Red Bull facing fresh accusations

Red Bull have won all 12 races this season, whilst their current winning streak sits at 13.

Red Bull have received fresh accusations of sandbagging following last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, which Max Verstappen won by 22 seconds over Sergio Perez.

The reigning World Champion breezed through the field from sixth on the grid to win his eighth consecutive race and his 10th of 2023 overall, extending Red Bull’s personal winning streak to 13 races.

Verstappen had quashed suggestions of sandbagging ahead of the Belgian GP last weekend, following his performance at the Hungarian Grand Prix the week before.

At the Hungaroring, Verstappen set the fastest lap of the race on his first full lap after pitting for a second time, before lapping two seconds slower per lap for the rest of the race.

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The staggering difference in his lap times led to claims of sandbagging; however, Verstappen admitted that he couldn’t maintain the pace due to his tyres degrading.

“It’s the peak of the tyres, it’s draining the battery to really do the best lap you can, and if you keep that pace up you just degrade your tyres,” Verstappen told media including

“The whole race, you are always pace managing – you can ask any driver, they all drive like that – because if you keep doing what you try to achieve on a lap like that, you [will have to] pit within five laps again for new tyres.

“I could have won by more, I could have won by less. It’s strategy-related, tyre-related, but I think how we did it worked really well.”

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Fresh sandbagging claims have been made though following Spa-Francorchamps, after former Red Bull performance engineer Blake Hinsey noticed that both Verstappen and Perez were lifting through Eau Rouge.

Hinsey pointed out that Eau Rouge isn’t a spot where you’d usually lift to preserve tyres, due to it being high-speed and somewhere that you can make up a lot of time.

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“[Tyre management] is something that the race engineers and drivers were talking about a lot throughout the race, they did spent a lot of the time on the soft tyres trying to managing this to get a longer stint out of it,” he said via his BrrrakeF1 YouTube channel.

“But if you look at an entire lap around Spa, if you wanted to save tyre energy, yes, you could save tyre energy through Eau Rouge – but saving tyres through a high-speed corner that’s almost easy flat, in order to bleed lap time down the long straight after that, makes absolutely no sense.

“If you really wanted to save tyre energy, I would do it somewhere like Turn 10: it’s a high-speed corner, it’s a relatively long-duration corner and there’s a very short straight after it.”