Evaluation: issues we learnt from the Belgian Grand Prix
Final weekend noticed the System One discipline assemble at Spa for the Belgian Grand Prix that introduced the primary half of the 2023 F1 season to a detailed. F1Technical’s senior author Balázs Szabó displays on Spherical 12 of the 2023 FIA System One World Championship.
Data – The data simply carry on falling to Crimson Bull and Max Verstappen. The double world champion took his forty fifth profession F1 victory and his eighth consecutive F1 triumph which is only one wanting Sebastian Vettel’s all-time report of 9 consecutive victories.
It was Crimson Bull’s fifth one-two end of the season, their twelfth triumph of the present season and their thirteenth consecutive victory.
Third in a row – Born in Hasselt only a few miles from Spa, Max Verstappen took his first Belgian Grand Prix in 2021. Nonetheless, that race befell in troublesome weather conditions and have become the shortest F1 race in historical past with simply three laps accomplished.
Final yr noticed the Dutchman win the Spa F1 race by 17.841s regardless of ranging from 14th on the grid resulting from engine-related penalties. This yr, he additionally began from additional again on the grid as a gearbox penalty disadvantaged him of his well-earned pole place and demoted him to P6. Nonetheless, he was again within the lead on Lap 17, beating his team-mate Sergio Perez by 22.305s when he crossed the end line.
Third dash – The Belgian Grand Prix sported the third dash weekend this yr with three different venues set to function the particular schedule. Crimson Bull Racing haven’t solely gained each single race this yr, however they’ve additionally clinched the victory in each dash race too. Sergio Perez gained the primary dash from Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc whereas the second dash in Austria was gained by his crew mate Max Verstappen, who additionally took a dominant triumph in final Saturday’s 100km sprint.
Tyre change – Ferrari weren’t solely quick on the 7.004km Spa observe, however they have been fast off the observe too. The Maranello-based outfit accomplished the quickest pit cease of the Spa race after they serviced Charles Leclerc inside 2.19s. Crimson Bull accomplished the second quickest tyre change with a 2.24s tyre swap.
Curiously, the third and fourth quickest tyre change fell to AlphaTauri which has hardly been distinctive within the pit lane up to now this season. Mercedes accomplished a complete of 5 tyre adjustments, three for Lewis Hamilton and two for George Russell, however their quickest tyre swap (2.76s) was solely sufficient for a tenth place on this standing.
A late pit cease for recent tires permits @lewishamilton to grab the DHL Quickest Lap within the #BelgianGP. He closes to inside one level of Fernando Alonso within the combat for third place within the championship.#F1 #DHLF1 #DHL pic.twitter.com/sOfoZlpESy
— DHL_Motorsports (@DHL_Motorsports) July 30, 2023
Late cease – A late pit cease for recent tyres allowed Lewis Hamilton to grab the DHL Quickest Lap within the Belgian Grand Prix. The extra level noticed the seven-time world champion near inside one level of Fernando Alonso within the combat for third place within the championship.
F1 returnee – Daniel Ricciardo made a shock comeback to F1 on the Hungarian Grand Prix, changing Nyck de Vries at AlphaTauri. The eight-time race winner was concerned in a primary nook incident on the Hungaroring, however managed to climb up the order to complete in P13. At Spa, he began the race in P11 on the beginning grid, however dropped again to complete the 44-lap race in P16.
Shock – Ferrari anticipated the Hungaroring swimsuit their inconsistent SF23 and the Spa-Francorchamps observe spotlight their automobile’s weaknesses. Nonetheless, the truth was that Ferrari was lagging behind Crimson Bull, Mercedes and McLaren on the Mogyoród observe and emerged as second quickest at Spa.
After his eye-catching qualifying performances in 2022, Charles Leclerc has had a really troublesome season up to now in 2023 with solely two podium finishes (Azerbaijan and Austria) which he may add one other one to together with his third-place end on the Belgian Grand Prix.
Massive adjustments – Alpine have had a really troublesome weekend off the observe. The Anglo-French outfit have introduced that they parted methods with Group Principal Ottmar Szafnauer, Sporting Director Alan Permane, CEO Laurent Rossi and Technical Director Pat Fry. Nonetheless, the Enstone-based squad managed to attain factors with each vehicles following two pointless race weekends.
Pierre Gasly completed third within the Dash race, scoring six factors whereas his team-mate Esteban Ocon secured an eighth-place end within the grand prix, including 4 factors to the crew’s and his personal level tally. For the previous Hungarian Grand Prix winner, it was his first points-finish since Canada, 4 races in the past.
Drivers’ Championship – Max Verstappen continues to dominate proceedings this yr, sitting atop of the Drivers’ Championship on 314 factors, 125 factors away from his team-mate Sergio Perez. Fernando Alonso has had a troublesome run within the final 4 races, however he’s nonetheless third within the standings, however seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton closed in on him with solely a single level separating the 2.
Charles Leclerc has made an enormous soar within the standings due to his fifth-place end within the Spa Dash and third place within the Spa race, and now finds himself within the fifth place.
Nonetheless, George Russell has the identical level tally because the Monegasque with every of them having collected 99 factors apiece up to now this season. The one-time F1 race winner is a spot behind within the standings although as he has solely collected a single podium end this yr in contrast the Leclerc’s three podium finishes.
Yuki labored SO exhausting for that last level! 🥵Which of his strikes impressed you most? 🕺#BelgianGP #F1 @yukitsunoda07 pic.twitter.com/e1BA3xRcNg
— System 1 (@F1) July 31, 2023
Constructors’ Championship – After having gained all races up to now in 2023 and having clinched 5 one-two finishes, it’s no shock that Crimson Bull Racing are the runaway chief within the Constructors’ Championship, sitting atop of the desk on 503 factors. Mercedes are second on this checklist, however they’ve lower than half of the factors of Crimson Bull.
Aston Martin are nonetheless third within the groups’ standings, however their low-key performances within the final 4 races imply that fourth-placed Ferrari have closed in on them with solely 5 factors separating the Silverstone- and Maranello-based outfits.
McLaren have been on an actual march lately, having collected two podium finishes at Silverstone and the Hungaroring. Nonetheless, the Belgian Grand Prix noticed Oscar Piastri retire after a Flip 1 incident with Carlos Sainz whereas Lando Norris completed solely down in P7.
Williams, Haas and Alfa Romeo have been the one three groups to fail to gather a single level regardless of the extra point-scoring alternatives within the Dash race.
Against this, AlphaTauri managed so as to add a degree to their two-point tally due to the tenth-place end from Yuki Tsunoda. Actually, the Japanese has scored all of AlphaTauri’s factors in 2023.
Monitor limits – A complete of 15 lap occasions have been deleted for observe restrict infringements at Turns 4, 9, 11 and 15.
Logan Sargeant got here the closest to a five-second penalty with three observe limits infringements. Carlos Sainz and Yuki Tsunoda had two lap occasions deleted apiece whereas Kevin Magnussen, Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez, Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Hulkenberg, Lando Norris and Alexander Albon have been discovered responsible of exceeding the observe limits as soon as.
Rookies – Each of this season’s rookie drivers have gained at Spa-Francorchamps on their solution to System One. McLaren’s Oscar Piastri gained at Spa in System Renault Eurocup, albeit his first Belgian Grand Prix turned out to be a brief race after his collision with Carlos Sainz.
Williams’ Logan Sargeant gained the FIA F3 dash race at Spa in 2020, though his first F1 Spa race noticed him end down in P17 after affected by excessive tyre degradation.