Very few people in the world can truly tell you what it takes to be a world champion in Formula 1.
A truly magnificent level of talent, a terrific mindset, and a tremendous amount of will and determination are just some of the attributes that the very best possess, as well as… aim?
Indeed, Max Verstappen performed a stunning manoeuvre during the opening lap of the Belgian Grand Prix that saw him tear off a strip of his visor, and throw it directly into the brake duct of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc.
On a serious note, the reigning champion’s shot was not intentional; he had so much dirt on his visor that he had to remove a tear-off so that he could see, and it happened to get lodged in his rival’s car.
Verstappen and Leclerc started the race 14th and 15th, respectively, having taken grid penalties at Spa, and they made their way up into the top 10 on the first lap.
Part of this was owed to some shenanigans happening in front of them. Sir Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso collided at Les Combes, Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel tangled at the same corner, and drivers were kicking up dust all over the place.
While running in the points on lap three, Ferrari noticed that the brake duct on Leclerc’s car was overheating after the piece of plastic flew into it, so they had to pit the Monegasque to sort it.
He made his way up to fifth but, to make matters worse, a sensor had burned as a result of the rogue tear-off, so Leclerc did not have an accurate reading of his speed.
When he came back into the pits with two laps to go, he sped into the pit lane, earning himself a five-second penalty.
The 24-year-old did manage to climb back up into fifth ahead of Alonso, but his penalty sent him down to sixth.
Verstappen, meanwhile, put in a dominant performance to win the race by just under 18 seconds from team-mate Sergio Perez – a remarkable drive from where he started.
Leclerc confirmed after the race that it was indeed the Dutchman’s visor strip that had ended up ruining his race, in a season that continues to frustrate the Scuderia.
Red Bull lead them by 118 points in the Constructors’ Standings, while Verstappen holds a 93-point lead over Perez in the drivers’ fight – Leclerc if a further five points back in third.