Following the start of the race behind a safety car, Max Verstappen secured a win at the Belgian Grand Prix sprint held at Spa. Notably, McLaren’s Oscar Piastri had initially assumed the lead after swapping his wet tyres for intermediates in the pitlane. However, Verstappen reclaimed the top spot on the sixth lap after overtaking Piastri, which occurred after yet another intervention from the safety car due to a crash by Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin.
- Max Verstappen – Red Bull/Honda
- Oscar Piastri – McLaren/Mercedes
- Pierre Gasly – Alpine/Renault
- Carlos Sainz Jr. – Ferrari
- Charles Leclerc – Ferrari
- Lando Norris – McLaren/Mercedes
- Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes
- George Russell – Mercedes
- Esteban Ocon – Alpine/Renault
- Daniel Ricciardo – AlphaTauri/Honda
- Lance Stroll – Aston Martin/Mercedes
- Alexander Albon – Williams/Mercedes
- Valtteri Bottas – Alfa Romeo/Ferrari
- Kevin Magnussen – Haas/Ferrari
- Zhou Guanyu – Alfa Romeo/Ferrari
- Logan Sargeant – Williams/Mercedes
- Nico Hülkenberg – Haas/Ferrari
- Yuki Tsunoda – AlphaTauri/Honda
- Sergio Pérez – Red Bull/Honda (did not finish)
- Fernando Alonso – Aston Martin/Mercedes (did not finish)
The narrative of the 2023 F1 Belgian GP sprint began with a 30-minute delay due to rain, followed by five formation laps. Verstappen started from the pole position on full wet tyres with Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) and Lando Norris (McLaren) in tow. Several drivers, including Piastri, Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), Pierre Gasly (Alpine), Sergio Perez (Red Bull) and Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), decided to pit immediately for intermediate tyres.
Verstappen pitted after the first racing lap for intermediate tyres, followed by Leclerc, Norris, Esteban Ocon (Alpine), and George Russell (Mercedes). Subsequently, Piastri assumed the lead, followed by Verstappen, Gasly, Perez and Hamilton.
A crash by Alonso led to the reintroduction of the safety car. Upon the race’s restart, Verstappen regained the lead, and Hamilton had a run-in with Perez, finally overtaking him at La Source. Sainz and Leclerc also managed to overtake Perez, who reported a loss of rear grip, and ended up retiring due to damage caused by the clash with Hamilton.
Verstappen maintained his lead and secured a victory with a margin of 6 seconds over Piastri. Hamilton received a 5-second penalty for his incident with Perez, promoting Sainz to fourth, followed by Leclerc and Norris. Hamilton fell to seventh, but stayed ahead of teammate Russell.
The qualification for the Belgian GP sprint saw Verstappen secure the pole position by a meager 0.011 seconds over Piastri.
SQ1 took place on a fully wet track after a delay due to weather conditions, and saw Verstappen recording the fastest time on intermediate tyres. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri), Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo), Kevin Magnussen (Haas), Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo), and Nico Hulkenberg (Haas) failed to clear the first hurdle.
During SQ2, Verstappen maintained his pace on intermediate tyres, while Lance Stroll was the first to attempt slick tyres, resulting in a crash. This led to several drivers failing to set a lap time, including Daniel Ricciardo (AlphaTauri), Alex Albon (Williams), Logan Sargeant (Williams), Stroll, and his teammate, Fernando Alonso.
Finally, in SQ3, all cars were on soft-compound slicks. Verstappen managed to clinch the pole position for the sprint from Piastri by a tiny margin of 0.011 seconds. He acknowledged taking it easy on the…
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Belgian GP sprint report
What was the unique strategy used by Lewis Hamilton in the Belgian Grand Prix?
Lewis Hamilton decided to take a pit stop just after the safety car was deployed. This was a unique strategy as it allowed him to change tyres and refuel without losing too much time.
Who won the Belgian Grand Prix?
Lewis Hamilton emerged victorious in the Belgian Grand Prix, thanks to a unique strategy he employed during the race.
How did the weather conditions affect the race?
The weather conditions were challenging, with persistent rain making the track slippery. However, this also created opportunities for skilled drivers to make strategic decisions and take advantage of the situation. Lewis Hamilton was particularly adept at this, using the conditions to his advantage to secure victory.
What is the significance of tyre changes in Formula 1 racing?
Tyre changes are a crucial aspect of Formula 1 racing. Depending on the track and weather conditions, teams must decide when and what type of tyres to use. These decisions can dramatically influence the outcome of the race. In the Belgian Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton’s decision to change tyres at a strategic moment played a key role in his victory.
What is DRS and how did it impact the Belgian Grand Prix?
DRS, or Drag Reduction System, is a feature in Formula 1 cars that reduces aerodynamic drag and allows for faster speeds on certain parts of the track. In the Belgian Grand Prix, the use of DRS was limited due to the wet conditions, requiring drivers to rely more on their skills and strategy.