Verstappen eases to 3rd consecutive win at Spa-Francorchamps
Ranging from sixth was the least of Max Verstappen’s issues as he quickly returned to the entrance and constructed a lead that made profitable look straightforward as soon as once more. Sergio Perez was no match to his teammate and completed second whereas Charles Leclerc had race for Ferrari to finish the rostrum.
Following a collection of moist to damp classes on Friday and Saturday the solar greeted the F1 circus for the Belgian Grand Prix. Rain was nonetheless a chance however not within the minds of the drivers once they took their positions for the beginning of the race.
The highest 4 (Leclec, Perez, Hamilton and Sainz) plus Verstappen began on softs, the remainder of the highest 10 on medium. All others additionally went for gentle tyres whereas Hulkenberg began from the pitlane on mediums.
When the lights went out Leclerc comfy held on to the lead into La Supply however the slipstream on the Kemmel straight was too highly effective to carry again the Crimson Bull resulting in Perez taking up P1. Hamilton held on to P3 whereas Verstappen quickly handed Piastri after which additionally Sainz earlier than Les Combes.
Piastri incurred injury attributable to contact with Sainz at Flip 1 and fall again rapidly earlier than parking his automotive on the Pif Paf chicane to retire. Piastri was merely squeezed between the Ferrari and the limitations and could not stop the injury.
Alonso behind had a stable begin and gained three positions to sixth whereas Tsunoda moved up from eleventh to seventh. Norris adopted in 8, Albon gained 6 locations to ninth with Stroll holding on to tenth.
Sainz additionally incurred some injury from the Flip 1 incident and shortly had Alonso proper behind him. A gap in his sidepod allowed Alonso to make a straightforward go on the Kemmel straight on lap 4 whereas son extra vehicles had been desperate to tackle the Ferrari. Tsunoda handed Sainz at Les Combes the following lap adopted by Albon at Bus Cease.
Moments later Hamilton misplaced DRS from Leclerc forward and instantly noticed Verstappen breeze previous on the straight to maneuver up into third place, instantly ensuing within the quickest lap to this point for the Dutchman. By then, Perez had pulled a 2.2s benefit over the Ferrari driver.
As Sainz continued to drop behind and pitted with out the crew even trying to patch the outlet within the sidepod, Verstappen handed the main Ferrari of Leclerc for second place, then 2.8s behind his Mexican teammate.
Of the highest runners, Alonso was the primary to pit. The Aston Martin driver pitted on lap 11 and took on a contemporary set of medium tyres, following up his medium stint for the reason that begin. The Spaniard rejoined forward of Hulkenberg however the Haas driver received forward after which held him up for a lap.
Hamilton was extra fortunate along with his cease 2 laps later. The Mercedes driver emerged forward of Stroll and Russell and managed to emerge and keep forward of Stroll and Russell. Perez and Leclerc pitted one other lap later, adopted by Verstappen the following lap. Verstappen was requested if he wished to remain out since rain was anticipated in 9 minutes however pitted nonetheless, saying “I am unable to see the climate forecast, I do not know”.
As Hamilton ran away from Stroll and Russell, the 2 fighters quickly received firm by Alonso who had simply handed Gasly. Alonso pushed onerous and whipped up some gravel at Stavelot earlier than getting previous Russell at Bus Cease and being allowed to go by Stroll to take fifth once more.
In entrance, Verstappen had taken the lead after getting up to the mark with the medium tyres a lot faster than Perez did. Verstappen appeared extra relaxed on the medium tyres and as soon as previous Perez put in two consecutive quickest laps to quickly construct a niche.
36 minutes into the race the rain returned! First just a few drops right here and there however 5 minutes later Verstappen reported “numerous rain”. At the moment, Stroll appeared to hit a cliff along with his tyres and opted to pit, altering medium to softs. Russell did the identical a minute later whereas it actually rained correctly on the pitlane and on the Raidillon, resulting in Verstappen to have a little bit of a second there.
Different elements of the monitor remained dry and when the rain stopped about 5 minutes later the intermediates had been able to be returned to Pirelli.
Positions within the prime 5 had been just about mounted till Hamilton pitted on lap 28, attempting to undercut Leclerc. The Mercedes driver ended up behind Alonso bit cleared him rapidly. Leclerc lined Hamilton by pitting the following lap and kind of anulled the stops because the hole just about remained the identical between them.
Perez, Alonso and Verstappen pitted quickly after, bringing them again in the identical positions, all on gentle tyres. The one factor that actually modified was for Alonso as he now had Russell at 2s and seemingly barely faster regardless of having 6 lap older tyres. Norris adopted 3s additional down the street with Stroll, Tsunoda and Ocon finishing the highest 10 with 11 laps remaining.
Nothing a lot occurred anymore in entrance, apart from some banter between Verstappen and his engineer. The latter first instructed to “use your head a bit extra. The tyre you are on had fairly a little bit of deg within the first stint”, however Verstappen was fast to reply: “I might additionally simply go quicker and we will do some pitstop apply”.
Battling on monitor was extra for the ultimate factors scoring positions. Ocon made some progress by passing Tsunoda with a powerful extra on the surface by Les Combes after which chased and handed Stroll for eighth.
On the finish of lap 42 Hamilton opted to pit and tackle model new medium tyres. He might achieve this with out shedding a place to Alonso and went on to take quickest lap, snatching it away from Max Verstappen.
Pos.No.DriverCarLapsTimePts11Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt441:22:30.45025211Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt44+22.305s18316Charles LeclercFerrari44+32.259s15444Lewis HamiltonMercedes44+49.671s13514Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Aramco Mercedes44+56.184s10663George RussellMercedes44+63.101s874Lando NorrisMclaren Mercedes44+73.719s6831Esteban OconAlpine Renault44+74.719s4918Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes44+79.340s21022Yuki TsunodaAlphatauri Honda Rbpt44+80.221s11110Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault44+83.084s01277Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo Ferrari44+85.191s01324Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo Ferrari44+95.441s01423Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes44+96.184s01520Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari44+101.754s0163Daniel RicciardoAlphatauri Honda Rbpt44+103.071s0172Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes44+104.476s01827Nico HulkenbergHaas Ferrari44+110.450s0NC55Carlos SainzFerrari23DNF0NC81Oscar PiastriMclaren Mercedes0DNF0