Unpredictable weather in Spa, could not stop Verstappen’s 13th consecutive win for Red Bull

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Spa-Francorchamps Grand Prix track in Spa, Belgium. Photo courtesy Motor Sport Magazine via pxfuel.

  Max Verstappen coming off of his record-setting weekend in Hungary, takes his 8th win in a row for team Red Bull at the Spa-Francorchamps Grand Prix in Belgium.

   For the second race weekend in a row, Red Bull finished with a double podium. Verstappen’s teammate, Sergio Perez, finished in 2nd place, creating even more of a gap between Red Bull and the other Constructors of the league. 

   Red Bull now leads this Formula 1 2023 season, with 503 cumulative points between its two racers, with second place being occupied by team Mercedes with 247 points. 

   After what seems to be race weekend after race weekend of unlucky events for team Ferrari, driver Charles Leclerc breaks the streak by taking third place on the podium after starting in pole position on the lineup for today’s race.  

   The weather this past weekend in Spa, Belgium, was truly unpredictable and put each team and its drivers to the test. Teams had to rely on its instincts to make prompt decisions on tires, the timing of pit stops, and overall awareness of its drivers’ safety.

   With Sprints being held this weekend, the drivers had to take advantage of this opportunity to gain extra points for their team and confidence for Sunday’s race day. But with the harsh weather, it ended up being a toss-up for most teams.

   During Sprints on Saturday, there was a 50-50 split between whether drivers should pit to change tires or to keep racing. These decisions affected each team differently and made for an exciting race, including giving drivers who have not previously shown results a great chance to get ahead of drivers who have been dominating the circuits all season long. 

   Mclaren driver Oscar Piastri went head to head with Verstappen for first place but eventually gave the first place spot up after an intense battle with the Red Bull driver.

   Piastri, who has never had a top 3 finish, finished 2nd place in Sprints on Saturday and earned the spot of starting 5th on the grid for Sunday’s race. While Piastri’s teammate Lando Norris started 7th.

   For Norris, this weekend has not quite matched his momentum for his previous couple of races. But nonetheless, the British driver scored the Mclaren team 6 points and took 7th place in the Spa Grand Prix. 

   It was a steady weekend for team Mercedes, with both drivers scoring some points. Lewis Hamilton took 4th place, while his teammate George Russell trailed a couple of places behind him, finishing in 6th for their team. 

   Pierre Gasly, the French Alpine driver, showed up for Saturday’s Sprint race and took 3rd—a big win for him and his Alpine team. 

   Unfortunately for Gasly, even with winning the 6 extra points for his team on Saturday’s Sprints, he still finished 11th on Sunday’s race, a few places behind his teammate Esteban Ocon, who finished 8th. 

   Even with a very successful weekend for Leclerc, his teammate Carlos Sainz did not finish today’s race after colliding with Piastri’s Mclaren, resulting in the retirement of both cars. Leaving only one Ferrari to cross the finish line and scoring any points for their team. 

   On his second weekend back racing for Formula 1, Daniel Riccardo found himself placing behind his teammate, Yuki Tsunoda. Tsunoda, taking 10th place in the final, scored 1 point for Team Alfa Tauri. 

   Spa, Belgium, has been an emotional race these past couple of years, especially for some of the French drivers on the grid.

   After the loss of Antonie Hubert, a French F2 racer who died in a multi-car accident during the 2019 Spa-Francorchamps Formula 2 round, this weekend has been deemed to be a sad one. But it also reminds the drivers and their teams that they could meet the same fate as their fellow competitor and friend Hubert.

   Wrapping up a long weekend challenged with unforeseeable weather and unforgotten pasts, the drivers have a little less than a month before they pick back up the season in North Holland, Netherlands, for the Dutch Grand Prix. Being the home of Red Bull racer Max Verstappen, he is undoubtedly counting down the days until he gets to race in front of his home country this 2023 season.

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