Dominant Verstappen goes from 14th to first in Belgium

Verstappen leads Red Bull one-two at Spa, champion is now 93 points clear at the top

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Red Bull Racing's Dutch driver Max Verstappen celebrates his victory during the podium ceremony. (AFP)
Red Bull Racing's Dutch driver Max Verstappen celebrates his victory during the podium ceremony. (AFP)

By Reuters

Published: Sun 28 Aug 2022, 8:11 PM

Last updated: Sun 28 Aug 2022, 8:12 PM

Red Bull's Max Verstappen went from 14th to first to take a dominant one-two win in Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix and accelerate his run towards a second Formula One title.

The Dutch driver took the chequered flag 17.8 seconds ahead of his Mexican team mate Sergio Perez, with Spaniard Carlos Sainz a distant third in his Ferrari after starting on pole position.

"Max was on another planet today, he was flying, he was untouchable," said Perez.

The win was Verstappen’s ninth from 14 races so far this season and put him a massive 93 points clear of Perez, who moves into second place overall behind his teammate with eight rounds remaining.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, who started one place behind Verstappen in 15th after collecting similar engine and gearbox-related grid drops, finished fifth on the road but was demoted to sixth after a penalty for speeding in the pitlane.

The Monegasque is now third overall, 98 points behind Verstappen who also took a bonus point for the fastest lap.

Verstappen's home Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort follows next weekend.

"The car was a rocket ship all weekend," he said after his second successive win at Spa, although last year's victory was after just three laps splashing through the rain behind the safety car.

"It was quite a hectic first lap to try and stay out of trouble, so many things were happening in front of me, but once we settled in... yeah, the car was really on rails," added Verstappen.

"Once we were in the lead, it was all about managing everything and this whole weekend has been incredible."

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