Max Verstappen’s first half of this year’s F1 season was marked by many ups but also some downs. In Belgium, however, the Dutchman wants to “start over” again.

After the Austrian GP, the Red Bull driver’s lead over Lewis Hamilton was 32 points. That came from four wins in five races from Monaco to Austria. Only a puncture shortly before the end at the Azerbaijan GP denied him the fifth consecutive victory. After the Spielberg GP, however, the world did not look good at all for Verstappen. In Silverstone, he was thrown out of the race by Lewis Hamilton after contact. Then, in Hungary, he was involved in a crash in the first corner of the race, after which he was able to finish in the points. Thus, he is now in P2 in the world championship, eight points behind Hamilton.

Now the young Dutchman wants to make a “fresh start” in Belgium after the summer break and direct all the focus on the world championship fight.

“I am of course excited to go back to Spa. It’s my favorite track and it’s really cool to drive with so many high-speed corners and elevation changes.

“I’m also looking forward to seeing all the fans who will be coming to support us, and it will be cool to see so much orange in the grandstands again as they couldn’t be there last year. I also think it is a good place to reset our championship fight and I’m well prepared and feeling good ahead of the weekend.”

Verstappen’s record at Spa-Francorchamps is not yet as good as he might want it to be, but what is not can still be. So far, his best position is 3rd place, but he has not led a single lap on the legendary track. With the Red Bull RB16B and the Honda engine, however, that should change. This will also be Verstappen’s 50th race with Honda, who is retiring from F1 at the end of the year.

“These 50 races with Honda will always be special and well-remembered when we look back. I think of course the first win with Honda will always be the most emotional memory during our time together and hopefully, we can end this season on a high with them before they leave the sport,” said Verstappen.

“I have enjoyed working with Honda from the start. They have always been straight-talking and delivered what we have expected. They spend a lot of time discussing everything with the team and us as drivers, which has been very important.”

I'm from Austria and I'm a motosport-fan for more than 10 years. I want to be a journalist after I finish school. I am currently working for ASN Motorsports