2022 Belgian Grand Prix - Sunday
“Spa is a unique track, so it was great to hear that it will remain on the Formula 1 calendar next year. This year was a huge success run in variable weather conditions throughout the weekend, with 360,000 spectators witnessing an excellent show full of overtaking moves, in which our tyres played a key role. We saw a great race, with the hard being used by the majority of drivers. We will analyse all the data at our disposal but to hear on the radio that it was two-tenths of a second faster than expected was a fantastic achievement for us. Even though we knew that today’s conditions would be warmer than they were on Friday and Saturday, it was interesting to see the variety of strategies used, given the weather, track evolution, and a higher degree of degradation than expected. There were no problems with graining and the degradation was essentially thermal. We had no issues with the latest track modifications here either, thanks to our experience at the recent Spa 24 Hours, which was held during the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend with Pirelli bringing 17,000 tyres. Congratulations to Red Bull for a one-two finish today with truly impressive race pace.”
TYRE TALES: HOW THE RACE WAS WON
Owing to grid penalties, Verstappen started the race from 14th on the grid, opting for the P Zero Red soft tyre to make his way rapidly through the field during the opening stages. By lap 12 he had taken the lead, which he held until his first stop on lap 16 for P Zero Yellow medium tyres. Two laps later he was back in the lead, and he was able to make his final pit stop for another set of new mediums, 14 laps from the finish, without losing his advantage. He went on to take his second consecutive win from the midfield after Hungary, where he started 10th on the grid.
BEST OF THE REST: THE ALTERNATIVE STRATEGY
There was a wide variety of strategies today, with three different strategies in the top three. Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, who finished second, didn't use the soft tyre: instead starting on the medium from the front row of the grid before taking on a second set of mediums and then the P Zero White hard for his final stint. Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz used the soft tyre to lead from pole, maintaining his advantage until his first stop on lap 12 – and using all three compounds to finish on the podium. In total, 16 cars stopped twice and two stopped three times.
WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR NEXT
The Dutch Grand Prix next weekend: one of the shortest distances to travel between races, with Zandvoort situated just over 300 kilometres from Spa. A convoy of 12 Pirelli trucks will make the six-hour journey.