Belgium GP Max Verstappen Wins

The 2023 Belgium GP was the 12th round of the season, and it delivered one of the best, most thrilling and dramatic races of the 2023 season. Despite Sergio Perez starting in pole and Max Verstappen in 5th the champion soon took the lead. The result was a record eight race wins in a row for Max. Once again, he has extended his lead in the championship with a dominant victory. 

If Max finishes every race in the points, he will win the 2023 driver’s title.

Here are the full 2023 Belgium GP Results.


Belgium GP – Qualifying

Qualifying was held in wet rainy weather conditions which made visibility very difficult.

As is the norm nowadays, Max Verstappen secured pole position in the final qualifying session. Red Bull opted to fit a new gearbox to his car which meant that he suffered a five-place penalty.

This moved Charles Leclerc and Sergio Perez to pole and second place respectively.

Lewis Hamilton was in 4th place, but Max’s Penalty moved Lewis the 3rd and Carlos Sainz into 4th alongside him. We show the rest of the gird line up below.

Qualifying Results

1Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT01:58.501:52.801:46.222
2Charles LeclercFERRARI01:58.301:52.001:47.023
3Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT01:58.901:52.401:47.022
4Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES01:58.601:52.301:47.124
5Carlos SainzFERRARI01:58.701:51.701:47.223
6Oscar PiastriMCLAREN MERCEDES01:58.901:51.501:47.423
7Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES02:00.001:52.301:47.721
8George RussellMERCEDES01:59.001:52.601:47.824
9Fernando AlonsoASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES01:58.801:52.801:47.822
10Lance StrollASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES01:59.701:52.201:48.822
11Yuki TsunodaALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT01:59.001:53.115
12Pierre GaslyALPINE RENAULT01:59.501:53.717
13Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI02:00.001:54.217
14Valtteri BottasALFA ROMEO FERRARI01:59.501:54.717
15Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT01:59.601:56.413
16Alexander AlbonWILLIAMS MERCEDES02:00.38
17Zhou GuanyuALFA ROMEO FERRARI02:00.89
18Logan SargeantWILLIAMS MERCEDES02:01.56
19Daniel RicciardoALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT02:02.28
20Nico HulkenbergHAAS FERRARI02:03.25

Note – Verstappen penalized five grid places for use of an additional gearbox. Magnussen penalized 3 grid places for impeding another driver during qualifying.

Belgium GP – Sprint

The sprint race was shortened to 12 laps due to the weather conditions. With one formation lap teh race was effectively 11 laps.

The event started 35 minutes late, due to the heavy rain.

All 20 cars started on full-wet tires behind the safety car. As the conditions improved the whole grid (all 20 cars) pitted for intermediate tires. After the safety car released the racing cars, Verstappen accelerated into Pouhon.

The Grid Immediately Changed to Intermediates

Piastri, Sainz, Perez, Gasly and Hamilton all dived in immediately for intermediates leaving Verstappen leading Leclerc at the front. Verstappen pitted on the next lap leaving Piastri leading the race. In doing so he made history by being the first rookie to lead a sprint race.

The McLaren had a clear pace advantage in the wet, and Oscar convincingly remained in the lead. 3 laps later Fernando Alonso spun off, which brough out the safety car again.

By the time the safety car was withdrawn, Max was close enough to Piastri.

Max cruised past the temporary race leader – rookie Oscar Piastri and won the race with 5 seconds to spare. Oscar showed a remarkable talent that has the potential of making him one of the future greats.

“I am very happy, we tried out best and led for a few laps, but we were no match for Max. But it’s nice to be up there in P2. All credit to the team.”

Oscar Piastri

Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton fourth place but suffered a contentious penalty for hitting Sergio Perez in a corner. Most commentators agree that this was a racing incient.

The result was that he was demoted to 7th place behind Lando Norris, in the second McLaren.

The Sprint Results

1Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1124:58.48
2Oscar PiastriMCLAREN MERCEDES11+6.677s7
3Pierre GaslyALPINE RENAULT11+10.733s6
4Carlos SainzFERRARI11+12.648s5
5Charles LeclercFERRARI11+15.016s4
6Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES11+16.052s3
7Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES11+16.757s2
8George RussellMERCEDES11+16.822s1
9Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT11+22.410s0
10Daniel RicciardoALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT11+22.806s0
12Alexander AlbonWILLIAMS MERCEDES11+26.303s0
13Valtteri BottasALFA ROMEO FERRARI11+27.006s0
14Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI11+32.986s0
15Zhou GuanyuALFA ROMEO FERRARI11+36.342s0
16Logan SargeantWILLIAMS MERCEDES11+37.571s0
17Nico HulkenbergHAAS FERRARI11+37.827s0
18Yuki TsunodaALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT11+39.267s0

Belgium GP – Main Race

Apart from a very brief period, the race was held in dry weather conditions. Max started in 5th but that was no impediment and he quickly powered past all the front runners to take 1st place.

Oscar Piastri and Carlos Sainz came together in the first corner which forced Oscar to retire immediately and Carlos on lap 23.

Charles Leclerc, who started on pole, was easily overtaken by Sergio Perez in the Red Bull. Charles managed to hold Lewis Hamilton behind him, despite some spirited attempts to get past.

Aston Martin has their recent decline in fortunes arrested by Fernando Alonso finishing in 5th place. George Russel challenged Alonso for 5th but ended up finishing in 6th place.

Lando Norris had a disappointing at, only managing an 7th place position.

Esteban Ocon managed a late overtake on Lance Stroll which got him into 8th place, leaving Lance in 9th.

Yuki Tsunoda took a valuable final point for AlphaTauri in 10th.

Worthy of mention was the Williams of Alex Albon which had great straight-line speed but struggled in the corners. Sadly, this was only good enough for 14th place.

The Race Results

1Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT4422:30.425
2Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT44+22.305s18
3Charles LeclercFERRARI44+32.259s15
4Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES44+49.671s13
5Fernando AlonsoASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES44+56.184s10
6George RussellMERCEDES44+63.101s8
7Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES44+73.719s6
8Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT44+74.719s4
10Yuki TsunodaALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT44+80.221s1
11Pierre GaslyALPINE RENAULT44+83.084s0
12Valtteri BottasALFA ROMEO FERRARI44+85.191s0
13Zhou GuanyuALFA ROMEO FERRARI44+95.441s0
14Alexander AlbonWILLIAMS MERCEDES44+96.184s0
15Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI44+101.754s0
16Daniel RicciardoALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT44+103.071s0
17Logan SargeantWILLIAMS MERCEDES44+104.476s0
18Nico HulkenbergHAAS FERRARI44+110.450s0
Note – Hamilton scored an additional point for setting the fastest lap of the race.

Red Bull Damages F1 Trophy

For the second time in a week, Max Verstappen’s 1st place trophy has been destroyed!

As the Re Bull team (including Max and Christian Horner) moved away so as to not get drenched by the champagne shower, the team’s pit board fell on top of its constructors’ trophy – and completely destroying it!

By Jonny Noble

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Jonny Noble I’m a dedicated F1 Writer – and I’ve Been One for Over Four Decades, I’ve been intimately immersed in the world of Formula One for more than 44 years. That’s longer than most professional commentators can boast! As an independent writer, I offer a unique perspective on the entire F1 landscape, free from biases that might cloud the discussion. We dive deep into the exhilarating, frustrating, and captivating facets of the F1 universe. So, regardless of my amateur status, one thing is undeniable: four decades of dedicated F1 fandom have forged strong opinions worth exploring!