2020 Belgian GP: Race maximum speeds

Let’s take a quick look at the maximum speeds seen during the 2020 Belgian Grand Prix race.


The data was obtained from the “telemetry” provided by the Formula 1 live timing app. I grouped the information by driver and filtered the data to get the fastest speed done by each driver during the race.

This chart will not match the data obtained from the FIA, since they only measure maximum speed at certain points of the track (speed trap, finish line, intermediate 1 and intermediate 2).

It’s also important to note that this information is unofficial and may not be a perfect reflection of reality.


Charles Leclerc was the driver with the highest top speed of the race. His maximum speed of 362 km/h was 11 km/h faster than the speed recorded by Pierre Gasly.

Interestingly, the drivers who stood on the podium (Hamilton, Bottas and Verstappen) were the ones with the lowest top speeds of the race. There are three main reasons for this. 1) since they were so far ahead of the rest of the field, they didn’t have to push the engine to the limits. 2) they had enough speed in their cars that they could increase the downforce to gain an advantage in the corners. 3) they were so ahead of the rest of the field that they didn’t have many opportunities to use DRS. 

Final remarks

This is a very simple chart that shows that Formula 1 is more than just getting the highest top speed. Is Ferrari the fastest team since they got the top speed in Belgium? Not really. Well, do they have the best engine? I cannot prove that they don’t, but most likely the answer is no.

Formula 1 is all about finding the right balance. The Renault drivers found it, achieving high top speeds and still being fast throughout the lap. Ferrari didn’t found it. Leclerc was very fast on the main straight, but couldn’t perform on the rest of the track.

In any case I hope that you have enjoyed this article. If you did, please share it with your friends and let me know what you think in the comments below.


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