LEWIS Hamilton claimed his 88th Formula 1 Grand Prix win, fourth win at Spa de Francorchomps, equalling a record set by racing legend Jackie Stewart.
Hamilton led the 44 lap race comfortably from start to the chequered flag.
“No matter how much success we have we keep our heads down. It’s incredible, It felt great to get the win, I really wanted to deliver because he [Chadwick Boseman] made everyone feel like a superhero,” said Hamilton.
Teammate Valterri Bottas finished in second place ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen who remained unthreatened for most of the race. Verstappen kept up his impressive record of registering a podium at every race he has started in 2020.
“It wasn’t the most satisfying race, I didn’t have any tyres left and [I] didn’t want to take any risks,” said Verstappen. “Third place is better than nothing,” he added.
A crash in lap 13, by the Alfa Romeo of Giovinazzi who lost control, triggered the introduction of the safety car, to allow for the track to be cleared of crash debris. The crash claimed Giovinazzi and Williams’ George Russell, who was hit by a flying tyre and drove into the wall. The crash prompted teams to change their strategies due to an early pit stop opportunity.
The Renault drivers, Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon, finished in fourth and fifth place respectively to conclude a strong day for Mercedes. Verstappen’s fellow Red Bull driver Alexander Albon finished in sixth ahead of McLaren driver Norris and Alphatauri driver Pierre Gasly, who was also voted driver of the day.
Racing Point pair Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez finished in ninth and tenth well off the race pace. It was another disappointing weekend for Ferrari, who struggled for pace on race day particularly, culminating with both cars finishing out of the points in 13th and 14th.
Ferrari have a lot of work, if they hope to register points at the next race at Monza, Italy.
Driver of the day was AlphaTauri’ Pierre Gasly, who drove like a maniac after starting at 12th and finished in a credible 8th position. He said the superb drive was inspired by his friend, the Anthoine Hubert, who died in a crash last year.
This is what Gasly said:
“It was an important day for me because I wanted to do well for Anthoine after what happened last year. We decided to go for a different strategy, starting on the hard compound. It was better than expected and I was able to attack and overtake quite a few cars. The move on Perez was especially intense but very enjoyable! We knew a safety car between the start of the race and lap 20 would be a killer for us, but unfortunately, that’s what happened and gave the other cars a free pitstop. We didn’t give up because we had a great car, good pace, so I pushed as hard as I could. After our pitstop, we exited almost last and we had to fight back through the field, but I enjoyed it and to recover to P8 was just great! I reckon the safety car cost us a potential P5 today because I think we lost around 20 seconds there and finished seven seconds behind Ocon in P5. We had a big job ahead of us today, so to recover the way we did was great and I think we can be very happy with that. It’s nice to be voted Driver of the Day, so thanks to all the people who voted for me and I’ll try to put this kind of performance again and again in the coming weeks.”
11. Kyvat – Alphatauri
12. Raikonnen – Alfa Romeo
13. Vettel – Ferrari
14. Leclerc – Ferrari
15. Grosjean – Haas
16. Latifi – Williams
17.Magnussen – Haas
DNF (Did Not Finish):
Giovinazzi – Alfa Romeo
Russell – Williams
DNS (Did Not Start):
Sainz – McLaren