ceding second place to Aston Martin's Fernando Alonso.

Perez then came in for full wets just as the red flag came out, dropping him down to sixth.

But FIA's race control soon confirmed that the restart order would be taken from the lap before the red flag came out, reinstating Perez in third.

Alpine's Pierre Gasly is set to restart in fourth, followed by Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz, Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton and McLaren man Lando Norris.

Mercedes' George Russell, Williams driver Alex Albon and the second McLaren of Oscar Piastri are rounding out the top 10 according to the published restart order.

Rain had also shaken up the start of the race, with a short downpour especially affecting the final third of the lap.

Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C43, Pierre Gasly, Alpine A523

Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C43, Pierre Gasly, Alpine A523

Photo by: Dom Romney / Motorsport Images

As the rain was expected to stop quickly, the shower caused a huge strategic split, with drivers including Piastri and Albon persisting on dry tyres, while most cars switched to inters until the track dried up again around lap 11.

The race saw a first safety car for an accident for Williams driver Logan Sargeant in Turn 8.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc also retired from the race after picking up damage from contact with Piastri on the opening lap.

The Monegasque driver initially continued and received a new front wing at his second pitstop, but worsening floor damage saw him drop down the order until the team called him in for an early retirement.

Rain stopped before 17:00 local time, after which a restart time of 17:14 was announced. 
 

Drivers will be required to use intermediate tyres when the race gets underway with a rolling restart.

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