Verstappen leads Piastri, Gasly for Belgian GP Sprint

SPA, BELGIUM - JULY 29: Sprint winner Max Verstappen of the Netherlands and Oracle Red Bull Racing (second from left), Second placed Oscar Piastri of Australia and McLaren (L), Third placed Pierre Gasly of France and Alpine F1 (second from right) and Jacky Ickx pose for a photo in parc ferme during the Sprint ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on July 29, 2023 in Spa, Belgium. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool // SI202307290465 // Usage for editorial use only //

The Belgian F1 Sprint Race was a rain-impacted affair with the lap count reduced from 15 to 11 after a few formation laps behind the Safety Car for a rolling start procedure. Despite that, it did provide a fun and eventful race with Max Verstappen, Oscar Piastri and Pierre Gasly on the podium.

As the cars started the race, half the field dove into he pits for Intermediate tires while the others stayed out for a single lap on the full wet weather tires to avoid chaos and double-stacking in the pit boxes with all the team personnel in harms way.

Max lost the lead to Oscar Piastri, who stopped before him but eventually passed the rookie Australian for the lead and when. Piastri had a great race and you could forgive him for chewing gum his inters too much because he was trying desperately to keep Verstappen, in a. Much quicker car, behind him.

Pierre Gasly gave Alpine a podium finish at a track that means a lot to him as the location he lost his friend and fellow driver Antoine Hubert. Alpine announced its major senior level management shakeup on Friday and this is a team that desperately needed the result.

It was also a potential sign that Ferrari might have decent pace in Belgium this weekend for the race with a 4th and 5th place finish for Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc respectively. For Sunday’s race, Leclerc will start from pole so Ferrari fans are crossing fingers for a good result.

A tougher Sprint race for Mercedes as Lewis Hamilton really looked good for a P2 or P3 result as his Merc was managing its Inters very well but a clash with Sergio Perez begat a 5s penalty for the 7-time champ and dropped him to 7th place.

Belgian Sprint Race Results:

11Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1124:58.4330
281Oscar PiastriMCLAREN MERCEDES11+6.677s0
310Pierre GaslyALPINE RENAULT11+10.733s0
455Carlos SainzFERRARI11+12.648s0
516Charles LeclercFERRARI11+15.016s0
64Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES11+16.052s0
744Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES11+16.757s0
863George RussellMERCEDES11+16.822s0
931Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT11+22.410s0
103Daniel RicciardoALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT11+22.806s0
1118Lance StrollASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES11+25.007s0
1223Alexander AlbonWILLIAMS MERCEDES11+26.303s0
1377Valtteri BottasALFA ROMEO FERRARI11+27.006s0
1420Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI11+32.986s0
1524Zhou GuanyuALFA ROMEO FERRARI11+36.342s0
162Logan SargeantWILLIAMS MERCEDES11+37.571s0
1727Nico HulkenbergHAAS FERRARI11+37.827s0
1822Yuki TsunodaALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT11+39.267s0
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