Verstappen Wins Wet Sprint, Perez Crashes

July 29, 2023Ramon Jones
Formula 1

Max Verstappen won the Belgian Grand Prix Sprint from Pole position. The wet race prompted various strategy calls form the team. Red Bull seemed to be on the wrong side of the strategy calls in the early stages of the sprint race. Verstappen lost position to Lando Norris’ McLaren. However, Max Verstappen fought back to retake the lead after Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) crashed out of the race triggering a safety car.

Due to the conditions race control mandated full wet tires to be used by all drivers. Almost immediately Oscar Piastri (McLaren), Carlos Sainz (Ferrari), Pierre Gasly (Alpine), Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Sergio Perez (Red Bull), Daniel Ricciardo (Alpha Tauri), Alex Albon (Williams), Lance Stroll (McLaren), Valtteri Bottas (Alpha Romeo) and Nico Hulkenberg (Haas) all pitted to opt for intermediates. Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), Lando Norris (McLaren), Esteban Ocon (Alpine) and George Russell (Mercedes) all stayed out on full wets until they completed one lap.

Red Bull’s Verstappen Spoke to the Media After the Race

Verstappen started to gain on Norris and it appeared that Norris was suffering form some premature tire degradation. After the race Verstappen commented on strategy, “I think [staying out on wets at the start] was just a safer call. I could come in first, but then I might be blocked by other cars. There might be a Safety Car and then you lose out massively. I didn’t to stay out, we lost one position, but we know that we are quick. I think you could see that when we put the inter tires on we were flying, so it was OK!”

Lewis Hamilton was given a five-second penalty for causing a collision with Perez and dropped to seventh. Perez did not finish the race. In the end Oscar Piastri finished P2 ahead of Pierre Gasly in an unexpected podium for the Belgian Sprint Race. The Grand Prix is tomorrow and there is mixed weather on the forecast.

Full Sprint Race Results are Below

ClaDriver Car / Engine  Time 
Max VerstappenRed Bull/Honda RBPT
Oscar PiastriMcLaren/Mercedes-6.677
Pierre GaslyAlpine/Renault-10.733
Carlos Sainz Jr.Ferrari-12.648
Charles LeclercFerrari-15.016
Lando NorrisMcLaren/Mercedes-16.052
Lewis HamiltonMercedes-16.757
George RussellMercedes-16.822
Esteban OconAlpine/Renault-22.410
10 Daniel RicciardoAlphaTauri/Honda RBPT-22.806
11 Lance StrollAston Martin/Mercedes-25.007
12 Alexander AlbonWilliams/Mercedes-26.303
13 Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo/Ferrari-27.006
14 Kevin MagnussenHaas/Ferrari-32.986
15 Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo/Ferrari-36.342
16 Logan SargeantWilliams/Mercedes-37.571
17 Nico HülkenbergHaas/Ferrari-37.827
18 Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri/Honda RBPT-39.267
– Sergio PérezRed Bull/Honda RBPT
– Fernando AlonsoAston Martin/Mercedes