Why Verstappen has the upper hand for Spa’s recovery race
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Why Verstappen has the upper hand for Spa’s recovery race

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Formula 1 title rivals Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc both face a battle to recover from the rear of the grid after engine penalties. But it appears the championship leader is in the box seat on pace to salvage the most from a potentially tricky Belgian Grand Prix

We knew that when Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari agonisingly went up in smoke in Spain and Azerbaijan that more pain was to come. It wasn’t just the possible 50 points that he had lost in the moment as he was twice eliminated from the lead of the race. The turbo and MGU-H that let go at Barcelona and then the internal combustion engine which self-immolated at Baku would all need to be replaced. As a consequence, it was clear that he would eventually exceed the maximum number of parts permitted and so grid penalties became an inevitability.

Leclerc served his first hit for the Canadian Grand Prix to line up 19th. But he recovered soundly enough to claim fifth. However, his shunt from first place three races later in France gave the back end of his F1-75 a hefty jolt to result in a new gearbox next time out in Hungary and taking him up to the limit.

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