Written by Sofia Costantino, Edited by Vyas Ponnuri
Are you ready to dive into the high-speed world of Formula One? Whether you're a seasoned fan, or a newcomer to the sport, there's never been a better time to catch up with everything happening on track this year.
This article has got you covered, from the latest race results and driver standings, to the biggest shocks and controversies. So buckle up, and get ready to experience the thrill of the race like never before!
It’s time for the final round before the summer break, as the F1 paddock rolls on to Belgium for another Sprint event. The excitement of the recently contested Hungarian Grand Prix lasted only a few seconds, that took the single-seaters down 444 metres from the start line to the first corner. And at turn one Lewis Hamilton's pole #104 (first since Jeddah 2021) ended with the illusion of a possible confrontation with Max Verstappen, being overtaken by the Dutchman, also losing second and third to the McLarens of Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris.
The story of the eleventh valid race was written there, the two-time champion finishing half a minute ahead of Norris in second, with his seventh consecutive victory, and giving his Red Bull team a record twelfth win in a row since Abu Dhabi 2022.
With the first half of the 2023 campaign completed, we wonder if the improbable prediction of Mercedes' George Russell at the start of this race will come true, declaring that Red Bull could win them all by then.
So far, no team or driver has achieved this in the history of Formula One! The closest was the Ferrari team with the type 500 (F2 specification), which won 14 consecutive races between 1952 and 1953, excluding the Indianapolis 500, which were part of the World Championship calendar between 1950 and 1960. As Alberto Ascari – the champion of those two seasons – competed with a Ferrari “Special” in the 1952 Indy 500, retiring after 40 laps due to a mechanical failure, he definitely prevented il cavallino from winning them all.
Apart from the historical anomaly of the 500 Miles, during a Formula One world championship, on three occasions a team has almost won them all. In 1988, McLaren scored 15 out of 16 race wins, in 2002, Ferrari took 15 wins from 17 races, and in 2016, Mercedes won a whopping 19 out of 21 races.
Therefore, despite the presence of the most superior driver at the wheel of one of the most dominant single-seaters ever made, it is unlikely – but not impossible – that the RB19 will be the winner of the other 11 races of the 2023 season. Single-seater/driver perfection can be broken in such a long campaign, especially without the dependable help of your teammate, who lately has to climb, rather than dominate behind the alien.
Red Bull's superiority by meritocracy is undeniable, but also the current structure of Formula One is somewhat to blame for the difficulty for other teams to get close. There are too many limitations. The possibility of development is limited by budgetary constraints; trials on the tracks are limited, and regulations are also very limiting and restricted. It prohibits more than is provided for. In addition, too much is penalised: impeding others in qualifying sessions, unsafe pit lane releases, exceeding track limits, etc. Nor is the “remedy” to penalise the one who did it better than the others.
Maybe we have to wait for Max, Adrian Newey, and Red Bull to get tired, or until the new regulatory change in 2026, and maybe someone else will nail the regulation changes.
Meanwhile, the teams and their drivers can become discouraged, but do not give up. While veterans could start to let their guard down, and stop being aggressive, because it's not worth fighting a superior driver/single-seater, it's the youth who inspire progress. It is comforting to see how the new generation complain less, struggle more, and see the results. Earlier this season, Lando Norris finished 17th in four of the first seven races. Now, with his evolved McLaren he finished second in the last two, closely followed by fellow Australian rookie Oscar Piastri. It feels like a breath of fresh air to see these two up in the finishing order, and to see McLaren slowly climbing up in the championship. Perhaps, it is not worrying Verstappen about the win, but as he himself predicts, a failure of the RB19, and in the present day, it is the McLarens who look the closest to victory, to break (not just the trophy of first place in Hungary) the streak of untouchability.
All these exciting things to look out for and more will surely make the Belgium Grand Prix an exciting event for Formula One fans. Be sure to tune in to see how it all unfolds on the track.