Grid penalty as Verstappen hits back at ‘hidden pace’ allegations

After securing a commanding victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Max Verstappen has refuted any suggestions of hidden performance in the Red Bull RB19, despite displaying a surge of pace during the race.

The two-time F1 World Champion has been in a league of his own this season, dominating the competition and amassing a significant 110-point lead over his teammate Sergio Perez in the Drivers’ standings with seven consecutive wins.


Verstappen aims for 8th win in a row

Max Verstappen is gearing up to extend his and Red Bull’s remarkable streak of dominance at the upcoming Belgian Grand Prix, before his highly anticipated homecoming at Zandvoort next month.

With seven consecutive victories and nine out of 11 wins this season, the Belgian-born reigning double world champion has been an unstoppable force in this year’s title race. Now, he sets his sights on making it eight wins on Sunday, and potentially equaling Sebastian Vettel’s record of nine successive wins at Zandvoort.



F1 Records breaking

If Verstappen secures two more triumphs, Red Bull will set a new record of 14 consecutive wins. Currently, they share the record with Vettel’s 2013 streak of nine victories.

Only five drivers in history have managed to secure seven wins in a row – Alberto Ascari, Michael Schumacher, Vettel, Nico Rosberg, and now, Max Verstappen. The 25-year-old Dutchman’s current form suggests that his winning spree might continue.


READ MORE: McLaren ‘fear’ Spa circuit characteristics



Verstappen: Spa my favourite track

Having previously triumphed in the last two Belgian Grand Prix races, Verstappen is eyeing a hat-trick at the iconic Spa-Francorchamps circuit. Renowned for its majestic, fast, and challenging corners, Spa-Francorchamps is a favourite among drivers and offers a thrilling spectacle for fans.

“Spa is my favourite track, of course,” Verstappen said, echoing the sentiment shared by many drivers who appreciate the circuit’s unique characteristics.

“So, I’m looking forward to racing there and seeing the fans – it should be a fun weekend. It’s our final push before the summer break.”

Early weather forecasts suggest a wet weekend at Spa, but Verstappen remains unfazed. In fact, he sees the prospect of rain as an exciting opportunity for a more thrilling and chaotic race.


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Grid penalty coming for Verstappen

Max Verstappen, the dominant force of this year’s Formula 1 season, will face a five-place grid penalty at the Belgian Grand Prix as Red Bull opted to install a fifth gearbox on his RB19 for the upcoming race at Spa-Francorchamps.

During the early part of the season, Verstappen had been vocal about experiencing gear sync issues, which may be connected to the reason why he has required multiple gearbox replacements.

Red Bull’s decision to change gearboxes at Spa is a strategic move, as the circuit’s layout offers excellent overtaking opportunities, making teams more amenable to taking grid drops.


F1 driver “worse” than de Vries at risk



Despite the penalty, Verstappen’s chances of securing another win at Spa seem undeterred. With Red Bull displaying unparalleled performance this season, the five-place drop is unlikely to be a significant obstacle for the Dutch driver.

“I think we have a quick car,” he said.

“Of course, there are a lot of other teams and I think they brought a lot more than us this year, because we couldn’t.

“But we are very happy with how the car is performing. Our Saturday is maybe not ideal, but I think on the Sunday you can see the upgrades we brought. It [Hungary] was a good race to see it working.”

Last year, Verstappen started 14th on the grid in Belgium but charged through to take a dominant victory.



Surprise upgrade for Mercedes in Spa



Verstappen hits back at ‘hidden pace’ allegations

During the Hungarian Grand Prix, Verstappen’s pace seemed to intensify after a pit stop, resulting in a lap time almost a second quicker than any of his previous efforts.

Addressing speculation of hidden performance, Verstappen clarified to the media: “It is the peak of the tyres, and it involves draining the battery to achieve the best lap time possible.

“However, maintaining such a pace would inevitably degrade the tyres quickly. In any race, all drivers are constantly managing their pace like that.

“If you attempt to maintain that level of performance, you would need to pit for new tyres within five laps.

“I could have won by a larger or smaller margin. The strategy and tyre management played a crucial role in our success, and it worked exceptionally well for us.”

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3 responses to “Grid penalty as Verstappen hits back at ‘hidden pace’ allegations

  1. Even if he is placed a lap behind he would still win the race. Currently watching F1 is like watching Chuck Norris movies, you know who would easily beat others without receiving any beating at all! Lewis’s wind were fought for in a hard way, he never won all the races, he would win some and lose some, in that way the sport becomes more entertaining!

    • What utter bollox you are talking about Lewis winning the hard way. There were times and seasons where Mercedes were close to.lapping the entire field, such was their dominance. This has happened throughout F1 history. Look at at Mclaren, look at Williams just to name two teams.

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