Max Verstappen is one of the most competent, consistent drivers in the world. Despite a constantly changing field and tons of challenges, Verstappen has pulled out 21 straight top-five finishes. 30 seconds into the Belgian Grand Prix, it became clear that he wouldn’t make that 22.
The Red Bull car got a rough start off the line, putting Verstappen behind his starting position of fifth place. Coming down the straight at Spa-Francorchamps, he was caught behind a lot of traffic.
To make up some ground, Verstappen attempted to dive into the inside line. Verstappen misjudged the move, sending his car into Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo. As Verstappen hit the inside, the Alfa slid up on his nose. Both cars continued past the corner, appearing mostly intact.
As Verstappen shot down Eau Rouge, it became clear that he was having trouble steering. He managed to make it through the left turn, but when the track curved right Verstappen’s steering locked up. He slid into the barriers, knocking his car out of the race.
All drivers were fine, but Verstappen’s consistent streak was over. Despite qualifying into fifth place, Verstappen’s Belgian Grand Prix ended in a DNF.
Raikkonen also sustained damage, requiring him to pit during the yellow flag. Even after the pit, damage to the underside of Raikkonen’s car is likely to slow him down.