Max Verstappen took his 9th victory of the 2022 season by winning an exhilarating Belgian Grand Prix starting from 14th on the grid.
After the summer break, Formula 1 returned to the iconic track of Spa Francorchamps for round 14 of the 2022 Formula 1 season. And it was yet again Red Bull and Max Verstappen who outclassed the whole grid.
Max Verstappen started 14th on the grid for the Belgian GP. The Dutchman received a grid penalty along with 6 other drivers and started at the back of the gird.
Nevertheless, Verstappen charged down the field securing his 9th victory of the season.
Red Bull’s RB18 showed immense pace securing a strong 1-2 finish with Sergio Perez coming home to secure P2. The duo secured Red Bull’s 21st 1-2 finish in the pinnacle of Motorsports.
Opening lap chaos helped Verstappen gain multiple places. An early safety car was triggered by the spin of Valtteri Bottas on lap 2. Verstappen reached P8 under the safety car and quickly charged as the safety car ended.
Last time also, Verstappen managed to come back from P10 in the Hungarian Grand Prix. The Dutch is having a great run this season.
Max Verstappen describes his charge down the field at the Belgian Grand Prix
The Dutchman extended his Championship lead alongside Sergio Perez as both the drivers now lead the Drivers standings.
“I think if you look at the whole weekend, yes, the car has been incredible from FP1. I don’t think we expected it to be like this but sometimes. It’s nice when things positively surprise you, and it’s been really enjoyable to drive the car around here this year.
“I don’t expect it to be like that every single race weekend… just because of the track layout, more downforce on the car to get round, less straights as well. So definitely, it will be closer, yes.
“But we of course again made a bigger gap which is of course very nice, but we know that we have to score points every single weekend,”
The 24-year-old avoided early chaos as he charged down the field. He explained as he overtook a car “every lap” in the early stages of the race.
“The hardest bit was Lap 1 to stay out of trouble, because it was very hectic in front of me and I just really didn’t want to be involved, but yes, we came through quite well, then you know it calmed down with the Safety Car, and basically from there it was literally trying to overtake a car every lap. And once I realised I was third, I could see we can win this race.”
Verstappen was sensational the whole weekend, setting the fastest time with only one run in Q3. The Dutch showed a Masterclass run on Sunday too.
Sergio Perez secured a strong P2 and also reached P2 on the drivers standings
Sergio Perez experienced a poor start which saw the Mexican drop down to P5 at the start of the race. Perez was pleased by the result, however, was also disappointed to not able to find as much performance as his Dutch counterpart on Sunday.
He hopes to find the performance by aiming to go for a different setup for his RB18.
“Yes, it didn’t start well, my weekend – really bad start; I struggled massively – but yes luckily we managed to survive and it’s a great team result obviously, always welcome a one-two for the team. It boosts everyone, everyone’s working so hard so it’s always a great result. But on the other hand, I’m aware of the gap to Max, so something we have to understand as a team to make sure we are able to come back stronger for Zandvoort.
“Certainly, the car has become better from the beginning of the season but yes, certainly I am not as comfortable as I was at the beginning of the season, so it’s something that I need to work on my side to make sure we are able to get the maximum out of the car.
“I really hope that from this weekend we run the cars slightly different so we are able to spot some differences that can bring some performance from our side.”
On the other hand, Charles Leclerc had another rather disappointing weekend finishing P6. A penalty at the end of the race cost Leclerc a P5 position. Leclerc was found speeding in the pit lane which resulted in a 5-second time penalty.
Carlos Sainz finished the podium line-up coming home at P3, followed by George Russell in P4 and Fernando Alonso in P5.
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