After 21 Consecutive Top-Five Finishes, First-Turn Crash Takes Out Max Verstappen

Photo: (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)
Photo: (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Mack Hogan is Jalopnik's Weekend Editor, but you may know him from his role as CNBC's car critic or his brave (and maligned) takes on Twitter. Most people agree that you shouldn't listen to him.

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DISCUSSION

farscythe
farscythe - makin da cawfee!

damnit max.... you know better..yeah kimi left you no room....but wtf were you even thinking trying that after that shitty start of yours

now im left wondering what could have been... race pace wise the bulls should have been right up there by the end of the race....

oh well... at least albon delivered (the pass on riciardo was good stuff...on perez was ballsy)

and i get to troll the fanbois at work now

*hey good morning how did you enjoy the 12 seconds of race you watched?*