6 Winners and 5 Losers from the Belgian Grand Prix – Who shone in the Spa sunshine?

Max Verstappen picked up where he left off before the summer break as he pulverized his rivals with an outstanding fightback drive at Spa-Francorchamps. But it wasn’t so enjoyable for everyone. We’ve picked our six winners and five losers from the Belgian Grand Prix…

Winner: Max Verstappen

We’re running out of superlatives for Max Verstappen, so impressive has the Dutch reigning world champion been this year. His drive at Spa from 14th to victory was the best fightback of his career.

The win was his ninth in 14 Grands Prix this season, just one short of his tally of 10 in 2021 with eight races still to go. His lead in the drivers’ championship is 93 over Sergio Perez and 98 over Charles Leclerc. A second title, based on this form, is looking like a formality.

READ MORE: ‘I don’t expect it to be like that every single race weekend’ says Verstappen after leading dominant Red Bull 1-2


Verstappen was simply unstoppable

Loser: Lewis Hamilton

It’s not often that Lewis Hamilton makes mistakes, but Sunday was one of those days. After a strong start, he launched an attack on Fernando Alonso up the Kemmel Straight but didn’t leave his old foe enough space and they touched, pitching Hamilton into the air.

His Mercedes landed heavily and while he briefly continued, the team told him to stop the car and retire from the race. That’s the fifth first-lap retirement of his career – three of which have happened at Spa.

READ MORE: ‘It was my fault’ – Hamilton takes blame for Lap 1 clash with Alonso, as Spaniard clears up ‘idiot’ comments

Winners: Red Bull

Red Bull had only won one race from outside the top-six prior to Hungary. Now they’ve won two in a row. With Perez following him home, they secured their fourth one-two of the season.

ONBOARD: Hamilton and Alonso’s views of their first-lap collision at Spa

That healthy points haul puts them 118 points clear of Ferrari in the constructors’ championship, as they chase a first constructors’ championship since 2013. Ending that barren run looks inevitable.

FACTS AND STATS: Verstappen becomes only second driver to win successive races from outside top 9

Loser: Valtteri Bottas

This was not the 33rd birthday Valtteri Bottas would have been hoping for. The Finn lined up 13th, which was lucky considering how many engine penalties he had taken for fresh components.

But we didn’t get to see what the Alfa Romeo ace was really capable of, as he was collected by an out-of-control Nicholas Latifi, which pitched him into the gravel where he got beached.


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Not the race Bottas was hoping for on his birthday

Winners: Alpine

Fernando Alonso’s fifth tied Alpine’s best result of the season, achieved twice by the Spaniard and once by his team mate Esteban Ocon. It was his ninth consecutive points finish, despite that first lap collision with Hamilton.

Ocon recovered from 16th on the grid to finish an impressive seventh, making it four double points finishes for Alpine, who are now 20 points clear of McLaren in the constructors’ championship.

Loser: Charles Leclerc

This wasn’t Charles Leclerc’s day. Having started from 15th because of a string of engine penalties, he clawed his way up to ninth, only to be forced into an early pit stop because a visor tear-off became lodged in the brake duct.

READ MORE: Leclerc demoted to P6 at Spa after pit lane speeding penalty – and admits title chances ‘start to look very difficult’

That tear-off caused a sensor failure, said Ferrari boss Mattia Binotto, leading to Leclerc exceeding the pit lane speed limit to trigger a five-second penalty. That dropped him to sixth after the flag. He has just one podium in the last nine Grands Prix.


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A late pit stop proved to be Leclerc’s undoing in Belgium

Winner: Sebastian Vettel

Sebastian Vettel may have started inside the top 10 courtesy of grid penalties for others, but the German made the most of the position to utilize Aston Martin’s race pace and finish comfortably in the points.

He ran inside the top five at one stage, and while he dropped back to P8, it was still Aston Martin’s best result since Baku. They are now just five points behind AlphaTauri in the fight for P8 in the championship.

READ MORE: Vettel labels P8 finish in Belgian GP ‘solid’ – but calls on Aston Martin to fix their ‘Achilles’ heel’

Losers: Haas

Kevin Magnussen admitted his Haas team figured it “wasn’t going to be such a strong weekend” because of the track characteristics – and so it proved.

Neither he nor team mate Mick Schumacher had the pace to fight for the points at Spa, meaning the American team have now gone three Grands Prix without finishing inside the top 10.


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Haas didn’t have the pace to compete on Sunday

Winner: Pierre Gasly

Pierre Gasly was fuming, and understandably so, when he was pushed off the grid and into the AlphaTauri garage just moments before the formation lap. And up until 90 seconds before the start, he thought his chances of competing were over.

But the team got him out in what was his 100th Grand Prix, and he showed strong pace, particularly in the closing stages of the race, to finish ninth – the team’s first points since Baku in June.

READ MORE: Russell left to ponder ‘what could have been’ after settling for P4 finish in Belgium

Losers: McLaren

McLaren boss Andreas Seidl said that warmer conditions on Sunday contributed to a worse than expected pace and meant that their chances of scoring points were dealt a bigger blow.

Daniel Ricciardo actually ran inside the top 10 for much of the race, but dropped back in the final stint, and both the Australian and his teammate Lando Norris couldn’t push up. That’s their first point-less race since Canada.


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It was a tough day for McLaren with no points to show for themselves

Winner: Alex Albon

Alex Albon gave Williams their second Q3 appearance of the season with a stunning performance to end up ninth – which became sixth on the grid thanks to penalties for others.

The car’s strong straight-line speed provided some help in trying to defend the position, but he gradually fell back. That said, he still had the pace and racecraft to secure a point – Williams’ third of the season and first since way back in Miami.

READ MORE: Russell left to ponder ‘what could have been’ after settling for P4 finish in Belgium

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