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Verstappen cruises to 8th straight victory with Belgian GP win

Mark Thompson / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Max Verstappen cruised to another victory, winning Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps after starting from sixth on the grid.

The result is Verstappen's eighth straight win and 10th of the 2023 season, which begins its summer break.

The two-time reigning champ's teammate, Sergio Perez, returned to form, crossing the line second and securing a Red Bull 1-2 finish. Red Bull has won all 12 races to start the year, the longest streak to begin a campaign in F1 history. The team has also won a record 13 consecutive races dating back to last year.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, who claimed pole position Friday, rounded out the podium in third. Verstappen went fastest during the qualifying session but was handed a five-place grid penalty for taking an extra gearbox.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton, who finished fourth, pipped Verstappen off the fastest lap on the final trip around the circuit to secure an extra point in the standings. Hamilton now sits one point back from Fernando Alonso for third place in the standings. The seven-time champion's teammate George Russell crossed the line sixth.

The season resumes Aug. 27 with the Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort. At his home grand prix, Verstappen will attempt to tie an F1 record of nine straight victories, currently held by Sebastian Vettel.

Verstappen had another dominant weekend, also winning Saturday's sprint race from pole after being the fastest in the sprint shootout. At 314 points, Verstappen now has a 125-point lead over second-place Perez, which is a larger gap than the one between Checo and eighth-place Lando Norris (69 points).

Both Aston Martin drivers finished in the points, with Alonso placing fifth and Lance Stroll going ninth.

Norris salvaged a rough outing for McLaren by placing seventh but ran as low as 19th in the race. Rookie Oscar Piastri, who posed the only threat to Verstappen in the sprint race and started Sunday's grand prix in fifth, retired after making contact with Ferrari's Carlos Sainz on the opening lap. Sainz also didn't finish.

Alpine's Esteban Ocon placed eighth, while AlphaTauri's Yuki Tsunoda rounded out the points in 10th. Tsunoda now has three points in the driver standings, accounting for all of AlphaTauri's standing at the bottom of the constructors'.

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