Sergio “Checo” Pérez started and finished in the second spot as Red Bull Racing teammate Max Verstappen came from sixth place on the grid to win the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. The Dutchman, who has taken the last two Formula One driver’s championships, has now finished first in 10 of the 12 races held in the 2023 season, also finishing second in Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan.
Pérez’s short-lived lead as Verstappen dominates
The Mexican driver overtook Ferarri’s Charles Leclerc, who had started in pole position, to take the lead on the very first lap, which he held until his first pit stop on lap 13. Verstappen had gradually worked his way up the field in the opening laps and emerged just behind his teammate after his pitting for the first time on lap 14, after which he went on to show his dominance.
The 25-year-old wasted little time in breezing past Pérez and from that moment on, the outcome of the rest was never in doubt, possible mechanical failures aside.
Vestappen’s huge lead in the World Drivers’ Championship
With nine races remaining on the calendar, there is no doubt Verstappen will go on to win his third successive drivers’ championship. The Dutch star holds a whopping 125-point lead over Pérez, who remains in second spot.
The Guadalajara native has, at least, extended his advantage over his nearest challengers for second, former champions Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton, who finished fifth and fourth respectively in Belgium.