Belgian Grand Prix: Verstappen wins from 14th on grid
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen crushed the rest of the field to take a stunning victory in the Belgian Grand Prix.
The world championship leader was in a class of his own as he fought quickly from 14th to take a firm lead by lap 18 and disappear into the distance.
Verstappen was a second a lap – sometimes more – quicker even than team-mate Sergio Perez, who completed a one-two for a dominant Red Bull.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz held off Mercedes’ George Russell to take third.
Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso tangled at Les Combes on Lap 1, leaving the Mercedes driver out of the race before Valtteri Bottas spun out in avoidance of Nicholas Latifi and brought out a Safety Car on Lap 2.
Verstappen’s ninth win in 14 races consolidated his championship lead.
His only rival, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, finished fifth, but was demoted to sixth by a penalty for speeding in the pit lane and has now dropped to third place in the standings, five points behind Perez, with a 98-point deficit to Verstappen that is now surely unrecoverable.
Verstappen went into the summer break on the back of one of his greatest victories, winning in Hungary from 10th on the grid, thanks partly to the latest in a series of Ferrari strategy mistakes for Leclerc.
And the Dutchman began the run-in to the end of the season with an even more emphatic statement of his and Red Bull’s superiority. (BBC)