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Max Verstappen Wins Shortest-Ever Formula 1 Race In Belgium

Photo Credit: Steve Etherington for Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix Ltd.


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Despite the best efforts of the 20 Formula 1 drivers and teams, the ultimate winner of this weekend racing at Belgium’s Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps was the weather. Complicating Saturday’s qualifying for the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix by soaking the fast Eau Rouge section of the popular race track, rain continued into Sunday greatly hindering what was supposed to have been a 44-lap event. Instead of pole sitter Max Verstappen leading the field with his #33 Red Bull Racing RB16B race car, the vehicle at the front during the limited laps around the course was the safety car. In fact, the lap count at the end of the Belgium Grand Prix would be a series record for the shortest grand prix ever to be run by Formula 1.


Conditions ahead of the start Belgian Grand Prix instantly signalled how miserable the weather competitors, track workers and race fans would have to endure as Formula 1 attempted to run the race on Sunday afternoon. As drivers took to the grid for the race, the #11 Honda-powered Red Bull Racing car driven by Sergio Perez nosed itself into the tire barrier at turn 8 in at Les Combes. The Mexican driver admitted to making a mistake by hitting a curb but extreme wet weather and low visibility was a massive challenge not only for the two-time grand prix winner but everyone competing.


Photo Credit: Steven Tee/LAT Images/Pirelli



Race Stewards attempted to begin the event about 25 minutes after the originally-intended start time with a few formation laps completed by the field. However, instead of starting the Belgian Grand Prix, a red flag was called. In an attempt to wait out the rain showers, Formula 1 Race Director Michael Masi eventually decided to stop the clock for what was the customary three-hour time limit. During this delay, the Red Bull Racing crew was permitted to repair the #11 car and would return Sergio Perez to the grid when the next attempt was made to salvage the race.


Waiting more than three hours since the originally planned start of the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix, the Race Direction decision was made to call the race completed after just three laps of parading behind the Mercedes-AMG GT R safety car. With the grid position closely mirroring the end results on Sunday, the win of the event was rewarded to pole sitter Max Verstappen. The victory for Dutch driver comes a week ahead of Formula 1's long-awaited return to the Circuit Zandvoort in the Netherlands. After a stellar qualifying performance that placed him and his #63 Williams Racing car on the front row, George Russell scored second. The young British driver’s first Formula 1 podium, the result was William Racing’s first top-three finish since Lance Stroll’s third place at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.


Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/LAT Images/Pirelli



Taking third place and the final podium spot, Mercedes-AMG driver Lewis Hamilton lost five points to Max Verstappen in the World Drivers’ Championship. Arriving at the Dutch Grand Prix, Hamilton stands just three points ahead of his Red Bull Racing rival.


The rain-shortened event in Belgium was Daniel Ricciardo’s highest finish since joining the McLaren team ahead of the 2021 season. Ricciardo’s teammate Lando Norris started Sunday’s race in 15th after his team was able to repair his #4 car after a dramatic crash in Q3 of qualifying suffering only a five-grid place penalty after requiring a transmission change. Norris finished 14th due to Sergio Perez dropping to 19th place following his pre-race crash.


Sebastian Vettel captured the fifth place spot for Aston Martin Racing ahead of Pierre Gasly who was rewarded with sixth place for Scuderia AlphaTauri. Hungarian Grand Prix winner Esteban Ocon enjoyed a seventh place result for the Alpine F1 Team. The Scuderia Ferrari team cars of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr. sandwiched the second Williams Racing vehicle of Nicholas Latifi for the final spots in the top 10. Due to the drastically shortened event, only half points were rewarded to the top 10 finishers.

 

The next event for the 2021 Formula 1 schedule is the Dutch Grand Prix with a 72-lap race set for September 5th.


2021 Formula 1 Season
Belgian Grand Prix
Race Results
Pos # Car # Driver Team Engine
1 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Honda
2 63 George Russell Williams Racing Mercedes-Benz
3 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes-Benz
4 3 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren F1 Team Mercedes-Benz
5 5 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team Mercedes-Benz
6 10 Pierre Gasly Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda
7 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine F1 Team Renault
8 16 Charles Leclerc Scuderia Misson Winnow Ferrari Ferrari
9 6 Nicholas Latifi Williams Racing Mercedes-Benz
10 55 Carlos Sainz Jr Scuderia Misson Winnow Ferrari Ferrari
11 14 Fernando Alonso Alpine F1 Team Renault
12 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes-Benz
13 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari
14 4 Lando Norris McLaren F1 Team Mercedes-Benz
15 22 Yuki Tsunoda Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda
16 47 Mick Schumacher Uralkali Haas F1 Team Ferrari
17 9 Nikita Mazepin Uralkali Haas F1 Team Ferrari
18 7 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari
19 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing Honda
20 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team Mercedes-Benz
2021 Formula 1 Drivers' World Championship Points (After Belgian Grand Prix)
Driver Total Points
1 Lewis Hamilton 202.5
2 Max Verstappen 199.5
3 Lando Norris 113
4 Valtteri Bottas 108
5 Sergio Perez 104
6 Carlos Sainz Jr 83.5
7 Charles Leclerc 82
8 Daniel Ricciardo 56
9 Pierre Gasly 54
10 Esteban Ocon 42
11 Fernando Alonso 38
12 Sebastian Vettel 35
13 Lance Stroll 18
14 Yuki Tsunoda 18
15 George Russell 13
16 Nicholas Latifi 7
17 Kimi Raikkonen 2
18 Antonio Giovinazzi 1
19 Mick Schumacher 0
20 Nikita Mazepin 0
2021 Formula 1 Contructors' Points (After Belgian Grand Prix)
Constructor Engine Total Points
1 Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes-Benz 310
2 Red Bull Racing Honda 303
3 McLaren F1 Team Mercedes-Benz 169
4 Scuderia Misson Winnow Ferrari Ferrari 165
5 Alpine F1 Team Renault 80
6 Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda 72
7 Aston Martin Cognizant F1 Team Mercedes-Benz 53
8 Williams Racing Mercedes-Benz 20
9 Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari 3
10 Uralkali Haas F1 Team Ferrari 0



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