F1 2023
Round 13

Max Verstappen Wins the Belgian Grand Prix Sprint

be Spa Francorchamps

Round 13 of the season,Belgian Grand Prix sprint took place at Spa Francorchamps. Max Verstappen of Oracle Red Bull Racing, supported by Honda as a Team Partner, won the sprint race.

Max Verstappen Wins the Belgian Grand Prix Sprint

Scuderia AlphaTauri's Daniel Ricciardo was P10, Yuki Tsunoda was P18. Sergio Perez of Oracle Redbull Racing, had to retire.

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen 1
Oracle Red Bull Racing
It wasn’t a straightforward race today, we made the safer call with the pit stop because there was a lot of risk in pitting straight away, I opted to stay out for another lap. After that, as soon as I came out on the intermediates, I could see that we had a lot of pace, it was just a matter of time. The weather of course was challenging today, it was okay from my position, but I understand that the people behind me were still struggling to see. There are some improvements to be made with the visibility, but I think race control did the smart thing today, they took some time to analyse everything and that was wise. At the moment, it looks like our car is fast on the wet and the dry so I’m pretty chilled and looking forward to the race tomorrow.

Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez 11
Oracle Red Bull Racing
It was a shame that we had to retire from the race today and get no points for the team. The conditions were tricky and Lewis ran out of grip and crashed into the side of me. I had massive damage to the sidepods and floor and once we realised the extent of this, we had to retire. It is unfortunate, as today we had some good opportunities and had a great strategy. The race pace was good and I think we could have caught Pierre Gasly. All in all, I think everything was managed well today by race control and we have been really strong the whole weekend and had the pace to fight for pole today. Ultimately, we lost a few points today but we look forward to tomorrow.

Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo 3
Scuderia AlphaTauri
The conditions during Sprint qualifying were fairly similar to yesterday. After yesterday, I felt there was more I could improve on in the corners, and after today I got a little more out of them and feel I’ve made another step forward. It’s my first Sprint qualifying with these shorter sessions, so I think it’s about timing and knowing when to go. In the end, we were the first on track, maybe that hurt us a little with the time, and everyone else was able to improve. It’s not like we expected to have a solid SQ3 car, so maybe our qualifying result isn’t too far off our true pace anyway. All in all, I feel progress has been made, so I’m happy with that.
At the beginning of the Sprint race, we were able to hold the pace and I thought it was good, but as the track dried and it came to the last three laps, I could feel the tyres struggling and the car getting slower. I knew I was P9, and I could still see the Ferrari and Lando (Norris) in the McLaren ahead. They pulled away in the second sector, but I was hanging on in the straights and keeping them in sight. I saw Perez go off, but in the end, I was losing the car quite a lot, and I was overtaken by Russell and Ocon before the chequered flag. After the race, everyone’s tyres looked pretty beat up, but we have to understand why we dropped off more than others. It would’ve been nice to score a point, but I’m glad to see the chequered flag because I don’t know how much longer the tyres could’ve kept me on the track.

Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda 22
Scuderia AlphaTauri
During Sprint qualifying this morning, I made some mistakes and couldn’t put a clean lap together. It’s super frustrating having qualified P16 because that position hurt us this afternoon, but it was my fault. It was better to prioritise the car in front, which was Daniel because he had a much bigger chance to score points than me, so I think the strategy was good. My whole race felt strange because the rear grip was really poor, but together with the team, we'll investigate what happened there tonight, and I hope everything is ok. At the restart following the Safety Car, I had a massive rear lock and I couldn’t control anything, and almost crashed into another car, which would’ve been the worst-case scenario. By starting P16 in these conditions, my main focus was on bringing the car back in the same shape for tomorrow. Luckily, I was able to avoid any incident with any other car or barrier. I’m happy to start P11 tomorrow for the main race, which is the most important one. I miss the points, so I’m hoping we can finish in the top 10 tomorrow.

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