Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Spa-Francorchamps, 2022

Verstappen is second driver to win back-to-back races starting no higher than 10th

2022 Belgian Grand Prix stats and facts

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It spoke volumes of the performance advantage Max Verstappen enjoyed at Spa-Francorchamps that many were talking up his chances of victory before the race began while even knowing he would have to take a substantial grid penalty.

Sure enough, after lining up in 14th place on the grid (with one spot ahead left vacant due to Pierre Gasly starting from the pits), Verstappen duly scorched through the field and claimed the victory.

That followed up his win in the previous race at the Hungaroring, which Verstappen scored from 10th on the grid. Only once before in F1 history has a driver won two races in a row having started each from 10th or lower.

That driver was Bruce McLaren. Remarkably, his starting positions in the two races mirrored Verstappen’s closely.

Carlos Sainz Jnr, Ferrari, Spa-Francorchamps, 2022
Sainz took the second pole position of his career
The founder of the McLaren team won the final race of 1959 at Sebring from 10th place. Driving a Cooper, he claimed the lead on the final lap when Jack Brabham hit trouble. At the next race, the 1960 season-opener in Argentina, McLaren lined up 13th (Verstappen’s net starting position last weekend after Gasly’s pit lane start) and won again. These were his first of four career wins, his last the only one he took for his own team.

Verstappen took the 29th win of his career and his ninth this season. Before the race he played down his chances of matching or beating the record for most wins in a single year. However after his later win he can equal that record – 13, held by Michael Schumacher and Sebastian Vettel – if he wins half of the remaining eight races. His current hit rate is 64%, so the record is definitely on, especially if Red Bull’s pace last weekend proves the shape of things to come.

Although Verstappen was quickest in qualifying, his penalty meant pole position went to Carlos Sainz Jnr. This was the second of his career, putting him level with Stuart Lewis-Evans, Jo Siffert, John Watson (who won twice from 10th or lower over a three-race spell in 1982), Gilles Villeneuve, Michele Alboreto, Jean Alesi and Heinz-Harald Frentzen.

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Charles Leclerc failed in his last-gap bid to wrest fastest lap from Verstappen, so the Red Bull driver collected the 20th of his career. That gave him as many as Nico Rosberg.

Alexander Albon, Williams, Spa-Francorchamps, 2022
Sixth was Albon’s best starting position this year
Sergio Perez backed Verstappen up in second place. That gave Red Bull their 21st one-two, also their fourth this year, and their third maximum score of the season. Ferrari opened their season with a highest possible score of 44 in Bahrain, but haven’t repeated it since.

Alexander Albon had already achieved his best starting position of the season so far – ninth – before any grid penalties were applied. They boosted him to sixth. Lance Stroll also achieved his best starting position of the season so far in ninth.

Thanks to his strong qualifying performance Albon collected his and Williams’s third points score of the year. Team mate Nicholas Latifi, who came in 18th after spinning, remains the only driver to start every race who is yet to score a point.

Latifi’s spin forced Valtteri Bottas into retirement as he swerved in avoidance. That helped condemn Alfa Romeo, who are still sixth in the championship, to their fifth consecutive point-less finish.

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Have you spotted any other interesting stats and facts from the Belgian Grand Prix? Share them in the comments.

2022 Belgian Grand Prix

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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28 comments on “Verstappen is second driver to win back-to-back races starting no higher than 10th”

  1. Hamilton’s retirement confirmed that no driver will finish all the races this season.

  2. “Verstappen took the 29th win of his career and his third this season”

    Small error? Or 3rd pole this season?

    1. Must be as this was his 9th win this season and his third pole position. @keithcollantine there is a typo somewhere around these sentenses.

    2. Sainz was on pole.

  3. Second race this season in which same-team drivers started from the pit exit following the Miami GP with AMs.

    Williams’ first Q3 appearance since last season’s Russian GP.

    Hamilton’s 100% finishing record chance for this season (4th in his career after 2017, ’19, & ’20) ended, meaning no full-time driver has reached the chequered flag in all 2022 races thus far.

    Fourth point-less race for Mclaren after Bahrain, Miami, & Canadian GPs.

    All four RBR 1-2s have been for the maximum 44 pts actually.

    1. I could’ve added that both Hamilton’s two most recent DNFs (two in two seasons) occurred after contact in round 14.

      1. I also saw mentioned elsewhere that Bottas has now failed to score points for at least five consecutive races for the first time since his rookie season.

        1. I guess the ‘since his rookie season’ excludes that season (he only scored once that season).

          I believe Norris is the active driver with the shortest non-scoring streak.

    2. Wasn’t Williams in Q3 with Latifi in Silverstone?

      1. @Axel Of course. How I almost always manage to get something wrong, even though generally & especially this time double-checked, but still failed as I only looked through last season’s QLF results from Dutch GP onwards.

  4. The paragraph that starts with ‘Verstappen took the 29th win’ etc, makes no sense whatsoever. I think it’s trying to say he’s won 9 and is trying to beat 13 in a season?

    1. @phil-f1-21 It’s saying that Schumacher and Vettel currently hold the record of most wins for a single driver during a season, which is 13 races. Verstappen is now at 9 and if he wins 4 of the remaining 8 races, he would tie their record.

      1. No @sjaakfoo I do understand. Earlier on today the words were mixed up or missing and it didn’t make sense. Keith has since updated the comment to read correctly,

  5. I didn’t realise Gilles only had two pole positions – I know he wasn’t exactly around for long, but I would have guessed more than that.

    1. If my memory serves me right, he was probably largely a victim of Renault’s new turbos. Fast in qualy but super unreliable for a few years. By the time Ferrari were on par, Gilles was no longer with us sadly.

    2. Ambrogio Isgro
      31st August 2022, 11:49

      He drove a championship contender car only in 1979 (the year that Jody Scheckter won the title with Ferrari) and in 1982 when he sadly passed away.

    3. same here. I always memorise he has 6 wins, and i thought more poles than wins

  6. This record is easier to reach now that there are power unit penalties. More likely for the fastest car to start further back, and get back to the front.

    1. And also verstappen started 13th, there were way too many penalties this race, when I read “back of the grid start” I thought he’d have more recovery work to do.

  7. Sainz took the second pole position of his career

    Technically that is correct, but if feels so wrong. Just with Schumacher Monaco 2012. Saturday should decide who’s on pole, namely the driver who drove the fastest lap during qualifying. Grid penalties are applied after that. Monaco 2012 should be Schumacher pole and Verstappen should get the Spa 2022 pole. Not that Max loses any sleep on that (I let’s not mention Schumacher).

    1. Well, in that case there’s plenty more cases, such as mexico 2019 with verstappen getting the fastest lap, then getting a penalty for yellow flag infringiment, even though his best lap was done on green flag conditions.

  8. Sainz was on pole.

    1. It was a reply to a previous comment…

  9. First time since 2007 that Alonso has started in the top 3 at Spa.

    Bottas’ first Q1 elimination since Monaco 2015.

    First time since 2018 that Sainz has completed a full lap of green-flag racing at Spa.

    Perez and Sainz have both scored more points already in 2022 than they managed in the whole of 2021.

    Hamilton’s first DNF since Italy 2021. Ricciardo now has the longest active streak of finishes (12; last DNF was Saudi Arabia 2022), Stroll now has the longest active streak of classified finishes (17; last non-classification was Sao Paulo 2021).

    5th time Hamilton has retired on lap 1; 3 of these have come at Spa (2009, 2012, 2022), the others being Italy 2010 and Spain 2016.

    Thanks to statf1 and the official F1 site for some of these.

  10. Regarding Verstappen’s wins from way back on the grid, it definitely wasn’t the car. He would have done the same in an Alpine.

  11. Alonso is now the driver with the longest active streak of points finishes (9; last non-scoring finish was Miami 2022).

  12. Ambrogio Isgro
    31st August 2022, 11:54

    The feat is not so great when you think about DRS, penalties, safety car and… Perez.
    Speaking about Spa, this amazing circuit deserves no DRS. I think that in some circuits there’s no need with the actual cars.

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