Max Verstappen and Red Bull are on for the most dominant F1 season to date winning every race in the first half of the year.
Max Verstappen won his eigth straight race at the Belgian Grand Prix and took Red Bull to a record breaking 12th consecutive win of the season, a record that has stood since 1988 set by the ever so dominant McLaren MP4/4 which won 15 out 16 races that year. Red Bull look unbeatable this season having won every race before the summer break with Verstappen winning 10 and Perez on two.
During the closing stages of the Belgian Grand Prix, Verstappen asked the team to pit for a fresh set of soft tyres so he could set the fastest lap. Joking that the extra stop would make for "pitstop practice" as the Dutch driver put it on the radio however the team denied him the chance of going for the extra point that comes with fastest lap which would eventually go to Lewis Hamilton. As seen in previous races Verstappen has pitted a couple laps towards the end to go for the extra point which has helped him build up a 125 point gap over teammate Sergio Perez in the drivers championship.
Thanks to the 125 point gap in the drivers championship Verstappen can now come second in every grand prix for the rest of the 2023 season no matter who wins and still win the championship. The gap in the championship also means that Verstappen can push his luck at Red Bull and take more risks. Love him or hate him you cannot deny that the two time world champion is on a different level compared to the rest of the grid.
When asked why the team did not pit Verstappen in the final laps at Spa circuit, Red Bull team principal Christain Horner said, "We didn't want to get too greedy, because we won the sprint race yesterday, a 1-2 finish today, we didn't want to end up with egg on our face, compromising that in any way. To give away one point, I don't think anybody will lose too much sleep over it tonight."
Red Bull and Christian Horner clearly do not want to get ahead of themselves and make mistakes even if there is the slim possibility. Meanwhile Verstappen did not know whether to reply seriously or with a bit of sarcasm on the radio when his pitstop requested was denied. Verstappen also has an average score of 26.2 points a weekend now which is more than what can be scored on a normal grand prix weekend.
Quotes from motorsport.com