Formula 1News

Verstappen and RedBull score maximum points at Spa! 2022 Belgian GP Race Highlights!

Starting P14, Verstappen used the superior pace of his car to ease into P1, followed by Perez and Sainz

Max Verstappen delivered an absolute treat to the fans of his birthplace on Sunday as he climbed to P1 after starting P14 on the grid. His pace was unmatched throughout the entire weekend, rewarding him with a further lead in the championship. On the other hand it was a disastrous day for Hamilton and Ferrari the team as a whole as mistakes led them to lose out on an opportunistic race.

Grid Lineup

The grid lineup was a lot different from the qualifying session due to a lot of drivers taking penalties for a change of components beyond their allocation. Most notable changes among these included Verstappen and Leclerc starting P14 and P15 respectively. Sainz, who had qualified P2 was promoted to P1 due to Verstappen’s penalty.

Race Start

Sainz had a pretty good start and got on right away. Perez encountered clutch slippage and therefore wheel spin, which saw him try to fend off Alonso who was starting P3, but instead lost a couple of more positions in the process. In the back Verstappen and Leclerc both had a brilliant start and were immediately up a few places even before the first hairpin of Turn 1. Going into the Eau-Rouge chicane, Verstappen had reached P10!

Hamilton clashes with Alonso, forced to retire

Going into the Kemmell Straight, Hamilton had gained a decent slipstream sticking close behind Alonso ahead of him at P2. By Turn 5, he was alongside the Spaniard and tried to squeeze him towards the inside, which proved to be a bit too much. As a result Hamilton’s rear right went over Alonso’s front left which knocked Hamilton off into the run-off area on the opposite side. Liquid and smoke immediately spewed out of the Briton’s car as he slowed down and was forced to retire. Alonso was furious on his team radio and slandered Hamilton for his actions. Later, however, Hamilton admitted to his fault and apologized to his team and said that he didn’t care about Alonso’s words owing to his mistake.

In fact, Fernando Alonso also acknowledged Hamilton’s acceptance and stated that the team radio is usually in the heat of the moment. In this incursion between HAM and ALO on track, Perez was lucky and took advantage and overtook both of them to regain his starting position. Also in this corner, the Aston Martin duo of Vettel and Stroll were battling for position, and Vettel pushed his teammate a bit too wide into the gravel making him lose a couple of places.

Latifi nicks Bottas out of the race under Safety Car

On Lap 2, while still under the safety car, Nicholas Latifi got a bit too wide at Turn 6 and spun off the track. Behind him Bottas in an attempt to avoid him went onto the grass but was not completely successful in doing so. He subsequently spun out and beached his car on the gravel, which ended his birthday grand prix.

Verstappen cuts through the crowd

After the safety car restart, Verstappen now P8, began his plunder through the midfield, quite literally managing to overtake a car every lap. Leclerc however was a bit unlucky as a tearoff got sucked into his brake duct and he had to pit quite early under the safety car. This placed him right at the back at P17 with the mammoth task of overtaking all the drivers again. Meanwhile, Verstappen had moved up to P1 by just lap 12! Soon he built up a decent gap to maintain his position for the rest of the race. Even after losing position to Sainz due to pitting for new tyres, the pace of the RB-18 was unmatched as he quite quickly overtook him within the span of just 2 laps.

Mid-race battles

Charles Leclerc also did a decent justice to his race, as he took gained positions very quickly up to P5. However, he just could not match the pace of Russell, who easily overtook him on Lap 16 with the help of DRS. Sergio Perez also gave Ferrari a taste of the sheer pace of the RedBull car as he easily overtook Sainz on Lap 21.

During the course of the race Alpine’s Ocon also had a decent recovery run, as he too had started at the back of the grid. In a fast circuit like Spa, he was able to overtake multiple drivers at once, not once, but twice! He ultimately climbed up to P7 where he finished the race.

Final laps and a clean sweep by RedBull

In order to take the fastest lap, Leclerc pitted at the penultimate lap for soft tires. But a delayed pitstop by his team, let him out right under the clutches of Alonso, who raced him till the finish line. As a result of this Charles was forced to abort the fastest lap attempt. He kept P5 till the end of the race, but it was all for naught as he was handed a 5-second time penalty for speeding in the pitlane, which anyway relegated him behind Alonso.

RedBull finished the day on a high with maximum points. Max Verstappen finished P1, with a staggering time difference of 18 seconds between himself and teammate Perez, who finished P2. Sainz could only settle for a consolation prize of P3, despite starting the race from pole position, beaten only by the sheer race pace of the RedBulls. It was also a decent day for Williams, as Albon scored another point for the team, who are proud of their top speed performance, which matters at a circuit like Spa. The complete driver standings from the race are given below:

1 1 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING RBPT 44 1:25:52.894 26
2 11 Sergio Perez RED BULL RACING RBPT 44 +17.841s 18
3 55 Carlos Sainz FERRARI 44 +26.886s 15
4 63 George Russell MERCEDES 44 +29.140s 12
5 14 Fernando Alonso ALPINE RENAULT 44 +73.256s 10
6 16 Charles Leclerc FERRARI 44 +74.936s 8
7 31 Esteban Ocon ALPINE RENAULT 44 +75.640s 6
8 5 Sebastian Vettel ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES 44 +78.107s 4
9 10 Pierre Gasly ALPHATAURI RBPT 44 +92.181s 2
10 23 Alexander Albon WILLIAMS MERCEDES 44 +101.900s 1
11 18 Lance Stroll ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES 44 +103.078s 0
12 4 Lando Norris MCLAREN MERCEDES 44 +104.739s 0
13 22 Yuki Tsunoda ALPHATAURI RBPT 44 +105.217s 0
14 24 Zhou Guanyu ALFA ROMEO FERRARI 44 +106.252s 0
15 3 Daniel Ricciardo MCLAREN MERCEDES 44 +107.163s 0
16 20 Kevin Magnussen HAAS FERRARI 43 +1 lap 0
17 47 Mick Schumacher HAAS FERRARI 43 +1 lap 0
18 6 Nicholas Latifi WILLIAMS MERCEDES 43 +1 lap 0
NC 77 Valtteri Bottas ALFA ROMEO FERRARI 1 DNF 0
NC 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 0 DNF 0
Show More

Abhishek S.

Loves long drives, sunsets and skylines (pun intended ;)). Will miss a date but not an F1 race!

Related Articles

Back to top button

Adblock Detected

Please disable adblockers to access CarThrust.