Max Verstappen took a phenomenal win from 14th on the grid to win the Belgian Grand Prix in front of teammate Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz. This increased his championship lead to 93 points with eight rounds to go.
Max Verstappen – 10
A level of domination which the sport had not seen for a while. Starting from the back due to a penalty, Verstappen charged forward to take the lead as early as lap 12.
He destroyed his rivals, proving his speed already in qualifying, just setting a single lap which was six tenths faster than anyone else.
With this win, the Dutchman shows he might have already one hand on the championship trophy.Embed from Getty Images
Sergio Perez – 7
A second-place finish for the number two Red Bull driver, which is just about what he is asked for by the team.
However, after starting on the front row, 12 places ahead of Verstappen, Perez should have had at least a bigger challenge at winning the race, which instead was put down by Verstappen as early as a third of the way in.
Finishing 18 seconds adrift, with his teammate cruising for large parts, might be disappointing, but with a champion next to him, Perez got the maximum he could.Embed from Getty Images
Carlos Sainz – 8
Starting from pole put high hopes on Carlos Sainz, the selected number one for the team in Belgium, given Charles Leclerc’s penalty.
However, after struggling with tyre management, it soon looked like there was no possible way to hold off Verstappen.
Sainz tried to keep second place, but had to settle for third, with a car disappointingly slower than the Red Bull.Embed from Getty Images
George Russell – 8
With his 13th top five finish of the season, George Russell did still lose out to Sainz for both a podium finish and fourth on the standings, but is now just 20 points shy of second-placed Perez.
The Mercedes driver recovered from a difficult qualifying, which saw him end Q3 in eighth, but did make good use of the car’s better Sunday pace.
He tried to push Sainz for the podium, but his charge failed by just more than two seconds.
Fernando Alonso – 8.5
The Spaniard came back in a strong way after the Summer break, qualifying sixth and finishing fifth despite making contact with Lewis Hamilton during the first lap.
The Alpine’s qualifying pace wasn’t as effective in the race, but Fernando Alonso comfortably led the midfield to get within 13 points of his teammate in the standings.
It’s a demonstration that, when he runs without issues, Alonso still manages to make the difference.Embed from Getty Images
Charles Leclerc – 6
The Monegasque was the victim of yet another Ferrari howler, as he was caught speeding in the pit lane when pitting for a failed attempt at taking the fastest lap.
He dropped to sixth, in a difficult race which saw him having to box early due to a tear off stuck in his brakes, but which didn’t have a deep outcome on his result.
Leclerc struggled to clear traffic and was lapping slower than Sainz. It’s not a bright moment for him, with only 16 points claimed in the last three races.
Esteban Ocon – 8
Esteban Ocon’s charge from the back helped Alpine pull away from McLaren in the fight for fourth in the standings, also showing the French car’s suitability to the Belgian track.
Ocon made a spectacular double overtake to claim seventh place on Sebastian Vettel and Pierre Gasly, finishing just a couple of seconds behind Alonso despite having to start from 16th place after a grid penalty.Embed from Getty Images
Sebastian Vettel – 8
Despite his usual qualifying struggles, which saw the German qualify 16th, his scintillating start from 10th saw him occupy fifth place once the safety car came out.
This allowed Vettel to race head-to-head with Alonso for the lead of the midfield, with a great race ran a long way in front of teammate Lance Stroll.
He lost out to Ocon when the Frenchman pulled a double overtake, from which he could have perhaps defended better, but his race allowed Aston Martin to move to within five points of Alpha Tauri in the standings.
Pierre Gasly – 8
A well-executed strategy allowed Pierre Gasly to score his first points since Azerbaijan, despite having to start from the pit lane due to a late issue on Sunday.
He didn’t look like he was in contention, but two early stops saw him jump out of the drs train led by Alex Albon, before holding on until the end of the race in a comfortable ninth place.Embed from Getty Images
Alex Albon – 9
A difficult race, but supreme management of the weekend from Albon and Williams, who clinched their third points finish of the season.
Albon had the fastest sector one on Saturday, qualifying in ninth and earning a P6 grid slot in front of faster cars, on paper. His sector one pace allowed him to attack and defend despite being not particularly fast overall.
The Thai-Brit moved ahead of Daniel Ricciardo at the safety car restart and managed to defend his place on track for the entire duration of the race, losing only positions in the pit stop phase.Embed from Getty Images
Lance Stroll – 6
The margins between his 11th place and Vettel’s P8 were tight, and Stroll lost out due to some episodes, despite being quick when running in clean air.
A wheel-to-wheel battle with Vettel in the first lap saw him lose out and end up on the gravel, which cost him several places and put him in the drs train of the impossible-to-overtake Albon.
Stroll tried his best, but was twice caught out in the pit stop phase and ran a frustrating race to 11th.
Lando Norris – 5.5
Spa proved far less suitable to the McLaren car than Hungary was and Lando Norris spent a difficult afternoon outside of the top 10, ending a streak of four points-finishes in a row.
He sacrificed his qualifying to focus on the race, still managing to enter Q3 against his teammate. However, starting way back in 17th and struggling to clear the traffic meant he didn’t recover enough to score points.Embed from Getty Images
Yuki Tsunoda – 5.5
The Japanese driver wasn’t as able as teammate Gasly at clearing the traffic, finishing in 13th after starting from the back.
Alpha Tauri did look more competitive, but overtaking at Spa proved more difficult than expected and Yuki Tsunoda was one of many drivers to spend his entire race caught in behind a queue of cars.
Zhou Guanyu – 5
Alfa Romeo tried their best to allow the Chinese driver to recover from an 18th place grid-start, after a penalty, even putting him on soft tyres for the last stint.
However, Zhou Guanyu was caught in traffic, with Alfa Romeo having lost their sharpness shown in the first-part of the season.
Daniel Ricciardo – 4.5
The Summer break didn’t help regenerate the Australian, who despite starting from seventh, ended the race in 15th, behind Norris and a long train of cars.
Daniel Ricciardo was one of few drivers to consistently lose places, and a failed one-stop, with a late second pit stop, saw him drop behind even further, after several attempts to overtake Albon.
Kevin Magnussen – 5.5
The Danish driver started from 12th, but there was little he could do against faster cars, as the Haas driver went pointless for the third consecutive race.
He was in the top 10 during the early stages, but was soon overtaken by a series of drivers, ending the race in a desolate 16th place.Embed from Getty Images
Mick Schumacher – 5.5
Mick Schumacher’s seat is at doubt for next season, but with Haas dropping progressively down the field, it will be hard for the German to showcase his talent.
He finished the race four seconds behind teammate Kevin Magnussen, after starting 19th due to an engine penalty.
Nicholas Latifi – 4
Nicholas Latifi blew his chances to have a promising race after a P11 start, by spinning out on lap two and dropping to last.
He caught Valtteri Bottas in the process and ended the race a long way behind everyone else.Embed from Getty Images
Valtteri Bottas – N/A
His second consecutive premature ending of the race wasn’t his fault, as Bottas was caught out by a Latifi spin, ending his race after being sent into the gravel.
He could have fought for the last points-paying positions, but the car did look like it was struggling to extract speed more than usual.
Lewis Hamilton – 4
A lap one mistake ended a promising race, as Hamilton closed the door whilst Alonso was on the inside and made contact, with him coming out worse and retiring shortly after.
He would have been in front of Perez and, considering Russell’s race pace, could have had a shot at fighting for the podium, but instead had his first retirement of the season.Embed from Getty Images
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