Not even the handicap of beginning sixth and behind the opposite Purple Bull might cease Max Verstappen romping to victory within the Belgian Grand Prix.
This was the defending champion’s eighth successive victory – and tenth in 12 races – as his unstoppable journey to a 3rd world title continued to stream like sizzling lava.
He prolonged his championship lead going into the summer time break to a Grand Canyon-like 125 factors.
The decisive transfer got here on lap 17 of 44 when he deployed DRS and powered previous eventual runner-up Sergio Perez, serving as a benchmark of Verstappen’s greatness, who was helpless to withstand the advance on the Kemmel Straight.
To rub in his diploma of superiority Verstappen then set a lap two seconds quicker than the Mexican.
Max Verstappen (above) romped to victory within the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday afternoon
The Dutchman received his eighth consecutive race with a dominant drive at Spa-Francorchamps
It was one other one-two for Purple Bull, who’ve amazingly received 22 of the final 23 System One races
By this level, Verstappen had handed Lewis Hamilton at Les Combes, on the within. He made a transfer on Charles Leclerc on the similar level moments later – this time on the skin, very impressively braking late as he ran out of straight highway.
Correctly, the bookmakers had the Dutchman as 2-9 favorite beforehand regardless of his beginning in sixth – the results of a gearbox change that robbed him of the front-running benefit his pole place would usually have conferred.
A number of spots of rain briefly fell and Verstappen virtually misplaced it at Eau Rouge. ‘F***,’ he exclaimed. As you may on probably the most troublesome corners on the planet at 180mph.
That wobble aside, nothing was going to cease him. Verstappen is now one wanting Sebastian Vettel’s 9 wins in a season, set a decade in the past at a interval when Purple Bull have been virtually as dominant as they’re now.
Certainly, the Milton Keynes-based staff have received 22 of the final 23 races. Unbelievable. In addition to extremely tedious for the viewers.
Gentle reduction got here in comedic exchanges between Verstappen and his race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase, often called GP. It mirrored their sharp phrases in qualifying on Friday, when Verstappen almost exited in Q2. He apologised for his rant afterwards.
This time, one other lovers’ tiff. Whether or not it was premeditated or not, who is aware of. The primary spat of the race got here previous to the primary spherical of stops, when Perez was nonetheless main.
Verstappen needed to double stack somewhat than enable his team-mate the undercut. Urgent GP, his race engineer mentioned: ‘So remember, Max, use your head please.’
Sergio Perez (second left) and Charles Leclerc (proper) made up the remainder of the rostrum at Spa
All smiles: Verstappen is congratulated by staff principal Christian Horner (proper) afterwards
Verstappen’s victory got here regardless of a frosty change with race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton completed fourth and took the quickest lap level on the ultimate lap
Verstappen inquired: ‘Are we each doing it or what?’ GP: ‘You simply comply with my instruction.’
Verstappen: ‘No, I wish to know if each automobiles do it.’ GP: ‘Max, please comply with my instruction and belief it, thanks.’
Later, after a second change of tyre, GP mentioned: ‘You used numerous tyre on the out lap, Max, I am undecided that was wise.’
The champion’s response? Setting the quickest lap. Take that, GP, you punk! Later, GP implored: ‘I would ask you to make use of your head.’
Max rejoined: ‘I might push on and do one other cease. A bit of little bit of pit cease coaching.’
‘Not this time,’ mentioned GP, as straight as a Boycott ahead defensive.
Verstappen’s margin of victory was an absurd 22.3sec from Perez. Leclerc was third for Ferrari, with Hamilton fourth, although with the consolation of the quickest lap obtained proper on the demise.
George Russell was sixth and Lando Norris seventh, faring higher than his McLaren team-mate Oscar Piastri, who was tagged by Carlos Sainz on the opening nook. The colliding pair have been the afternoon’s solely two retirees.