Verstappen Edges Closer to His Second Title
- Updated: August 29, 2022
Max Verstappen has taken another leap towards his second F1 title thanks to his breathtaking drive from 14th to a jaw dropping pole in his RB16 race car, on Sunday at the Belgian Grand Prix.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing though, as the young Dutch who set the quickest time during qualifying had to drop places on the grid due to gearbox penalties. These were just minor hindrances for the defending champion as he beat his teammate Sergio Perez by a whopping 17.8 seconds.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz finished a distant third after starting from pole position.
After starting from pole Carlos Sainz finished a distant third.
Verstappen said that “The car was really on rails,” as he took the lead on the 12th lap and raced on to his 9th win this season.
“Once we were in the lead, it was all about managing everything”, He continued.
“It’s been a weekend I couldn’t imagine before,” further added the young racer after his second consecutive win at the SPA Francorchamps racetrack, although it is to be noted that last year’s SPA race win wasn’t as gratifying due to heavy rain.
After the Belgian Grand Prix Max stands at a massive 93 point lead over his teammate Perez, who is second on the leaderboard.
The experienced Mexican has often acted as ‘rear-gunner’ to Verstappen and on Sunday again dutifully let him through to take the lead.
Perez observed Max’s pace and placed team benefits ahead of his own instinct to win, as he easily let Max through to take the lead.
“Max was on another planet today, he was flying, he was untouchable,” He remarked.
Ferrari’s Leclerc, started just one place behind Verstappen on the grid but he could only manage fifth and was further demoted due to a penalty for speeding in the pitlane.
The Monegasque, who was the championship favorite early in the season, dropped to third overall and 98 points behind Verstappen with eight races remaining.
Although a championship favorite early in the season, Charles Leclerc fell to third on the leaderboard and 98 points shy of the leader Max Verstappen.
Forced to pit early after a visor tear-off strip got lodged in a front brake duct, Leclerc was looking at a predicted fifth place finish before the race was even at its halfway mark while Verstappen ran away at the front.
Although, considering that the Ferrari Driver’s visor came off and damaged the brake duct less than half way through the race a fifth place finish is truly commendable.
“I’m not feeling good, obviously,” Leclerc said after the race.
“The thing that is strange is the feeling is quite okay inside the car but then you look at the pace compared to Red Bull and they are on another planet completely.”
Formula One now heads to Zandvoort for Verstappen’s home Dutch Grand Prix, the second of a triple header that will bring the curtain down on the sport’s European season at Italy’s Monza.
As the the sunsets at Spa Francorchamps F1 now moves towards the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort, Max Verstappen’s home territory.