Max Verstappen won the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix in emphatic fashion, the reigning champion starting 14th and finishing almost 18 seconds ahead of teammate Sergio Pérez as Red Bull racked up maximum points. But the Dutchman admitted that things might not be so easy next weekend in Zandvoort…
Verstappen made it to P8 behind the Safety Car that came out for Valtteri Bottas’ spin, and then to the podium places soon after. The Dutchman, who extended his championship lead over team-mate and runner-up Perez, was asked if this was the most dominant victory of his F1 career.
“I think if you look at the whole weekend, yes, the car has been amazing since FP1. I don’t think we expected it to be like that, but sometimes it’s nice when things surprise you positively, and it’s been really nice driving the car around here this year.
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“I don’t expect it to be like this every race weekend… just because of the layout of the track, more downforce on the car to go around, less straights as well. So it will definitely be closer, yes.
“But of course we made a bigger gap again which of course is very nice, but we know we have to score points every weekend,” he said.
Belgian Grand Prix 2022: Verstappen crosses the line for second career F1 win at Spa
Verstappen said he was passing a car “every lap” early in the race and explained how he stayed out of trouble on Lap 1, where Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton tangled.
“The hardest thing was lap 1 to stay out of trouble, because he was so hectic in front of me and he didn’t really want to get involved, but yeah, we came out pretty good, then he calmed down with the Safety Car, and basically from there he was literally trying to overtake a car every lap. And once I realized I was third, I could see we could win this race.”
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Belgian Grand Prix 2022: Verstappen takes the lead on lap 18 from Sainz
His teammate Sergio Pérez was pleased with his recovery from a poor start that saw him fall behind Alonso on lap 1, but said he hoped he could find the same performance from the RB18 as Verstappen did on Sunday in the next few races. , as requested by the Mexican. for a different setup than his teammate up front.
“Yes, my weekend did not start well, a very bad start; I struggled a lot, but yeah, luckily we managed to survive and it’s a great team result, obviously a one-two for the team is always welcome. It pushes everyone, everyone works really hard, so it’s always a great result. But on the other hand, I am aware of the difference with Max, so something we need to understand as a team to make sure we can come back stronger for Zandvoort.
“Certainly the car has improved since the start of the season, but yeah, I’m certainly not as comfortable as I was at the start of the season, so it’s something I need to work on on my end to make sure we’re capable.” to get the most out of the car.
“I really hope that from this weekend we will run the cars slightly differently so that we can spot some differences that may bring some performance from our side.”