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  • Writer's pictureBen Waterworth

Belgian Grand Prix talking points: Can Red Bull craft a historic perfect season?

Somehow, we have reached the halfway point of the 2023 F1 season and somehow, we have had a perfect half of a season.

Of course, I mean that literally. Red Bull have won every single race of the season, both sprint and normal, and in doing so are leaving everyone in awe at just how dominant a team can be.

The season has not been perfect for the nine other teams on the grid, and all of them will be heading into the summer break just wondering if the impossible feat of a team winning 100% races will really happen in 2023.

So as we look forward to a few weeks off, let’s see the wrap up of everything to do with the Belgian Grand Prix.

Everyone will be a Red Bull fan for the second half of the year

I don’t think I’m alone in saying that deep down, everyone wants to see Red Bull have a perfect year.

Yes, I know not everyone is a Red Bull fan, and I’ll be honest, they’re not my favourite team either. But think about the achievement of winning every race in a season.

It could never be done back when there were less than 10 races in a season. It could never be done back when there were less than 20 races in a season. And yet the prospect of it being done in a season with 22 races is hard to fathom.

(Photo by Gongora/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

So incredible would the achievement be, I would go as far as to say it could be one of the greatest achievements in sports history.

So with that in mind, who wouldn’t want to see Red Bull win the remaining 10 races so that we can witness a true piece of greatness?

Piastri will finish on the (proper) podium before the end of the year

Probably not the biggest call given how close he has come recently, but make no mistake, Oscar Piastri will taste proper champagne before the end of the year.

Yes, he technically did this weekend, but as we know a sprint podium barely counts for anything. He should’ve been on the podium in both Britain and Hungary, so it’s only a matter of time before he gets to do it for real.

It’s been a great turn of form from the Aussie with the upgraded McLaren, and finally the choice made by the Woking team to replace Daniel Ricciardo with him is paying off. Get those champagne glasses ready, Australia.

Formula 1 is officially cricket

Not that it hasn’t been for the last few years, but the fact that the sport continues to be endlessly scared of any type of rain is absolutely absurd.

These are the 20 best drivers in the world, competing in the best machinery in the world.

Yet with some rain on the track? Nope. No thanks.

The perennial question has to be why does Pirelli even bother to produce wet weather tyres when they’re about as useful as Nikita Mazepin?

Yes, safety is always paramount. But when you’ve got the safest cars the sport has ever seen, why not race in conditions that have been raced in for years? Just listen to Martin Brundle’s comments during the race to back this point up.

At this rate, the covers will be brought out the next time any rain is present at any race track to help the sport become even more like cricket.

At least there is no mention of Bazballs or the ‘spirit of the game’…

Records continue to tumble

12 races in, 12 wins for Red Bull. That’s now 13 in a row for the team. And they now own the record for most consecutive wins from the start of the season.

To further point out there dominance, they have now won 22 out of the last 23 races, with their only blemish being the Sao Paulo Grand Prix last year that George Russell won for Mercedes. That also means that in the last 12 months, they have only not won one race. Incredible.

For Max Verstappen, this was his eighth consecutive win, becoming only the second driver in history to achieve this feat. The other driver was Sebastian Vettel, who nine in a row in 2013, also for Red Bull.

Short priced odds right now on Verstappen equaling that mark at his home race in three weeks’ time and then breaking it in Italy next month.

(Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Alpine need a French revolution, and fast

Otmar Szafnauer gone. Alan Permane gone. Alpine had a fire sale on the weekend in Belgium and it came out of nowhere.

Szafnauer was barely 18 months into his role as team principal at the French team when the news came on Saturday he was being let go, while Permane’s tenure came to a shocking end after 34 years served at the Enstone team.

These changes came off the back of several other firings this season for Alpine.

Many are questioning just how this will help the team, who are seemingly nowhere closer to their goal of ‘100 races to fight for wins’ they set out at the beginning of 2021 when they rebranded as Alpine.

As of Belgium, they’re 56 races into that target. Taking away their fluke 2021 Hungarian GP victory, they are nowhere closer to that target than when they started.

It’s clear that a revolution is needed and needed fast, not necessarily by sudden firings like they’ve made, but in some form that will actually help them move forward and steer the ship in the right direction.

Perhaps that Ryan Reynolds involvement will bring them some Wrexham levels of success sometime soon. For all Enstone fans, they’ll be crossing all their Deadpool fingers and toes for that to happen.

This article was originally written for The Roar. You can read the published version here


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