Verstappen refuerza su liderato y conquista el GP de Bélgica con una remontada histórica / F1 champ Max Verstappen surges from 14th to win Belgian GP

El neerlandés Max Verstappen reforzó aún más su sólido liderato en el Mundial de Fórmula Uno al encabezar un ‘doblete’ de Red Bull junto al mexicano Sergio Pérez en el Gran Premio de Bélgica, disputado este domingo en el circuito de Spa-Francorchamps, donde el español Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) acabó tercero.

Verstappen, de 24 años, dejó bien claro que quiere revalidar el título cuanto antes al firmar, con vuelta rápida incluida y después de haber salido decimocuarto, su novena victoria del año, la vigésima octava desde que corre en la F1; en una carrera que el otro español, el doble campeón mundial asturiano Fernando Alonso (Alpine), concluyó quinto.

Alonso se clasificó justo detrás del inglés George Russell (Mercedes) -que fue cuarto-, al beneficiarse de la sanción de cinco segundos -por exceder el límite de velocidad en el ‘pit lane’- que recibió el monegasco Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), que había cruzado quinto la meta, pero perdió, por el citado motivo, una plaza.

El francés Esteban Ocon (Alpine) acabó séptimo, un puesto por delante del cuádruple campeón mundial alemán Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin).

El francés Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri) y el tailandés Alexander Albon (Williams) también entraron en los puntos al concluir noveno y décimo, respectivamente.

‘Checo’ ascendió a la segunda plaza del Mundial, a 93 puntos de los 284 con los que lidera Verstappen, después de firmar su vigésimo segundo podio en la F1. Sainz, que ya es cuarto en el campeonato -con 171-, subió por decimotercera vez a un ‘cajón’ de la categoría reina.

La próxima prueba, el Gran Premio de los Países Bajos, se disputará el próximo fin de semana en Zandvoort. EFE

First place, Red Bull driver Max Verstappen of the Netherlands, right, speaks with second place Red Bull driver Sergio Perez of Mexico sin the Parc Ferme after the Formula One Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps racetrack in Spa, Belgium, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert, Pool)

F1 champ Max Verstappen surges from 14th to win Belgian GP

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium (AP) — Formula One championship leader Max Verstappen quickly carved his way through the field from 14th to win the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday and widen his lead in the title race.

Verstappen, who in the final race before F1′s summer break drove from 10th to win the Hungarian Grand Prix, produced another imperious drive and moved closer to a second straight world title.

“It’s been a weekend I couldn’t have imagined before,” Verstappen said. “But I think we want more of them and we’ll keep working hard.”

His lead in the standings is now 93 points — but it is over Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez because Charles Leclerc dropped to third in another poor Ferrari showing.

“It was quite a hectic first lap to try and stay out of trouble. So many things were happening in front of me, picked the right places to pass people, looked after our tires,” Verstappen said. “Once we were in the lead, it was all about managing everything but this whole weekend has been incredible.”

Verstappen was leading the race by Lap 12, and he earned a bonus point for fastest lap. His third straight win was his ninth this season and 29th overall.

“Amazing Sunday guys, haha!” Verstappen said on his radio after crossing the line.

“Max you have been brilliant, class of your own all weekend,” team principal Christian Horner replied.

The 24-year-old Verstappen — the youngest driver to win a race when he was 18 — said it was probably the most complete drive of his career.

“If you look at the whole weekend, yes,” he said. “This track just seemed to be perfect for the car.”

Perez finished second to jump ahead of Leclerc in the season standings.

“It’s a great team result,” Perez said.

Carlos Sainz Jr. started from pole for Ferrari and finished a disappointing third. Leclerc started 15th and finished fifth behind the Mercedes of George Russell, but Leclerc dropped to sixth after he was handed a five-second penalty for speeding in the pit lane.

That pushed Alpine driver Fernando Alonso into fifth, and Leclerc, who is now 98 points behind Verstappen in the standings, was shocked by the penalty and appeared defeated in the championship race.

“I didn’t even know, no one told me,” a surprised Leclerc said of the penalty. “Why did I get the penalty?”