Max Verstappen wins Belgium GP

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen extended his lead in the Formula One world championship with a crushing victory in the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday. Verstappen started 14th on the grid but scorched through the field to cruise to victory ahead of teammate Sergio Perez with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, who started on pole, in third. Seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton retired on the opening lap after his Mercedes collided with Fernando Alonso’s Alpine.Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who started one place behind Verstappen in 15th after collecting similar engine and gearbox-related grid drops, finished fifth on the road but was demoted to sixth after a penalty for speeding in the pitlane.The Monegasque is now third overall, 98 points behind Verstappen who also took a bonus point for the fastest lap.Verstappen’s home Dutch Grand Prix at Zandvoort follows next weekend.“The car was a rocket ship all weekend,” he said after his second successive win at Spa, although last year’s victory was after just three laps splashing through the rain behind the safety car.“It was quite a hectic first lap to try and stay out of trouble, so many things were happening in front of me, but once we settled in… yeah, the car was really on rails,” added Verstappen.“Once we were in the lead, it was all about managing everything and this whole weekend has been incredible.”