F1: 5 Takeaways from the Belgian Grand Prix

Belgian Grand Prix - Red Bull Racing's Max Verstappen lifts a trophy in the air, celebrating his victory at the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix

Verstappen’s winning streak continues with another dominant victory at the Belgian Grand Prix, a Red Bull masterclass, and midfield battles.

The Formula One season returns from its month-long summer break with the Belgian Grand Prix. A hot Sunday afternoon brought high tire degradation that caused the pits to be quite busy. Excited midfield battles fighting for points. Although similar to Paul Ricard and the Hungaroring, the end result was the same in dominant fashion at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.

1 – Red Bull on cruise control

What more can be said? They absolutely dominated this race. They firmly hold both the Drivers and Constructors Championship in their pockets. Both Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez secured another one-two and a maximum point finish for the fourth time this season. Verstappen has built an insurmountable lead, as he inches closer to securing his second straight title. Red Bull’s confidence is only growing every week, and it is sending a message to the paddock that no one will stand in their path for the remainder of the season.

2 – The Belgian Grand Prix was underwhelming

After last year’s Belgian Grand Prix being rained out, the enthusiastic fans were expecting an exciting race after the summer break. Some championship contenders were starting in the back with engine penalties, and the midfield was hoping to bask in the chance to get their teams a good result. ¬†However, that was not the case as the battle upfront was nonexistent due to the strength of Red Bull. By Lap 12, the battle for the win was over. There were plenty of battles in the midfield, especially Alex Albon defending for his life to secure the final point. If Red Bull were not so dominant, the battle for the race win would have been something to rave about.

3 – Alpine increases the gap for “Best of the Rest”

Another race, and another double points finish for Alpine. Five of the last six races have seen the French team score ten points or more, and have created a big gap over McLaren to become the new “Best of the Rest” this season. Despite a first lap incident between Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton, the 41-year-old Spaniard continues to impress by scoring points consistently. Esteban Ocon had himself a day with two impressive double overtakes during the race. It looks like the Frenchman is only getting better as the season progresses, and will make it tough for McLaren to challenge for fourth in the constructors.

4 – Latifi’s chances of keeping seat are slim

Nicholas Latifi is still the only driver on the grid to have yet scored a point in 2022. It looks like he will have to wait another week for another attempt. Starting eleventh proposed a great chance to secure his first points finish of the season. Spinning out on the first lap erased his chances to score his team any points. Unfortunately, this result does not help his case to persuade Williams to keep his seat since his teammate Alex Albon has been capable of making the Williams car competitive enough to grab points. There are eight races left for Latifi to prove that he should keep his seat for the 2023 season.

5 – Haas has lost momentum

Since their hot start at the beginning of the year, Haas’ performance over the last few months has dropped. Their performance in Belgium saw both cars sitting at the bottom end of the grid for the majority of the race. Being powered by a Ferrari engine, it was surprising seeing them trapped inside a DRS train and not being able to make moves to get them near the points. Compared to last year’s struggle, they took a step forward in making a competitive car, but three straight races with no points is a concern. If they can turn it around, there is a chance they can make a push to overtake Alfa Romeo at the end of the season.

Championship Standings

After another dominating performance, the Dutchman extends his lead over Sergio Perez and Charles Leclerc.

  1. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing – 284 points
  2. Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing – 191 points
  3. Charles Leclerc, Ferrari – 186 points
  4. Carlos Sainz, Ferrari – 171 points
  5. George Russell, Mercedes – 170 points

Next Race

  • Dutch Grand Prix
  • Sunday, September 4th – 9:00 A.M. EST on ESPN
  • Circuit Zandvoort – Zandvoort, Netherlands
  • 2021 Winner: Max Verstappen
Featured Image Credit: Red Bull Content Pool