Formula 1 Commentary

Live: F1 Belgian GP commentary and updates - Race

Live commentary and updates on the Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix, taking place at Spa-Francorchamps this weekend.

Live: F1 Belgian GP commentary and updates - Race

F1 returns after its summer break with major developments off the track taking focus, headlined by Audi’s announcement it will join the championship as a power unit supplier in 2026 and the latest driver market saga.

On the track, Max Verstappen leads the F1 world drivers’ championship by 80 points over Charles Leclerc thanks to back-to-back wins in France and Hungary before the summer break.

But both serve grid penalties for the Belgian GP due to engine changes, along with five other drivers. Verstappen, who topped qualifying, starts from 14th with Leclerc alongside him in 15th. Carlos Sainz inherited pole position after qualifying and is joined on the front row by Sergio Perez.

By: Jake Boxall-Legge, Haydn Cobb, Stefan Mackley

Summary

  • Verstappen dominates Belgian GP after charging from 14th
  • Perez and Sainz complete podium as Leclerc finishes 6th
  • Safety car deployed as Hamilton retires on opening lap after contact with Alonso
  • Bottas and Latifi also collide, with the Alfa Romeo driver out

Leaderboard

  1. Verstappen, Red Bull
  2. Perez, Red Bull
  3. Sainz, Ferrari
  4. Russell, Mercedes
  5. Alonso, Alpine
  6. Leclerc, Ferrari
  7. Ocon, Alpine
  8. Vettel, Aston Martin
  9. Gasly, AlphaTauri
  10. Albon, Williams
Status: Stopped
And that's all from us this weekend! F1's back after the summer break - and Zandvoort is next up in just seven days' time. Catch you then!
Here's the report from the Belgian Grand Prix, and how Max Verstappen won from 14th on the grid: https://www.autosport.com/f1/news/belgian-gp-verstappen-recovers-from-penalty-to-lead-red-bull-1-2/10359598/
 
Verstappen: "It was quite a hectic first lap to stay out of trouble. But once we settled in after the safety car, the car was really on rails."
Perez: "I really hoped for more, today was a really good opportunity. But Max was flying, he was on another planet. He was untouchable."
Sainz: "Unfortunately it was harder than expected. We got a good start, a good restart, but the pace was not there. There was a lot of overheating on the tyres."
Five-second penalty for Leclerc! Alonso moves up to fifth.
Potential speeding-in-the-pitlane call for Leclerc. It's certainly been a day for him, hasn't it?
Alonso and Ocon wrap up sixth and seventh for Alpine, with Vettel eighth, Gasly ninth, and Albon holding off Stroll to collect 10th.
Verstappen climbs out of his car before half the field has even crossed the finish line. That was the level of his domination today!
Leclerc gets fifth, but he's over six tenths off in the reckoning for the fastest lap. Nothing ventured, nothing gained - but nothing was gained from venturing either.
Perez finishes second, as Sainz keeps Russell in check for third place.
Leclerc does get fifth back from Alonso, so it's worked out fine - but will it be enough for the fastest lap?
Max Verstappen comes home unchallenged and wins the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix!
Ferrari's had a bit of a howler, as a pitstop for Leclerc to go after the fastest lap has led to him conceding fifth to Alonso. He may get him back, but that's a big risk to take.
Not for long though as Zhou gets back in front of Tsunoda for 13th place, using DRS up the Kemmel straight.
Tsunoda upgrades his ticket in the DRS train, as he gets ahead of Zhou for 13th place diving up the inside at the final chicane.
Three laps to go, and Verstappen is 17.5s up the road from Perez. Brutal domination, this.
Sainz has stabilised the gap to Russell for now, keeping it open by 2.5s. That might be due to a wide moment, which has interrupted his progress.
Ricciardo has now joined the DRS train driven by Albon which means 10th to 15th is covered by less than four seconds.
"I am obviously struggling quite a bit," Norris says over team radio. "It is too late for plan G," is the reply. Plan G. McLaren, please tell us what plan A, B, C, D, E and F was.
If Albon can hold on to 10th place he will have very much earned it. He's still holding up Stroll, Norris, Zhou and Tsunoda all right behind him with six laps to go.
Russell's taken the gap behind Sainz down to two seconds. It's lap 37/44 and the Mercedes driver should have enough time to make a move if he continues this progress.
That was Ocon's second double overtake of the afternoon. He's up to seventh, as Vettel passes Gasly for a second time at the exit of Les Combes to gain back eighth.
To Hakkinen (verb) - to pass three wide on the Kemmel Straight. Eg. "Ocon just Hakkinened Gasly and Vettel for seventh place".
Wow! After Vettel gets the switch back move on Gasly on the exit of La Source, he gets dumped back two spots as Gasly and Ocon gain the double slipstream on the straight to overtake the German.
Vettel is the last to make his second pitstop of the afternoon and comes out in eighth place, splitting the Gasly vs Ocon battle that was building.
"What happens if we three-stop?" Sainz asks. "Finish behind Russell for P4" comes the reply, which could be the same net result as two-stopping.
Sainz says "I'm pushing a lot," but Russell is now within 4s of him.
The earlier stop for Norris works as he gets the undercut on his team-mate Ricciardo and is up to 12th. The Brit is right behind Albon and Stroll in the fight for the final points place.
Verstappen did a 1m49.354s on the previous lap - that's about 1.4s faster than anything anyone else has done.
Norris gets by Zhou to take 13th place, using DRS down the Kemmel straight. He's not hanging around with the fight for points still on.
Leclerc clears Vettel to move back into fifth, and is some 14s down on Russell - who is once again catching Sainz.
Norris is the next to pit and drops back to 14th place, putting him back behind Zhou.
Verstappen gets the call to box, and brings his Red Bull into the pits. New mediums, well up the road from Perez, and he can leisurely bring those tyres in for the last part of the race.
Russell comes in a lap later than first called, taking the hard tyres on for his final stint.
Leclerc, with DRS, charges by Ocon to move back up to sixth place. Further back Alonso does the exact same thing to gain eighth place from Ricciardo.
After his earlier stop, Alonso is making quick progress up the order again as he gets by Zhou and Norris in consecutive laps to climb to ninth place.
Perez pits from second place, collecting the hard tyre for his final leg of the race. He's out of the pits ahead of Sainz, so that's a nice stop for Red Bull there.
Albon and Stroll pit together to create a straight race out of pitlane. The Williams driver keeps ahead, despite a 0.9s slower stop, but he's help by team-mate Latifi slotting between them going up to Eau Rouge.