verstappen returns to winning ways in belgium while ferrari lag behind 
verstappen returns to winning ways in belgium while ferrari lag behind 

Image: Formula 1

Despite new technical directives ratified during the summer break, Max Verstappen seemed unstoppable in the hills of the Stavelot after charging from fourteenth position to win the Belgium Grand Prix.

verstappen returns to winning ways in belgium while ferrari lag behind 

Image: Formula 1

Aside from incidents early on in the race which saw the retirement of Lewis Hamilton and former teammate Valterri Bottas, the 44 lap Belgian Grand Prix was pedestrian with Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc providing limited entertainment by storming to the front of the grid after taking penalties ahead of qualifying on Saturday.

Ferrari were off of the pace by some margin, with the RB18 showing its prowess and superiority at the hands of Verstappen consistently during the course of the weekend. Carlos Sainz who managed to clinch pole position after Verstappen was relegated to the back of the grid could only muster up the final podium spot behind the Red Bull Racing duo.

Charles Leclerc, who showed good pace throughout the weekend only crossed the line in fifth position in another forgettable weekend for the Scuderia after a penalty moved him a place further down. Starting behind Max on Sunday, the Monegasque driver suffered ill fortune with a brake duct cooling issue requiring an untimely pitstop in the opening part of the race. Once the issue had been rectified, the Ferrari front man found himself frustratingly behind several cars in what has become known as a DRS train and struggled to move further up the grid than fifth.

To make matters worse, Ferrari endeavoured to steal the fastest lap from Verstappen in the penultimate lap of the race but failed abysmally after Leclerc came out behind Alonso on the final lap and was handed a 5 second penalty for speeding in the pit-lane – an issue that has been accredited to a faulty sensor after the brake ducts overheated. Despite reclaiming fifth spot from the Spaniard in the last lap shootout, the post-race penalty saw Alonso finish ahead with a good double-points haul for Alpine.

Fortune was on the side of Alonso during the Sunday race after a harrowing opening lap incident with Hamilton resulted in the retirement of the seven-time World Champion. The Mercedes driver became airborne after pinching Alonso on the outside of Les Combes and mounting his wheel before being catapulted into the run-off area.

verstappen returns to winning ways in belgium while ferrari lag behind 

Image: Formula 1

Teammate George Russell proved his consistency once again after a clean race earned him 12 points after claiming the fourth spot. Here are the full race standings.

This disconcerting Ferrari performance and misfortune are playing into the hands of Red Bull, who have now extended their lead in both Championships by a comfortable margin. More was expected from Mercedes after a more consistent performance in the latter part of the first half of the season but Red Bull seem to have eked out even more performance from their 2022 challenger and forged further ahead in the standings. At this point, it is still clearly advantage-Red Bull Racing with Ferrari requiring favourable fortune to pose a worthy duel in the final stages of this season.

Keyword: Verstappen returns to winning ways in Belgium while Ferrari lag behind 

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