Belgian GP: 2 winners and 2 losers at Spa-Francorchamps

Formula 1 returned at the weekend as the Belgian Grand Prix played out at Spa-Francorchamps, with Max Verstappen dominating.

The Dutchman and his Red Bull were in a league of their own all weekend, with him able to take the hit of several grid penalties and still roar to a commanding victory, with team-mate Sergio Perez coming home in a comfortable second.

It would be easy to label them the big winners from the weekend, then, and so we’ve taken a look at two other parties who had great Sundays, as well as two losers who might have wished the summer break could have continued a little longer…

Winner – Alex Albon

It was a brilliant weekend for Albon.

The Thai/British driver drove superbly over the course of the event, with him getting his Williams into Q3 on merit and achieving ninth in qualifying, before that was then P6 on the grid thanks to penalties applied to drivers in front of him.

He obviously had the tough task of keeping quicker cars behind him but he stuck to said task well and brought home a point for the team – a great performance from start to finish.

Loser – McLaren

Whilst Alpine scored double points in the battle for fourth place in the Constructors’, McLaren left Spa without a single one to show for their efforts.

Both Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo were unable to finish inside the top ten and both will be eager to head to Zandvoort and try and do better.

The battle for fourth will twist and turn more, though, and McLaren can take heart from that.

SPA, BELGIUM – AUGUST 27: Daniel Ricciardo of Australia driving the (3) McLaren MCL36 Mercedes on track during final practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on August 27, 2022 in Spa, Belgium. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

Winner – Esteban Ocon

Whilst Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc were climbing up the order, Esteban Ocon was doing exactly the same with him pulling off some thrilling overtakes along the way.

The Frenchman was clearly enjoying himself out on track and was very good value for the 7th place finished that he picked up by the chequered flag.

With him there and Fernando Alonso in fifth it was, as mentioned, a very good day for Alpine in their championship battle with McLaren.

Loser – Lewis Hamilton

Hamilton was hoping for a better Sunday after a qualifying display that saw him 1.8 seconds off of Max Verstappen but it was over, essentially, five corners in.

His clash at Les Combes with Fernando Alonso was a clumsy one and as he popped up in the air and then crashed back down, it was clear the Merc had sustained terminal damage, with Lewis pulling over before lap one was done.

He’ll be eager to get to Zandvoort and see what he can do, but Red Bull’s dominance this weekend suggests that getting that elusive first win of the year is going to be very difficult indeed.

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