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Formula 1 Belgian GP

F1 Grand Prix race results: Verstappen wins Belgian GP

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen won the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps on Sunday, overcoming a grid penalty for a power unit change that meant he started from the midfield.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18, Lance Stroll, Aston Martin AMR22, Charles Leclerc, Ferrari F1-75

From 14th on the grid, Verstappen surged through the field to take the lead after just 12 of the 44 laps.

Early leader Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) briefly retook first place after the first pitstop cycle, but Verstappen was on much fresher tyres and hit the front again on lap 18. Sergio Perez’s Red Bull also passed Sainz to finish second.

2022 Belgian Grand Prix race results

Cla   Driver   Car / Engine   Laps   Gap
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 44  
2 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 44 17.841
3 Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 44 26.886
4 George Russell Mercedes 44 29.140
5 Fernando Alonso Alpine/Renault 44 1'13.256
6 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 44  1'14.936
7 Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 44 1'15.640
8 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin/Mercedes 44 1'18.107
9 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri/Red Bull 44 1'32.181
10 Alexander Albon Williams/Mercedes 44 1'41.900
11 Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 44 1'43.078
12 Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 44 1'44.739
13 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri/Red Bull 44 1'45.217
14 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 44 1'46.252
15 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren/Mercedes 44 1'47.163
16 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 43 1 lap
17 Mick Schumacher Haas/Ferrari 43 1 lap
18 Nicholas Latifi Williams/Mercedes 43 1 lap
  Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1 Accident
  Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 0 Accident damage

How the Belgian Grand Prix unfolded

Sainz, who started on soft tyres, held his pole advantage on the run to Turn 1, leading ahead of Fernando Alonso (Alpine) and the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and George Russell, as Perez slipped back to fifth from the front row.

Hamilton and Alonso clashed at Les Combes on the opening lap, the contact sending Hamilton flying up in the air and allowing Perez – who passed Russell right behind them – to vault back up to second. Hamilton was forced to pull off at Blanchimont, with his car smoking profusely. Soon after that, Nicholas Latifi spun his Williams and took out Valtteri Bottas’s Alfa Romeo at Les Combes on lLap 2, causing a safety car.

Verstappen was up to eighth by the end of the opening lap, two spots ahead of Leclerc – but Leclerc pitted under the safety car after reporting smoke from his right-front corner, dropping him to 17th. The team confirmed a helmet visor tear-off had got stuck in his brake duct.

The race restarted in the order Sainz, Perez, Russell, Alonso, Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren), Alex Albon (Williams) and Verstappen.

Verstappen, who started on soft tyres, quickly picked off Albon at Rivage and Ricciardo at the final chicane.

By lap 7, Verstappen was up to fourth after passing Vettel and Alonso in smart succession. He then DRS-ed past Russell for third on lap 8. Meantime, Leclerc was having to battle his way through the backmarkers, rising to 12th by lap 10.

Leader Sainz just managed to stay out of DRS range from Perez, who was oddly holding up the charging Verstappen at this point. Sainz pitted for fresh mediums on lap 12, moments before Verstappen passed Perez for the lead, and rejoined mired in traffic – having to lunge past Ricciardo at Pouhon as Verstappen ran in clear air out front.

Perez stopped on lap 15, behind Sainz but ahead of Leclerc – who he shoved wide onto the kerb approaching Les Combes. Verstappen pitted a lap later, rejoining 4.7s behind Sainz but on much fresher medium tyres.

Verstappen DRS-ed past Sainz to retake the lead on lap 18, and Perez took second from Sainz three tours later.

Sainz pitted again on lap 26, taking hard tyres until the end, with Leclerc also stopping to take more mediums. Leclerc passed Vettel for fifth, which was the best he could manage after his unfortunate early delay.

Both Red Bulls also stopped again, with Verstappen winning by 17s over Perez. Russell closed up on Sainz in the closing stages until he ran wide at Stavelot with four laps to go, which let the Ferrari driver keep his spot on the podium.

Behind Russell in fourth, Leclerc stopped again for a bid to get fastest lap on soft tyres, but this allowed Alonso past him. He repassed Alonso on the final lap to snatch fourth but his last lap was still some six-tenths off Verstappen’s best, and – to add insult to injury – Leclerc was given a five-second penalty for speeding in the pits, that dropped him behind Alonso anyway.

Behind Alonso was his team-mate Esteban Ocon – who twice overtook two cars in one move in his Alpine – Vettel and Pierre Gasly, who finished eighth ninth for AlphaTauri, despite a pitlane start. Albon took the final point in 10th.

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