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What Spa Taught Us About Max Verstappen And F1's Newest Dynasty

What Spa Taught Us About Max Verstappen And F1's Newest Dynasty
Eoin Harrington
By Eoin Harrington
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Whisper it very quietly: Max Verstappen is bloody quick in a racing car.

It's hardly news to anyone but, with every passing week, Verstappen proves that he is the real deal, and is already going above and beyond the lofty expectations planted on him at the outset of his career.

He starred last time out in the Hungarian Grand Prix, winning from 10th on the grid - the furthest back he had ever started a race he went on to win. The fact that he beat that record in the very next race this weekend in Belgium is a testament to the level Verstappen is operating at.

It is not just Max Verstappen who is at the top of his game, however. His team at Red Bull are in similarly ominous form, and it is hard to see anyone getting the better of them the way they are operating.

With every race weekend, Verstappen and Red Bull feel more and more like the next great dynasty of Formula 1.

Belgian F1 GP: Max Verstappen sends ominous sign of dominance

When Max Verstappen won his first Formula 1 world championship at the end of last year, it was achieved in contentious circumstances at the final race. Though that isolated Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi was undoubtedly the great F1 controversy of the modern age, nobody could possibly argue that Verstappen wasn't fully worth his world title on the basis of the entire 2021 season.

The Dutchman only finished outside the top two on one occasion all season, and was P2 in every single race his title rival Lewis Hamilton won. It was a season that hinted ominously at what was to come but, even with the new regulations hampering Mercedes, it's hard to believe anyone could have seen Verstappen's 2022 coming.



He started the season on the back foot after losing out to Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and retiring from P2 in both Bahrain and Melbourne, but since then he has been imperious.

Nine wins from 12 races since Bahrain, and P1 in both sprint races. Only two of those wins have come from pole position, and two have come from P10 or lower on the grid.


READ HERE: F1 Drivers Ranked: Mid-Season Power Rankings From 2022


He has utterly dominated this season in a manner that didn't even look improbable, but impossible, after Leclerc won two of the season's first three races. He sits 98 points ahead of the Monégasque in the Ferrari, and 93 ahead of his teammate Sergio Perez in the drivers' championship.

This is dominance masquerading as a title battle, with Max Verstappen putting together one of the most complete seasons we have ever seen in Formula One.

His race win in Belgium on Sunday was the best of the lot, and showed just how high a level that the Dutchman is operating on - but it also showcased just how sensational a performance his team are putting in in tandem with him.


Red Bull started Sunday's race with Verstappen in P14 and Perez in P2 and finished it with the cars inverted in P1 and P2, with Carlos Sainz's Ferrari a scarcely believable 26.6 seconds behind Verstappen in third place.

This is an exceptional case of the best form driver on the grid, in far and away the best car on the grid, wiping the floor with the opposition. The fact that Verstappen was in P8 by the end of the first lap, and in P1 after just 12 laps of Sunday's race, is an astonishing representation of how inevitable his success feels.

It gets to the stage where you ask yourself whether it even matters where Verstappen starts a race. Other than the two races where he failed to finish, and the British Grand Prix where his damaged Red Bull was out of his control, he has once again finished in the top three in every single race. What can his rivals do to stop him, or his car?


The tandem focus on Verstappen's Red Bull is not a slight on him either. Virtually every world champion in the sport's history has had the best car - it is the ability to utilise that and dominate in such a manner that separates the good from the great.

After Sunday, we can safely say that Max Verstappen will be the 2022 F1 world champion. With the amount of races left, he could yet beat Sebastian Vettel's record for most wins in a single season (Vettel took 13 in 2013, Verstappen has nine so far this season with eight races left). Would you doubt that, in his current form, he can also break Vettel's record of nine consecutive race wins?

We're witnessing greatness this year in F1. It's a true shame that the title battle did not last as we had all hoped it would, but watching what Verstappen is capable of week-in-week-out is, at the very least, a spectacular substitute.

Wrapping up from the Belgian Grand Prix

Position Driver Team Points Race wins
1st Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing-RBPT 284 9 (+2 sprint wins)
2nd Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing-RBPT 191 1
3rd Charles Leclerc Scuderia Ferrari 186 3
4th Carlos Sainz Jr Scuderia Ferrari 171 1
5th George Russell Mercedes AMG F1 170 0
  • Driver of the day: This entire piece above is about praising Max Verstappen, who was undoubtedly the star at Spa - so let's give a big honourable mention to Alex Albon, who took a stunning P6 in qualifying and then held off a train of much faster cars to finish in the points for the third time this season.
  • Day to forget: After such promising words were coming out of the Mercedes camp over the summer break, it has to be said that Lewis Hamilton had a fairly disastrous weekend in Belgium. Poor qualifying, followed by a crash which saw him rightly slammed by Fernando Alonso, he will want to move on from Spa quickly.
  • The big question ahead of round #15: Can anyone stop Max Verstappen on home soil? Dutchman Verstappen was born to a Belgian mother, meaning he could achieve a unique feat of winning two home races in a row next weekend at Zandvoort. The title fight may be over, but it would surely bring great satisfaction to Charles Leclerc to stop Verstappen in front of the Oranje.

SEE ALSO: Will Daniel Ricciardo Have An F1 Drive For 2023?

Daniel Ricciardo McLaren F1 driver

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