F1: Max Verstappen wins Belgian Grand Prix as Purple Bull publish one-two end


Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium: Defending System One champion Max Verstappen emphatically gained the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday for an eighth straight win and tenth general of a crushingly dominant season.

Regardless of ranging from sixth place he completed 22.3 seconds forward of teammate Sergio Perez to present Purple Bull a simple 1-2. It moved Verstappen ominously nearer to a 3rd straight world title and his personal F1 report of 15 wins from final yr.

Verstappen is 125 factors forward of Perez after simply 12 races, and his subsequent goal is matching Sebastian Vettel’s F1 report of 9 straight wins with a victory on the Dutch GP when the lopsided season resumes on 27 August.

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Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc completed in third spot for a 3rd podium of the season, with Lewis Hamilton in fourth for Mercedes forward of Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso.

George Russell was sixth for Mercedes, with Lando Norris (McLaren), Esteban Ocon (Alpine), Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), and Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) finishing the highest 10.

Leclerc began on pole forward of Perez, with Hamilton and Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz Jr behind them. McLaren rookie Oscar Piastri was on the subsequent row alongside Verstappen — who was quickest in Friday’s qualifying however took a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change and needed to keep away from early visitors.

“It was nearly surviving flip one. I may see it was all getting actually tight,” Verstappen stated. “I’ve been in that place earlier than myself so I’m simply going to remain out of that and it labored out. From there onwards I made the fitting overtakes.”

Final yr Verstappen gained from 14th, and as soon as he overtook Perez on Lap 17 of 44 his forty fifth profession win was seemingly inevitable.

Purple Bull prolonged its report to 13 straight wins, together with the ultimate race of final season.

Hamilton got here in on the penultimate lap for a tire change and the transfer paid off as he took the bonus level for quickest lap from Verstappen — a really minor blip for the dominant Dutchman.

It was yet one more stellar weekend for Verstappen, who additionally gained Saturday’s dash race. The one difficulty was some extra bickering along with his race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase over radio, as they continued their spat from Friday’s qualifying.

“Don’t neglect Max, use your head, please,” Lambiase instructed Verstappen when he questioned why Perez was making his first tire change on Lap 14.

With some rain forecast, Verstappen boxed on the subsequent lap and got here out about 2 seconds behind Perez. Simply minutes later he cruised previous Perez and, as so usually this season, the remaining was nearly management.

Perez, in the meantime, pledged to remain on the rostrum for the remainder of the season.

“It’s been a little bit of a tough patch,” the 33-year-old Mexican stated. “I actually need this summer time break, it’s been actually intense. I’ll come again actually sturdy for Zandvoort.”

Circumstances have been dry for the race begin, in stark distinction to the 2 earlier days, which have been impacted by heavy rain on the 7-kilometer (4.3-mile) Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

Leclerc, who gained his first F1 race right here in 2019, made a strong begin however Perez’s further tempo quickly put him in entrance. Verstappen rose two locations to fourth after Sainz ran into Piastri on the primary nook.

Piastri needed to retire, whereas Verstappen overtook Hamilton on Lap 6, Leclerc three laps later and made quick work of Perez simply earlier than some rain fell briefly.

Some good overtaking from Ocon moved the Frenchman up from tenth to eighth within the closing levels.

It was an early finish for Piastri, who had impressed with a second place in Saturday’s dash race.

A nasty day for Sainz noticed him retiring on Lap 25 and Leclerc transferring above him within the standings.

“In fact the race was good on my aspect, a disgrace for Carlos as we had good tempo,” Leclerc stated. “If you take a look at the Purple Bulls we nonetheless have a variety of work to do.”

After the F1 break there will likely be 10 races left, however a lot of the competitors for locations will likely be behind Verstappen.

Alonso is one level forward of Hamilton in third general, with Leclerc and Russell stage and Sainz seven factors behind them.

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