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Max Verstappen

Verstappen bullish on Belgian GP win chances

The Dutchman will start Sunday's race from sixth after a grid penalty for excessive component usage.

Max Verstappen has insisted that a five-place grid penalty hasn't damped his chances of winning Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix.

The Dutchman was hit with the grid drop before Friday's running took place, after exceeding his season's permitted quota of gearboxes.

Despite knowing he would not start on pole position, Verstappen laid on a typically dominant performance during Qualifying to set the fastest time by over 0.8s from Charles Leclerc – a bigger margin than that which covered Leclerc in second place to Lando Norris in seventh.

Having won last year's Belgian Grand Prix after starting 14th following a similar penalty, Verstappen was bullish about his chances of winning this year's race from sixth on the grid.

"Last year, we started 14th, and I think this year, the car is better, so I'm still targeting to win the race," Verstappen told media, including RacingNews365.com.

Verstappen could conceivably have waited to change his gearbox and take a grid penalty at a different Grand Prix, but insisted that Spa would give him the best chance to carve his way through the field and hit the front, especially with drier weather forecast for Sunday.

"I think [Spa is] still the best place to [take the penalty]," said Verstappen.

"Sunday looks more and more dry, so that's why we still went for it."

F1 2023 Belgian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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