F1 Driver of the Day – Belgian GP 2023

Max Verstappen won his third Driver of the Day award for the 2023 Formula 1 season with victory at the Belgian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen won Driver of the Day for the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix with another dominant performance in a Red Bull 1-2 to record his eighth consecutive Formula 1 victory.

Verstappen started from sixth following a five-grid place penalty for exceeding the limit of four gearboxes but was quickly up to fourth at the end of the opening lap as Oscar Piastri retired and Carlos Sainz had damage.

He was stuck in a DRS train during the early parts of the race, but eventually overtook Lewis Hamilton and Charles Leclerc by Lap 9.

Eight laps later and Verstappen cruised past teammate Sergio Perez and retained the lead for the rest of the Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.

Verstappen won his third Driver of the Day award of the season with 15 percent of the fan vote. The only accolade he didn’t get was the fastest lap of the race, as Hamilton pitted for new mediums before the last lap and went quickest as he took the chequered flag.

“It’s a new spot [winning from] sixth,” said Verstappen. “I knew that we had a great car and it was just about surviving Turn 1, which I know about. I could see it getting really tight so I was just going to stay out of that and it worked out.

“From there onwards we made the right overtakes and moves. I got a bit stuck in a DRS train at the start but once that cleared I could do my own pace. Again, really enjoyable.”

Verstappen two wins away from more history

In 2013, Sebastian Vettel won the last nine races of the season to set a new record of most F1 wins in a row. Verstappen has won every race since the Miami GP at the start of May and looks unstoppable as F1 enter the summer break.

The big question is how can he be stopped? His lead in the F1 drivers’ championship is 117 points from Perez, so he is set to wrap up his third consecutive title with several rounds remaining.

His victory on Sunday in Belgium was reminiscent of 2022 when he stormed through the field to win from 14th on the grid at Spa. Verstappen is in a league of his own and he will have the home crowd on his side when F1 returns on on August 25-27 for the 2023 Dutch GP.

John Smith
John Smithhttps://total-motorsport.com
Editor at Total-Motorsport.com and all round Motorsport journalist specialising in Formula 1, IndyCar and Formula E.
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