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Belgian Grand Prix 2023

Winners and Losers from the 2023 F1 Belgian Grand Prix

Another victory for Red Bull and Verstappen, but an intriguing race behind them. Here are the Winners and Losers for the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix.

While the Belgian Grand Prix did not provide the mid-race drama that usually comes when rain hits the track, there was still some intriguing battles playing out across the field.

It took slightly longer than expected for Max Verstappen to take the lead, while George Russell and Fernando Alonso gave us some entertainment in the midfield.

For some drivers it was a good weekend to round out the first half of the season, while for others it was a sign that things must improve. Here is the winners and losers from the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix.

Winners - Red Bull

There is just no stopping Red Bull and Max Verstappen.

It took him 17 laps, but Verstappen eventually got the job done and even toiled with doing an extra pit stop in the process to set the fastest lap - he was that far ahead of Sergio Perez.

As Verstappen looks set to break Red Bull's own record of nine wins in a row during a season, talk has turned to whether they can win each of the remaining races of the season.

At the start of the season you would say there are multiple factors that could stop them, but as the last 12 races have shown it will take a lot more to stop them.

Hopefully they can stop breaking trophies!

What did Red Bull say?

"All credit to everybody back in Milton Keynes, this result is their result and the way they’re applying themselves is the reason that we’re making the history we’re currently making."

Losers - Mercedes

I don't think Mercedes will be satisfied with their Belgian Grand Prix weekend.

Communication issues between their drivers in both qualifying sessions cost them higher starting positions, while George Russell often looked lost throughout the weekend.

Lewis Hamilton believes they were suffering badly from the 'bouncing' again, which plagued them for most of the 2022 season.

This was meant to be the main issue that they sorted by switching car concept at the Monaco Grand Prix. But if its still a problem as high-speed tracks, they will likely have a tough start to the second half with races at Monza and Zandvoort.

The team has worked hard to turn around their fortunes, but can they stay ahead of their rivals in the tight development race behind Red Bull?

What did Mercedes say?

"With the everchanging weather and a sprint race thrown into the mix, it's been a challenging weekend in Spa. At times, our pace has been good. However, on the slicks today, we needed another tenth to be able to challenge for a podium."

Losers - Carlos Sainz

The Belgian GP is a missed opportunity for Carlos Sainz after a tangle with Oscar Piastri in the first few meters, which ultimately caused race-ending damage.

The Ferrari driver was quick to blame Piastri for the collision, who he felt should have backed out from the inside line.

When you look at where teammate Charles Leclerc finished, you can't help but wonder if he threw away an opportunity to capitalise on a poor weekend for Mercedes.

What did Sainz say?

"Not the way I wanted to finish the first part of the season. Hamilton stayed behind Perez and I attacked him on the inside. Then came the contact with Oscar and that was it, a racing incident, but in my opinion Oscar was way too optimistic as he was never side by side with me and making that move from behind has never really worked here in Spa."With the everchanging weather and a sprint race thrown into the mix, it's been a challenging weekend in Spa. At times, our pace has been good. However, on the slicks today, we needed another tenth to be able to challenge for a podium.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Winner - Charles Leclerc

A third place podium for Charles Leclerc when he started on pole is probably all he expected given the dominance of Red Bull.

He was largely hampered by fuel saving towards the end, owning to the lack of running throughout the weekend due to the rain.

This left him vulnerable to Lewis Hamilton, but with the Mercedes driver managing his own issues, it enabled Leclerc to seal the final podium place for Ferrari heading into the summer break.

It's clear more needs to be done for Ferrari to ensure they can stay ahead of Mercedes, McLaren, and Aston Martin.

What did Leclerc say?

"Third was the best result we could have achieved today. We knew that the Red Bulls would be quicker than us, so our target was to maximise points with the package we have, and we did that. We had to base our strategy on Lewis' (Hamilton). He had a good pace and we had to make sure we kept him behind us."

Loser - Oscar Piastri

It was a disappointing end to Oscar Piastri's race when he collided with Carlos Sainz, after having such a brilliant weekend.

The McLaren driver had an impressive Sprint race by finishing on the podium in the tricky conditions, and looked set to be mixing up with the front runners on Sunday.

But it wasn't meant to be for the rookie, after making probably his only big mistake so far this season.

Nearly 12 months on from the Alpine contract saga, you could argue that he is having a much better time at McLaren.

What did Piastri say?

"A disappointing end to the weekend. I had my nose in there at Turn One and got a bit caught out with Carlos darting to the inside. My nose was in there, I couldn’t get out of that one, so a shame to have my race over so early. It’s still been a positive weekend though and all in all, I think we’ve had some good learning on track so we can still be confident for the rest of the year."

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

Winner - Yuki Tsunoda

It's just the third occasion that Yuki Tsunoda and AlphaTauri have scored points this year.

The Japanese driver ran in the points consistently throughout the race and managed to fend off Pierre Gasly at the end.

Gasly demonstrated he had enough pace to finish on the podium on Saturday, so it was impressive that Tsunoda could harness the strengths of the AT04 and deliver a crucial points finish.

What did Tsunoda say?

"It’s been a long time since I scored points, and I’ve been struggling in the last few races, so I’m very happy now. We were slightly lucky with a couple of cars retiring in front of us, but I felt really comfortable during the race."

F1 2023 Belgian Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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