Max Verstappen blew the competition away once more at Spa, and Sky F1 pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz explained why.
Despite dropping five places on the Belgian Grand Prix grid to P6 following a gearbox change, Verstappen still blitzed the competition to win his third Belgian GP in a row with a margin of over 22 seconds from Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez.
That then makes it eight grand prix wins in a row for Verstappen and his 10th of the F1 2023 campaign so far as he romps towards his third World Championship title on the bounce.
Ted Kravitz reveals the three secrets to Max Verstappen success
Verstappen and race engineer Gianpiero Lambiase had their latest tetchy exchanges during the race, focused around Verstappen’s apparent overuse of the tyre life, but Kravitz explained that Verstappen’s pace advantage over the pack was actually letting him save the tyres in sections of the Spa track where others could not.
The Red Bull RB19 and Verstappen’s ability itself also factored into Kravitz’s reasoning for Verstappen’s Belgian GP dominance.
Spelling out the reasons for Verstappen’s Spa dominance on his ‘Ted’s Notebook’ programme, Kravitz said: “Number one, especially around here, number one, the underlying characteristics of this circuit and the underlying characteristics of this circuit suit the RB19 down to the ground. We’ve seen that over the last few years.
“Number two, he doesn’t need to push in places that other people need to push, which punishes the tyres.
“And that’s why Max always knew, and I’m kind of surprised that GP Lambiase didn’t, although now they clearly he does, but Max always knew that he wasn’t punishing the tyres. That made GP worried here on the pit wall.
“Because he knows that he can save the tyres in the corners that punish the tyres, more than anybody else. And so he can go through Eau Rouge, he can lift a bit in Eau Rouge, he can afford to lift a bit in Eau Rouge and not stress the tyres too much, knowing that he’s going to make the time up elsewhere in a way that doesn’t punish the tyres. That’s reason two.
“And reason three is just the pure ability of Max. That is no better explained than by the fact that Max pulled a 22-second gap on Sergio Perez.
“So there’s your three reasons – ability of Max, he doesn’t need to be pushing in places that kill the tyres and the underlying characteristics of the Red Bull RB19. That’s why Max has been so good this weekend. And all weekends I suppose.”
Verstappen is now 125 points clear of Perez at the top of the Drivers’ Championship.