A plucky strategy from Yuki Tsunoda had him suffer the same place-losing fate as the Magnussen when AlphaTauri tried to keep their Japanese racer out during the next round of pit stops. All teams had forecasts of more rain, and Tsunoda tried to extend his Pirelli rubber until then but rapidly lost positions.
That rain eventually fell, though, and it hit the coastal track far heavier than earlier. Intermediate running only lasted for a lap – or two, for the plucky early pitters — before the deluge forced race control to red flag proceedings as drivers aquaplaned into the barriers at Turn 1. Zhou will feel unfortunate to be the sole retirement from the rain before the stoppage, as several cars also ran wide before the red flags waved, but he was the only one to find the barriers.
A six-lap dash to the end awaited the drivers when the race resumed after a lengthy delay. Alonso, who gained P2 after Perez skidded off track in the earlier slippy conditions, initially pressured Verstappen for the lead. Unsurprisingly for any F1 2023 viewers, Verstappen could fend off the Spaniard's attention and soon extended his lead to 3.7 seconds by the time he took the chequered flag, much to the home crowd's delight.
Alonso returned to the podium for the first time since Canada, but the third-placed man was perhaps the happiest of the rostrum visitors. Perez had picked up a five-second penalty for pit lane speeding, and Gasly kept close enough to the Red Bull to inherit P3 and grab the fourth piece of silverware in his career. Next up is the site of Gasly's sole F1 victory, with Monza hosting the Italian Grand Prix this weekend, where Verstappen will look to take an incredible 10th successive win.