Max Verstappen delivered a spectacular performance at the Belgian Grand Prix, defying the odds and starting from sixth on the grid to secure a remarkable Red Bull one-two finish alongside his teammate Sergio Perez. This victory marked Red Bull’s 13th successive win, a record-extending achievement.
Initially claiming pole position, Verstappen faced a setback with a five-place grid penalty for exceeding his gearbox allowance. Undeterred, he showcased remarkable skill, deftly maneuvering through the field to become just the second driver in Formula 1 history to achieve eight consecutive race wins.
Charles Leclerc, the pole-sitter, was overtaken by Perez on the first lap, but the Ferrari driver fought valiantly to hold off Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes, securing his third podium finish of the season.
Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin delivered an outstanding performance, ending his team’s recent slump with a well-deserved fifth place. George Russell of Mercedes and Lando Norris of McLaren also impressed with their strong performances, finishing in sixth and seventh positions, respectively.
In a late surge of brilliance, Alpine’s Esteban Ocon executed a daring overtake on Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll to secure eighth place. Meanwhile, Yuki Tsunoda of AlphaTauri claimed the final point, bolstering his team’s position in the championship.
Verstappen’s remarkable opening lap saw him gain two positions, capitalizing on a collision between Carlos Sainz of Ferrari and Oscar Piastri of McLaren, which led to both cars retiring. Calmly executing strategic overtakes on Hamilton, Leclerc, and Perez, Verstappen claimed the lead after 17 laps.
The victory significantly extended Verstappen’s lead in the drivers’ championship, now 125 points ahead of Perez. As the Formula 1 season heads into its summer break, Verstappen is well-positioned to vie for a third consecutive drivers’ title.
Looking ahead, Verstappen sets his sights on the home race in Zandvoort, scheduled for late August. There, he has the opportunity to equal Sebastian Vettel’s remarkable record of nine successive Grand Prix wins, also achieved in a Red Bull car back in 2013.
Red Bull Racing’s continued dominance was further heightened after this weekend’s race with their 12 successive wins in the 2023 campaign, setting a new benchmark for consecutive victories within a single season.
Fans eagerly await the sport’s resumption after the break, anticipating more breathtaking performances from the skilled drivers and their powerhouse teams in what promises to be an enthralling continuation of the Formula 1 season.