By Hong Lau
This was the last week before summer break for the 2023 F1 season. What better place was there than Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps? Spa is one of the most legendary circuits due to its length, speed, elevation, and propensity to rain. Due to the nature of the track, it’s considered a pretty dangerous track to race at (we’ve also had some deaths on this course).
It is also the home track of Max Verstappen (he also is of Dutch heritage, making Zandvoort a home course for him). It’s crazy how Max has three home courses in the Red Bull Ring in Austria, Spa in Belgium and Zandvoort in the Netherlands.
Speaking of the two-time world champion, he cleaned house again at his birthplace for the third year in a row. He has won convincingly for the last three years at Spa. I don’t think anyone thinks they have a legitimate chance at beating Red Bull this year other than a mistake or technical issues. You have to give it to this team; they’ve had an incredible run over the last two seasons. Adrian Newey designed an ANIMAL of a machine; their pit stop team is strong as always, with the fastest pit of the season. Christian Horner continues to be one of the best team principals, and Max Verstappen is the best driver in the world.
Max won the qualifying and sprint shootout to have “pole” for both race events. He started 6th on race day due to his 5-place grid penalty on taking a new gearbox. It obviously didn’t matter as we made our way up the grid quickly and breezed past Sergio Perez.
I think the conversation that needs to continue to be had is how bad he makes Checo look regularly. Everyone expects Max to win, and he does that. Checo should get 2nd as he did, but Max continues to put in blistering times and widen the gap with Checo by a wide margin. He won the race by 20 seconds. Max started in 6th say that again out loud. The first thing you must always do in F1 is beat your teammate…. Max is embarrassing his teammate in the same Machinery.
Congratulations to the dominant first half of the season, Red Bull. 12 Wins in a row on the year… 13 if you count last year’s streak. Max now enters even more elusive air with 8 Wins in a row. This has only been done by two other people. Sebastian Vettel is his Red Bull counterpart. I think Max will and can enter the realm of 12-15 races in a row.
Anyways we’ll see you after the summer break. I don’t know what I will do with almost 30 days of no Formula 1!