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Max Verstappen wins Belgian sprint race, Hamilton hit with penalty

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Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen won the Belgian sprint race. Photo/Motorsport Week
  • Max Verstappen overtook Oscar Piastri of McLaren and defeated him to win a wet Belgian sprint race that was filled with incidents
  • Hamilton was hit with a five-second penalty for causing a collision with Sergio Perez.

Max Verstappen overtook Oscar Piastri of McLaren and defeated him to win a wet Belgian sprint race that was filled with incidents.

Hamilton was hit with a five-second penalty for causing a collision with Sergio Perez.

The Sprint’s opening two circuits of strategy were crucial to the outcome of the race, with drivers who pitted soon after the formation lap gaining the advantage over those who arrived a lap later on lap 1.

F1 wet race conditions. |PHOTO: MotorBiscuits|

Due to Piastri being one of the early stoppers and the Red Bull driver emerging behind him, Verstappen, who started on pole, lost the lead as a result. He didn’t stay there for very long, though, as the defending World Champion took advantage of a restart under the Safety Car following Fernando Alonso’s accident to overtake the McLaren driver and win the Sprint at Spa.

Verstappen was in front of Piastri going into the last lap, while Gasly was trying his best to fend off Hamilton in the battle for the final podium spot. Sainz and Leclerc were in fifth and sixth, respectively, with the latter under pressure from Norris.

Verstappen won the 11-lap Sprint race by six seconds over Piastri, giving the Australian driver his first-ever top-three finish. Gasly finished in third position on a weekend when Alpine needed a boost.

Hamilton’s penalty caused him to drop to seventh place, ahead of Norris and Ocon, placing Sainz fourth ahead of Leclerc and Norris. Ricciardo, a returning driver, came in 10th place, but regrettably, only the top eight drivers received points in the Sprint races.

Hamilton five seconds penalty

Hamilton hit with a five second penalty.Photo/ESPN

At the Stavelot turn, six laps into the reduced race, Hamilton overtook Perez and made contact with him.

The collision severely damaged the sidepod and floor of Perez’s Red Bull RB19, forcing him to retire from the race.

Hamilton fell from fourth to seventh after the checkered flag Due to a five-second penalty from the FIA.

After the incident, Perez originally claimed that he had “no rear grip” and soon dropped in the standings as the field continued to pass him one by one as the laps continued. However, Red Bull saw a hole in Perez’s sidepod and decided to call him in.

After Perez raced wide at Stavelot, Hamilton moved to the inside of him and followed into Curve Paul Frere. However, the Mercedes driver collided with the Red Bull driver in the process, and the stewards chose to penalize the seven-time World Champion for doing so.

Lewis Hamilton thought the punishment he received for crashing into Sergio Perez during the race on Saturday was too harsh.

“My only thought is it’s tricky conditions out there, we’re all trying our best, and of course, it wasn’t intentional,” he added.

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