Max continues his dominance at Spa Francorchamps
In a thrilling display of skill and strategy, Red Bull’s Max Verstappen clinched his eighth consecutive victory at the Belgian Grand Prix, overcoming a five-place gearbox penalty to take the top spot. His teammate, Sergio Perez, followed closely behind, marking a one-two finish for Red Bull, their first since the Miami Grand Prix in May.
The 44-lap race at Spa-Francorchamps was a tense affair, with Verstappen methodically overtaking his rivals to claim the lead from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who started the race on pole. A mid-race shower added an extra layer of complexity, threatening to force a switch from slick tires to intermediates. However, both Verstappen and Perez managed to keep their cars on track, demonstrating exceptional car control under challenging conditions.
Leclerc managed to secure the final podium position, holding off seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton, who pitted late to secure the fastest lap. In his Aston Martin, Fernando Alonso finished fifth, ahead of Mercedes’ George Russell.
Lando Norris, who initially lost several positions after starting the race on medium tires and then switching to hards, made a strategic switch to softs as the rain began to fall. This proved to be an inspired decision, as he quickly moved up the ranks to finish seventh.
Aston Martin secured another double points finish, with Lance Stroll finishing ninth, while Esteban Ocon and Yuki Tsunoda rounded off the top ten after some late-race scrapping.
Pierre Gasly, who had the longest first stint of the race, was hindered by a slow pit stop and finished just outside the points in 11th place. The Alfa Romeos of Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu followed him.
Williams had a mixed race, with their FW45 showing impressive straight-line speed early on, but they faded as the different tire strategies played out, leaving Alex Albon in 14th and Logan Sargeant in 17th.
The Haas duo of Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg, both affected by pre-race penalties, finished 15th and 18th, respectively. In contrast, in the second AlphaTauri, Daniel Ricciardo finished 16th, unable to match his teammate Tsunoda’s points-scoring efforts.
The race saw only 18 finishers following a first-corner clash between Oscar Piastri and Carlos Sainz, which led to both drivers retiring. Piastri hit the inside wall at La Source and stopped at the side of the track, while Sainz nursed his damaged Ferrari before being called in to retire.
Nothing can stop the Flying Dutchman.
Verstappen’s victory extends his lead in the drivers’ standings to 125 points over Perez. With this win, he is now just one victory away from matching Sebastian Vettel’s record of nine consecutive race wins.
The Belgian Grand Prix 2023 was a testament to Verstappen’s skill and Red Bull’s strategic prowess. As the teams and drivers head into a four-week summer break, all eyes will be on the Dutch Grand Prix, set to take place from August 25-27. If the Belgian Grand Prix is anything to go by, the rest of the 2023 Formula One season promises to be a thrilling ride.
|1||MAX VERSTAPPEN||NETHERLANDS||RED BULL|
|2||SERGIO PEREZ||MEXICO||RED BULL|
|5||FERNANDO ALONSO||SPAIN||ASTON MARTIN|
|9||LANCE STROLL||CANADA||ASTON MARTIN|
|10||YUKI TSUNODA||JAPAN||ALPHA TAURI|
|12||VALTERRI BOTTAS||FINLAND||ALFA ROMEO|
|13||ZHOU GUANYU||CHINA||ALFA ROMEO|
|16||DANIEL RICCIARDO||AUSTRALIA||ALPHA TAURI|
|17||LOGAN SARGEANT||UNITED STATES||WILLIAMS|
|RETIRED||CARLOS SAINZ JR- LAP 23||SPAIN||FERRARI|
|RETIRED||OSCAR PIASTRI- LAP 0||AUSTRALIA||MCLAREN|