Belgian GP: Lewis Hamilton flies to brilliant Spa victory

Lewis Hamilton has continued one of his most illustrious years in Formula 1 with another dominant win in Spa.

Hamilton led every lap from pole, pitting under the safety car after a crash for Antonio Giovinazzi and George Russell, gradually extending the gap to his teammate throughout the race.

He only put one foot wrong which was a minor lock up at the bus stop chicane late in the race but with a seven-second lead it did not hamper him at all.

Valtteri Bottas looked as if he could never get on to Hamilton’s pace, gradually slipping back from his teammate throughout the race with the gap flattered by Hamilton being very conservative in the final few laps.

He is now 50 points behind Hamilton in the championship standings.

spa win
Lewis Hamilton wins in Spa © Daimler Motorsport

Max Verstappen was once again the only close challenger to the Mercs finishing in third place. He managed to keep tabs on Bottas mid-race but any challenge looked very difficult.

The only chance was when Mercedes double-stacked under the safety car in the pitstops inevitably holding up Bottas and Verstappen came out side by side, but the Dutchman had to concede position.

Daniel Ricciardo had a brilliant drive for Renault to fourth, with fastest lap to boot. He managed his tyres immensely and in the final stages closed on Verstappen to eventually be a very credible three seconds off.

Esteban Ocon achieved a fifth-place finish on the final lap after closing on Alex Albon all race – the Thai the only driver on the softer medium tyres after the safety car pit stops as everyone else ran hards.

Ocon passed on the final lap, relegating Albon to sixth, after both had been coming under pressure from Lando Norris in seventh.

Pierre Gasly put on a stunning show to fight his way through the field to eighth passing near half the field and being one of the fastest on track all race.

Gasly started on the hard tyres and was able to push much harder than rivals at the start and put on some mega overtakes to climb into the top 10 including a brilliant side-by-side pass up Eau Rouge and Radillion on Sergio Perez.

Him and Perez were the only two to not pit under the safety car and stuck to their initial strategies which paid off when they both came through the field but Gasly was just faster at the end.

Lance Stroll and Perez rounded out the top 10 hanging on to points in a disappointing weekend for Racing Point.

Daniil Kvyat was on the fringes of the points but had to make way for the faster Perez and Gasly coming through the field and came home 11th. Kimi Raikkonen had a similar story putting in a solid drive but points were not quite achievable.

Ferrari had a woeful weekend finishing where they started in 13th and 14th with no pace on the straights or in the corners finishing behind Raikkonen in the customer Alfa Romeo.

The drivers were rattled with Leclerc getting a good start but being picked off by everyone who he jumped and both complaining to the team about their wayward strategy.

Vettel finished ahead of Leclerc at the flag after Leclerc was pitted for a second time for seemingly no reason as to do something different.

Romain Grosjean, Nicholas Latifi and Kevin Magnussen rounded out those who finished the race.

Giovinazzi and Russell crashed early on after Giovinazzi dropped it at the Fagnia chicane and collected Russell who came up behind him. Debris was spread all across the track leading many to think a red flag would be called but the marshalls did a quick job cleaning up the track.

Carlos Sainz had an exhaust failure on his reconnaissance laps to the grid and was unable to start the race

Before the race, a minute’s silence was held in memory of Formula 2 driver Anthoine Hubert who sadly lost his life at the event in Spa last year after a crash in the F2 feature race.

It was a poignant moment in memory of a promising young driver and a phenomenal young gentleman, while after the race Hamilton did a Wakanda Forever salute in memory of Chadwick Boseman.

Position Driver Team Time
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1h 24m 08.761s
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes +8.448
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing-Honda +15.455
4 Daniel Ricciardo Renault +18.877
5 Esteban Ocon Renault +40.650
6 Alex Albon Red Bull Racing-Honda +42.712
7 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault +43.774
8 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda +47.371
9 Lance Stroll Racing Point-BWT Mercedes +52.603
10 Sergio Perez Racing Point-BWT Mercedes +53.179
11 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri-Honda +1:10.200
12 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari +1:11.504
13 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari +1:12.894
14 Charles Leclerc Ferrari +1:14.920
15 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari +1:16.793
16 Nicolas Latifi Williams-Mercedes +1:17.795
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari +1:25.540
DNF George Russell Williams-Mercedes Lap 10
DNF Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing-Ferrari Lap 10
DNS Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault DNS