Championship leader Max Verstappen easily navigated his way through the pack to win the Belgian Grand Prix (GP) in a dominant fashion which was expected of him.

The Dutchman managed to replicate his freighting practice and qualifying pace during the race to scythe through the pack after penalties forced him to start from 14th on the grid.

His teammate Sergio Perez finished second with Carlos Sainz in third while another questionable Ferrari strategy left Charles Leclerc in 5th before a speed violation penalty dropped him into sixth.

Verstappen went into the Belgian GP not needing to win again this season but his victory, the 29th of his career, put him a massive 93 points clear of Perez, who moved into second overall and 98 above Leclerc.

With another championship likely going his way, Verstappen is on pace to equal Michael Schumacher’s record of most wins in a single season. With eight races to go, he needs to win four in order to achieve a feat many thought stood unassailable.

George Russell salvaged fourth place for Mercedes, with Alonso elevated to fifth as a result of Leclerc’s penalty.

Esteban Ocon finished seventh for Alpine with Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel eighth ahead of AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly with Alex Albon securing the final point for Williams.

The drivers now head to Zandvoort for Verstappen’s home Dutch Grand Prix, the second of a triple header that will bring the curtain down on the sport’s European season at Italy’s Monza.

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