Shocking tire wear contrast between Max Verstappen, Oscar Piastri and Pierre Gasly highlights Red Bull's advantage over the rest of the field

A detailed view of intermediate tyres in the paddock (L); F1 drivers (R) (Image via Sportskeeda)
A detailed view of intermediate tyres in the paddock (L); F1 drivers (R) (Image via Sportskeeda)

The 2023 F1 Belgian GP Sprint occured on Saturday (July 29), where Red Bull's Max Verstappen won the 11 lap-race. Since it began after a heavy rainfall, all the cars were on intermediate tires. After the race, it was quite fascinating to see the tire wear on each of the top three cars.

Both dry and wet tires provided by Pirelli wear off quite a lot when F1 cars run on them. This is commonly termed as tire degradation. Since these cars drive at blazing-fast speeds, it puts a lot of load on the tires, heating the compound. As a result, small chunks of rubber tear off from the surface of the tire, which is essentially called degradation.

One of the main goals of each team is to reduce tire degradation as much as possible by tweaking the car's setup and aerodynamic efficiency. However, there are still massive differences between cars, as some can eat through any tire compound while others can drive long stints on them. In the 2023 F1 season, Red Bull has managed to achieve the lowest tire degradation on the RB19.

After the Belgian GP Sprint race, an image was circulated on social media platforms of intermediate tires that were on Max Verstappen's, Oscar Piastri's, and Pierre Gasly's cars. It is clearly visible that Verstappen's tires had a lot less tire degradation compared to Piastri's and Gasly's.

Hence, the Red Bull driver was able to easily pass Oscar Piastri for the lead and win the race by six seconds, even though it was an extremely short race.

After the race, Oscar Piastri was seen observing his tires and Verstappen's tires after he got out of his car. Red Bull's tire degradation level is impressively low in 2023.

Max Verstappen on Red Bull's decision to not pit him at the start of the 2023 F1 Belgian GP Sprint race

The Sprint race during the 2023 F1 Belgian GP was quite delayed due to heavy showers. It started off under safety cars on full wets, but the track had been clear enough for intermediates. As soon as the safety car came in the pits and the race started, there were several cars entering the pits to change tires.

However, this was not the case for Red Bull star Max Verstappen. He came in after a few laps to change tires. After the Sprint race, he spoke to Naomi Schiff during the parc-ferme, saying:

"I mean, I could come in first but then I might be blocked by other cars. That might be a safety car and you lose massively. So I didn't mind to stay out. I mean, we lost one position but we know that we are quick and I think you could you could see that when we when we put inter tires we were flying, so it was okay."

Even after losing the lead to Oscar Piastri, the Red Bull driver was easily able to catch the F1 rookie and overtake him to win the race by six seconds.

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Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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