The Belgian Grand Prix was won convincingly by defending Formula One champion Max Verstappen on Sunday, giving him his eighth consecutive victory and tenth overall victory of a crushingly dominant season. To give Red Bull a comfortable 1-2, he finished 22.3 seconds ahead of teammate Sergio Perez. It brought Verstappen frighteningly nearer to his personal F1 record of 15 victories set last year and a third consecutive world championship.
After only 12 races, Verstappen leads Perez by 125 points. Verstappen’s next goal is to break Sebastian Vettel’s F1 record of nine straight victories by winning the Dutch GP on August 27.
Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes finished in fourth place ahead of Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin, giving Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc his third podium of the year.
30 July 2023 Max Verstappen (@Max33Verstappen) Lance Stroll (Aston Martin), Lando Norris (McLaren), Esteban Ocon (Alpine), and Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) round out the top 10. George Russell, driving for Mercedes, finished sixth.
Hamilton and Carlos Sainz Jr. of Ferrari began behind them, with Leclerc starting on pole ahead of Perez. Verstappen, who was fastest in Friday’s qualifying but received a five-place grid penalty for a gearbox change, was joined on the next row by Oscar Piastri, a rookie McLaren driver.
Verstappen won here last year from 14th, so starting from sixth felt simple. Once he passed Perez on Lap 17 of 44, his 45th career victory seemed inescapable.
Red Bull won the penultimate race of the previous season, extending its winning streak to 13 straight.
Verstappen’s very slight slip-up cost him the bonus point for the fastest lap as Hamilton stole it from him on the penultimate lap after coming in for a tire change.