Max Wins 8th in a Row!

Max Verstappen wins again.  This has become a common refrain.  Red Bull fans hope it remains a common phrase for the rest of the year and the years to come.  This weekend he earned first in qualification, first in the shoot-out and first in the sprint.  The only thing Max didn’t accomplish was the fastest lap of the Spa Grand Prix.  Fastest lap went to Lewis Hamilton who boxed at the beginning of lap 44 and changed tires just so he could steal a point from Max.

It was a great weekend for Red Bull.  Sergio Perez qualified third and finished the race in second.  Still, he finished 18 seconds behind Max.  It makes you wonder how Charles Leclerc, Lewis Hamilton, Carlos Sainz or Lando Norris might do in the second Red Bull.  Surely, they are faster than Perez in the same car, right?

It was a wet weather weekend at Spa.  The weather wreaked havoc on team strategies and  set-ups for the car.  In the wet, you want more downforce so you can grip the track better.  Teams overall struggled to find the right balance for their drivers…except Red Bull.  McLaren, Ferrari, Red Bull, Aston Martin and Mercedes all had both of their drivers in the top ten for qualification, however, the Sprint was a different story.

Aston Martin had a terrible day in the shootout and didn’t crack the top ten on the grid.  Instead, it was Alpine.  Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon performed well in the shootout despite the turmoil and internal shake up within the team.  Alpine announced that their Sporting Director and Team Principal were departing from the team.  Despite that, Gasly managed a 3rd place finish in the Sprint.

Oscar Piastri has been the best rookie on the grid this year.  This weekend looked like he was finally going to put it all together and earn his first Grand Prix podium.  During the Sprint he was the front runner, though Verstappen was hunting him down.  Then, Fernando Alonso hit a wet spot on the track wrong and ran into the barriers ending his race on the third lap.  Once green flag racing resumed during lap 5, Verstappen quickly overtook Piastri in the DRS zone.  Still, Piastri scored valuable points for McLaren finishing second to Verstappen in the Sprint race

McLaren driver Oscar Piastri of Australia steers his car during the sprint race ahead of the Formula One Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps racetrack in Spa, Belgium, Saturday, July 29, 2023. The Belgian Formula One Grand Prix will take place on Sunday. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

Unfortunately, Piastri’s outstanding weekend would ended abruptly during the first lap of the Grand Prix.  As the grid approached turn one, Carlos Sainz was ahead of Piastri with Lewis Hamilton on Sainz’s outside.  The Ferrari was being squeezed into the corner and there was no room to give on the inside.  Piastri unfortunately hit Sainz’s at the apex of the corner puncturing a massive hole in the Ferrari’s side pod and causing racing ending damage to Piastri’s suspension.  No one was at fault.  It just happens.  Carlos Sainz’s race ended during lap 23 as he had no pace.  Thankfully, Lando Norris was able to salvage some points for McLaren finishing seventh overall.

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc of Monaco, left, steers his car during the Formula One Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps racetrack in Spa, Belgium, Sunday, July 30, 2023. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

The rest of the race was uneventful.  The threat of rain was ever present and there were a few sprinkles on track.  Though Verstappen earned pole, he started sixth due to a grid penalty.  It didn’t take long for him to be up front.  He gained two positions on the first lap alone.  By lap 18 Verstappen was leading the grid around the track.  Yuki Tsunoda managed a P10 finish while Esteban Ocon finished eighth.  Despite Aston Martin’s horrendous Sprint performance, both drivers managed top ten finishes.  Mercedes and Aston Martin found both of their drivers in the top ten.  Finally, Leclerc put Ferrari back on the podium for the first time in weeks.

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc of Monaco steers his car during the Formula One Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps racetrack in Spa, Belgium, Sunday, July 30, 2023. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

The Belgian Grand Prix is one of my favorite tracks in the season.  It is an intense 19 turn, 4.32-mile track with a change of 102 meters in elevation.  It is a very dangerous track for the inexperienced driver.  At the end of the race, Leclerc remarked how windy it was at Raidillon Eau Rouge, perhaps the trickiest and most dangerous stretch of tarmac in all of Formula 1.  Both Leclerc and Verstappen almost lost the rear of their car which would have put them into the gravel if not the wall.

As the summer break starts, Red Bull sits firmly in the lead of the Constructors Championship.  Max Verstappen won his eighth race in a row, a feat only accomplished by Alberto Ascari and Sebastian Vettel.  Max also won the race from his ninth different grid start position.  This is also his third wind in a row at Spa.  Lastly, it’s his 45th Grand Prix win.  Sergio Perez seems to have come out of the doldrums given his performance over the last two weeks.  Still, his pace is roughly 18 seconds off Verstappen.

Belgium’s Prime Minister Alexander De Croo congratulates First place Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands, center, second place Red Bull driver Sergio Perez of Mexico, left, and third place Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc of Monaco, right, during the Formula One Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps racetrack in Spa, Belgium, Sunday, July 30, 2023. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

McLaren has come on strong the last two weeks.  They would have had another strong finish but for Piastri’s racing incident putting him out of the race.  Ferrari has closed the gap to 5 points with Aston Martin.  If they continue their current trajectory, they will overtake Aston Martin for third once the season resumes on 27 August 2023.  Red Bull is 256 points ahead of Mercedes, and Max is 125 points ahead of his teammate.  Only 40 points separate Checo from Fernando Alonso while one point separates Alonso from Hamilton.  Leclerc and George Russell are 49 points behind Hamilton, while Sainz is only seven points behind his teammate.  I doubt anyone challenges Max Verstappen for the championship this year.  However, positions two thru eight are wide open!  Enjoy your summer break!


Top Eight Drivers Standings


Max Verstappen

2 Time World Champion

Red Bull 314 points
Sergio Perez Red Bull 189 points
Fernando Alonso

2 Time World Champion

Aston Martin 149 Points
Lewis Hamilton

7 Time World Champion

Mercedes 148 Points
Charles Leclerc Ferrari 99 Points
George Russell Mercedes 99 Points
Carlos Sainz Ferrari 92 Points
Lando Norris McLaren 69 Points





Leave a Replay

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.


Hello fellow sports fans! My name is Joseph Jordan. Welcome to our page. Welcome to our website. I hope you are as deeply passionate about sports as I am. Julien and I have spent a lot of time writing our sports opinions on Facebook over the years. … Read More>>


Follow Us

Your The Sports. Your Inbox. Everyday