Zeroes & Heroes at the Belgian GP

Get all the insights, charts & news after the Belgian GP and get ready for the F1 summer break.

Hey there, pit stop pal! 👋

The first half of the 2023 championship has come to an end, with Max Verstappen reigning supreme, but for how much longer?

As for the rest of the pack, they’re locked in a fierce and tight battle to claim the title of the best of the rest.

But even if we’re speeding into the summer break, we’ll still be waiting for some news about new contract signings, extensions and all the off-track drama. Remember, it’s still Silly Season.

In Belgium, even before the action began, Alpine shook things up by announcing the dismissal of some key figures: Laurent Rossi, Otmar Szafnauer, Alan Permane, and Par Fry. Talk about drama within the team!

Likewise, you won’t believe the action on the track! Rain played havoc during Friday’s qualifying and Saturday’s sprint race.

The Grand Prix turned into a wild roller coaster ride, with close battles and some totally unexpected results.

In today’s email:

Speedy Race Review: Detailed info, charts, and analysis on the latest happenings at the Belgian GP.
In-depth Education: Red Bull’s Journey in F1 & their Young Driver Program.
Fast Lane News: Revving up for a quick and friendly roundup of all the Formula 1 buzz!
The Dutch GP: Here’s what to expect one month from now.

Lights out, and away we go!

f1 race reviewSpeedy Race Review

📊 Global race pace after the Belgian GP

  • Spa favors aero efficiency (downforce / drag): Leclerc and Hamilton were competitive (skinnier wing), Norris wasn’t (“barn-door” wing).
  • Once the rain hit (laps 17-26) those running a larger wing (Norris, Russel), gained pace, though!
  • Updates reduced Aston’s drag ➡️ Pace improved here.

💨 Super Sprint Race!

Saturday’s sprint race was heavily affected by rain, leading to a half-hour delay, 5 formation laps and a flying start, which left only 11 laps of actual racing action.

Verstappen briefly slipped down to second behind Piastri, but the Dutchman quickly snatched back the lead from the Australian, while Gasly held onto a solid third place.

These three were the ones who took the podium places, which is a great result for both Piastri and Gasly.

Meanwhile, Hamilton and Perez were battling it out like there was no tomorrow.

Considering each team’s quicker driver:

🔵 RB 1st
🟠 McL 2nd (+0.69s/lap)
🟢 Mercedes 3rd (+0.90s/lap)
🔴 Ferrari 4th (+1.04s/lap)
🔵 Alpine 5th (+1.06s/lap) (Very solid!)

The traffic impacted some driver’s pace significantly (e.g. NOR) – Read More (ES)

🥇 Verstappen’s Dominance: Where’s the Limit?

Max Verstappen has achieved a staggering eight consecutive wins and holds a massive 125-point lead over his teammate Sergio Perez in the championship.

The Dutchman once again nailed a flawless weekend, showing his superiority over everyone else. He was simply unbeatable!

He showcased his brilliance during qualifying, outpacing second-place Leclerc by a remarkable 8 tenths of a second.

The Dutch driver started sixth due to a 5-place penalty for changing the gearbox, but it wasn’t an obstacle for him to claim the victory.

On lap 17, he already caught up with Pérez to take the lead, winning the race by over 22 seconds. His dominance is scary as we don’t know how far it will go – Read More

He was even in a cheeky mood and honestly this is the only reason I listen to his radios. The dynamic between him and GP is worthy of a stand-up comedy show.

To add to the drama, the team once again managed to break his trophy!

💬 Will Buxton sums up pretty well the entire dominance & records situation

The thing with stats and records in F1 is there’s always nuance and counterpoints. So the Red Bull record 12 wins in a row might or might not be a record depending on how you look at it and history. 🧵

Read the Twitter Thread here

📈 Team improvements over the 2023 season

Each Team’s Gap to Red Bull in Race Pace over the 2023 Season so far, Expressed as a moving average.

⬆️ Williams with some impressive Development
⏫ McLaren gaining about 7-9 tenths to Red Bull!
🔽 Aston with work to do

💃 Performance Dance Continues: Ferrari, Mercedes, McLaren, and Aston in the Mix

At Spa, Ferrari totally bounced back and became the second fastest team, just behind Red Bull.

Leclerc was absolutely killing it, showing incredible pace and securing a well-deserved third place in the race.

It looks like the improvements they made to the SF-23 really paid off!

The car’s performance was way better compared to Silverstone and Hungaroring, and Leclerc was cruising comfortably in third place.

We’re not happy with the first part of the season, but I think this last race has us smiling a little bit more.

Charles Leclerc

🟢 On the other hand, Alonso, who had a rough time with an Aston Martin that lacked pace in previous races, made a strong comeback in Spa, finishing fifth with a pace reminiscent of the early season.

🟠 McLaren, the surprise package in recent races, took a different approach at Spa by going for higher downforce, which worked well in wet conditions but didn’t suit them in the race due to their lower top speed.

Despite this, Norris skillfully handled his soft tires, completing 27 laps and securing a commendable seventh-place finish, the best possible position for him.

Lando’s pace when the rain was falling was absolutely ridiculous.

Lap 20: 3.988s quicker than VER
Lap 21: 1.146s quicker than VER
Lap 22: 1.600s quicker than VER
Lap 23: 0.327s quicker than VER


🎢 Heroes & Zeroes: Piastri, Tsunoda, Sainz and Ricciardo

Piastri and Sainz had a little bump at the first corner of Sunday’s race, and it ended up with both of them retiring.

They were both at fault for the incident – Sainz was being quite aggressive, and Piastri was being a bit too optimistic.

But hey, despite that, Piastri keeps showing us he’s got some serious potential!

He outqualified Norris in both qualifying and the sprint race, coming in a fantastic second.

I bet it won’t be long before Piastri grabs his first podium finish in Formula 1.

And let’s not forget the other star of the weekend – Yuki Tsunoda! He finished tenth and scored points for the third time this season.

He celebrated it like a champ, even comparing himself to the Aston Martin.

I knew we would have problems with the rain, but even so it didn’t go too badly. I was able to qualify in eleventh position and get the most out of the car in the race.

So I’m happy, because especially in the last few races I suffered quite a bit.

The start was very good and also the first stint we were fast. I think we were able to match the pace of the Aston Martin.

And I think that first stint was the key to score points because Alpine was still much faster than us.

Yuki Tsunoda

He totally rocked it, even outperforming his new teammate Daniel Ricciardo, who could only manage sixteenth place.

But you know what? Despite that tough result, the Australian stays positive and optimistic.

He’s confident that after the summer break, he’ll be able to show everyone his real skills and shine on the track.

🤬 Prost: “Alpine was run by an inept, incompetent, and arrogant”

Alain Prost has not held back in expressing his criticism of the former CEO of Alpine, Laurent Rossi. He accuses Rossi of obstructing the progress of the French team:

“He was Alpine’s boss for 18 months and thought he understood everything from the start, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. His management stopped the momentum the team had built since 2016, achieving these podiums and that victory.”

After the departure of some key figures, the team is now facing a significant restructuring.

It remains to be seen how they will navigate through these changes and move forward. – Read More (ES)

f1 race reviewRed Bull’s Journey in F1 Journey & their Young Driver Program

In a mere fifteen years, Red Bull, the energy drink brand, has transformed from an unknown player in F1 to forging one of the most victorious teams ever. But how did they achieve it?

Let’s delve into their intriguing history and explore their renowned young driver program.


f1 race reviewFast Lane News

😫 ‘It was painful’ – Norris describes McLaren’s straight-line speed struggles after surprise P7 finish in Belgium. – Read More

🔥 Why the Alpine F1 Team is such a hot mess. – Read More

📻 Horner addresses any concern of a Red Bull feud after spicy radio messages. – Read More

🛞 Why Aston and McLaren are testing F1 Pirellis they may never race. – Read More

💥 F1 risks “catastrophe” if engine move ends up in BOP, warns Wolff. – Read More

🧐 Lewis Hamilton delivers intriguing upgrade prediction after summer break. – Read More

🙊 Helmut Marko reveals only two drivers who could challenge Max Verstappen. – Read More

🎯 Carlos Sainz fires sly jibe at Oscar Piastri. – Read More

f1 race reviewThe Dutch GP 2023

🇳🇱 Scheduled 25-27 August

Circuit Zandvoort, Netherlands

1️⃣ Circuit length: 4.259 km
2️⃣ Number of laps: 72
3️⃣ Lap record: 1:11.097 Lewis Hamilton (2021)
4️⃣ Corners & DRS: 14 corners with 2 DRS zones

f1 race reviewMEME OF THE DAY