Subscribe

Sign up for free

  • Get quick access to your favorite articles

  • Manage alerts on breaking news and favorite drivers

  • Make your voice heard with article commenting.

Autosport Plus

Discover premium content
Subscribe
Live text
Formula 1 Belgian GP

F1 Belgian GP Live Commentary and Updates - Race

Minute-by-minute updates for the 2023 Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc will start from pole position after Max Verstappen took a five-place grid penalty for fitting a fifth gearbox of the season to his Red Bull. 

The Dutchman had 'won qualifying' by setting the fastest time, a feat that he repeated on Saturday in the sprint shootout, and later converted into a sprint race victory. 

A Red Bull victory today would see the team become the first to score 12 consecutive race wins in a single season. 

Verstappen's penalty also promotes Sergio Perez onto the front row, with Lewis Hamilton, Carlos Sainz and Oscar Piastri also benefitting.

Nico Hulkenberg will start from the pitlane after breaching parc fermé to make changes to his Haas. 

The Spa-Francorchamps race will get underway at 2pm BST.

By: Haydn Cobb, Sam Hall

Summary
  • Verstappen wins by over 20s from Perez, taking his 10th win of 2023
  • Starting from sixth, Verstappen takes the lead of the race on lap 17
  • Piastri retires on first lap after making contact with Sainz at the start
Leaderboard
  1. Verstappen
  2. Perez
  3. Leclerc
  4. Hamilton
  5. Alonso
  6. Russell
  7. Norris
  8. Ocon
  9. Stroll
  10. Tsunoda
Status: Stopped
With that, we'll take our own leave and head off into the summer break. The next F1 race isn't until 25-27 August, the Dutch GP, so enjoy the down time ahead of the final 10 races of the 2023 season. Go well!
Verstappen's lead in the drivers' standings is up to 130 points, which means he could take the next five races off, Perez wins every race with the fastest lap bonus point in each, and he'd still be ahead on wins countback.
Given the official title of the race is "MSC cruises Belgian Grand Prix" I think you can just replace MSC with VER and that sums it up nicely. Utterly dominant once again.
The winners' trophy in shipshape condition, mostly because Norris isn't around this weekend!
All very jolly between the podium trio as they make their way in front of the fans. The Dutch and Austrian national anthems are played, you know how this one goes.
Verstappen on his latest win: "It is a new spot P6 [to win from], it was all about getting through Turn 1 cleanly and it worked out. We made all the right moves, I just got stuck a bit in a DRS train but once that cleared I could do my own pace."
Perez on his runner-up result: "It was a good race for the team. We had a great start, to get through Charles, that was one of the targets today. I was doing my own race but Max came through pretty fast on the second stint. There was nothing I could do."
Leclerc on his Belgian GP podium: "We've had quite a positive weekend on our side in terms of pace. The race went good on my side but a shame for Carlos. But looking at the Red Bull we still have work to do."
Despite Red Bull's dominance, that is the team's first 1-2 in a grand prix since Miami back in May. But a Perez-sized hole has been the cause of that, given Verstappen has won every race since then!
Alonso takes fifth ahead of Russell and Norris, while Ocon gives Alpine some much-needed points in eighth. Stroll and Tsunoda round out the top 10.
Perez completes the Red Bull 1-2 with Leclerc in third, as Hamilton takes fourth and gets the fastest lap bonus point with a 1m47.305s in the process.
Verstappen wins the Belgian GP! That's his eighth win in a row and Red Bull's non-stop winning 2023 season continues into the summer break!
Final lap time, last orders please. Hamilton wants anything better than a 1m48.922s to get that bonus point for fastest lap.
Albon is flying in the closing stages - diving past Magnussen into the Bus Stop chicane as the pair begin their penultimate lap.
Ah, scratch that, as Hamilton pits for medium tyres to wave goodbye to the podium in the bid for that fastest lap bonus point.
Into the final couple of laps and the major points places look settled with the gaps stabilised, but Hamilton still has a small sniff of the podium, 2.8s off Leclerc.
After taking Tsunoda, Ocon has now caught and passed Stroll. The Alpine driver is up to P8. With Norris out of reach, that should be where he finishes.
Verstappen is now lapping a second a lap faster than team-mate Perez without too much trouble in the process. The Dutch driver is really in a class of his own once again today.
Russell, one of the few runners looking to stretch his race into a one-stopper, is starting to drop off the back of Alonso who is in fifth ahead of him. The gap is 2.7s, but he has 7.7s in hand over Norris in seventh.
With Norris P7 and almost certainly out of the podium running, those in charge of trophy safety can breathe a sigh of relief.
Around the outside of the first part of Les Combes, Ocon dives on Tsunoda and takes P10. Gasly is now closing the AlphaTauri down to snatch a point.
Not that many were worried, but Verstappen has this race and that ship-sculpted winners' trophy in his grasp. His lead is up to 16.2 seconds, while he says he has to hold the steering wheel really tight due to the winds. OK, Max.
One for your F1 bingo cards - Sargeant has received a black-and-white driving standards flag for track limited. One more off and he will get a five-second penalty.
Hamilton is also within three seconds of Leclerc but hasn't been making great gains as he manages his own tyres to make the finish with six laps to go.
Tsunoda's last three points finishes have call come in P10. He is currently P9 but has Ocon all over his gearbox. Behind the pair, Gasly is steaming along on fresh tyres.
Verstappen's lead is around 13s, for what it is worth, with Perez potentially keeping an eye on Leclerc behind him who has snuck up to inside 4s of him.
"I'd ask you to use your head a bit more," Lambiase advises Verstappen over team radio, still worried about tyre degradation. Verstappen replies asking to go faster to do more "pitstop training". These two.