Lewis Hamilton put on yet another dominant display to win the Belgian GP and extend his F1 2020 championship lead. The Briton was in a league of his own at Spa-Francorchamps and crossed the line 8.448 secs ahead of his Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas. F1’s 70th Anniversary GP winner Max Verstappen held position in 3rd place to take his sixth consecutive podium finish.
· Hamilton now leads the standings by 47 points from Verstappen
· Ricciardo and Ocon finish 4th and 5th for Renault
· Ferrari out of the points in 13th and 14th
Hamilton, Bottas, Verstappen hold station
The Belgian GP did churn out some memorable moments and overtaking moves, but none of them at the top end of the field as Hamilton, Bottas and Verstappen held station out at front to manage their tyres.
After making a good start, Hamilton already started pulling away in the lead. An early-race safety car triggered by a huge crash for Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi, which also took out Williams’ George Russell, gave Bottas the opportunity to attempt a pass at the re-start. However, he was unable to make a move stick and spent the race of the race unable to really match Hamilton’s pace, allowing his team mate to build a healthy buffer.
Speaking after the race, Hamilton admitted that he was struggling with his tyres and was afraid of a repeat of his British GP fiasco, where he crossed the line on just three wheels. “It wasn’t the easiest of races. I had a lock-up into Turn 5 which started to give a bit of a vibration and then one into the last corner. The tyre temperatures were slowly dropping… and I was a bit nervous we might have a scenario like Silverstone at the end so I was nursing it,” he said.
Finishing in 3rd place, Red Bull Racing’s Verstappen quipped that the race was “pretty boring” and “not very interesting” for him. “Not much to do. I ran out of tyres at the end, so I was just stretching it out, saving the front tyres. It was not enjoyable out there today,” he added.
Strong race for Renault
Renault bounced back from a disappointing Spanish GP to secure its best team result since Monza last year. Daniel Ricciardo took 4th place and bagged an additional point for setting the fastest lap. The Australian was flying in the final few laps, but was unable to catch up to Verstappen ahead of him.
Esteban Ocon, meanwhile, overtook Red Bull Racing’s Alexander Albon on the last lap to claim 5th place. Lando Norris had closed up to the back of the pair towards the end of the race, but had to settle for 7th place. He was the only McLaren driver to compete in the race after Carlos Sainz failed to start due to an exhaust failure.
AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly and the Racing Point duo of Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez completed the top 10.
Ferrari hit a new low
Ferrari has struggled for pace all season, but Spa-Francorchamps threw a real curveball for the Italian squad. They narrowly avoided the embarrassment of being knocked out in the first segment of qualifying, and the race saw them finish behind both the AlphaTauri cars and even Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen. Both Ferrari drivers failed to score any points with Sebastian Vettel finishing 13th, ahead of his team mate Charles Leclerc in 14th.
Leclerc had done well at the start to gain six places and climb up to 8th. But he dropped down the order as the race progressed, unable to match the pace of his nearest rivals.
The Belgian GP proved that Ferrari indeed are running low on power, but there’s a lot of be desired on the chassis side too. With F1 heading to the Temple of Speed, Monza, next week for the Italian GP, Ferrari really have their work cut out if they want to perform decently at their home race.
What does the F1 2020 drivers’ championship look like?
With his fifth race win (out of seven races) in the bag, Hamilton has now extended his championship lead over Verstappen to a very healthy 47 points. Meanwhile, Bottas has slashed into Verstappen’s advantage and is now just three points behind the Red Bull Racing driver.
2020 Belgian GP results
Red Bull Racing
Red Bull Racing
Alfa Romeo Racing
Alfa Romeo Racing
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