SEOUL, South Korea (AP) – Max Verstappen (Red Bull) roared to an eighth consecutive victory in the Belgian Grand Prix (GP), round 12 of the 2023 Formula One (F1) World Championship, to accelerate his bid for a third consecutive season title. Verstappen crossed the line first in the final race of the season at the Spa-Francor champs circuit (7.004 kilometers – 44 laps) in Stavlo, Belgium, on Sunday (Jan. 31) with a time of 1 hour, 22 minutes, 30.450 seconds, beating teammate Sergio Perez to the top step of the podium by 22.305 seconds. With this victory, Verstappen has now won eight races in a row, dating back to the fifth round of the Miami GP, and became the first driver to reach the 10-win mark of the season after winning rounds one (Bahrain GP) and three (Australian Open).With 314 driver’s standings points this season, Verstappen is now 125 points clear of second-placed Perez (189) and is one step closer to being crowned champion for the third consecutive season .In addition, Verstappen’s team, Red Bull, continued its ‘season sweep’ by winning races one through 12, including the second (Saudi GP) and fourth (Azerbaijan GP), which Verstappen did not win, with 카지노사이트킹 Perez topping the standings. If Verstappen wins the 13th round, the Dutch GP on August 27 in his home country, he will match Sebastian Vettel’s single-season record of nine consecutive victories set in 2013.Verstappen, who topped qualifying, started the final from the sixth row of the grid due to a gearbox penalty.F1 cars have a limited number of power units and gearboxes that can be replaced during a season. The power unit consists of an internal combustion engine (ICE), turbocharger (TC), kinetic energy recovery unit (MGU-K), thermal energy recovery unit (MGU-H), battery (ES), electronic control unit (CE), and exhaust system. The ICE, MGU-K, MGU-H, and TC can be replaced up to four times, the ES and CE can be replaced twice, and the exhaust can be replaced up to eight times. The gearbox can be replaced four times. There is a penalty for replacing these parts more than once .Previously, teams could use an unlimited number of power units and gearboxes, but the restrictions were introduced when teams agreed to reduce the number of changes due to the prohibitive cost. Verstappen finished first in qualifying, but a gearbox penalty resulted in a ‘five-grid penalty’ and he started the final from grid six. He knew he would be penalized for changing gearboxes, but he was willing to take it. For a driver at the peak of his powers, the grid was just a number. He moved up to third on lap six and second on lap nine. He took the lead from Perez on lap 17 and held on for the win. Verstappen had a scary moment when a sudden shower caused his rear wheel to slip in a corner on lap 21, but he showed great agility to keep the car under control. In particular, Verstappen had the presence of mind to make a practice ‘pit stop’ midway through the race when the gap between him and second-placed Perez widened.

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