Lewis Hamilton claimed his fifth race victory of the 2020 season, leading from start to finish of what was a Belgian Grand Prix largely devoid of drama.
The result sees Hamilton extend his lead over his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas at the top of the drivers’ championship, with the Finn finishing second having been unable to get near the six-times world champion.
Max Verstappen finished on the podium for the sixth straight race, with Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon finishing fourth and fifth respectively to cap an impressive race weekend for Renault.
Belgian Grand Prix
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It was, however, a nightmare afternoon for Ferrari whose troubles were compounded with 13th-place finish for Sebastian Vettel and a 14th-place finish for Charles Leclerc. With Ferrari’s home race at Monza up next, the pressure will only intensity on the Italian team.
DRIVER OF THE DAY - Daniel Ricciardo (Renault)
This was an encouraging weekend for Renault. Their best of the season so far, with Ricciardo not just finishing fourth, but claiming the bonus point for the fastest lap right at the end of the race. Renault’s straight line speed gave them an advantage over the Racing Points and the McLaren of Lando Norris. The challenge will now be to build on this for the second half of the season.
WHERE THE RACE WAS WON
Sainz out! It’s bad news for Carlos Sainz whose race is over before it has even started. There was an issue with the exhaust of his McLaren and the Spaniard will spend the afternoon watching from the garage. That’s very unfortunate.
Lights out! Hamilton and Bottas get away cleanly with Verstappen and Ricciardo scrapping for P3. The Renault had a real look at the Red Bulls, with the Australian all over the back of Verstappen, but the Dutchman keeps his place. Ocon is up into fifth ahead of Albon on the opening lap.
8/44 - Leclerc in free-fall! After what was an encouraging start by Leclerc, he has been passed by FOUR cars in the last three laps. He has been passed by Gasly, Perez, Norris and Kvyat and is now running in P12. One place ahead of Vettel in P13. Mamma Mia!
11/44 - Big crash! That is a big collision between Giovinazzi and Russell! They have both ended up in the barrier. We have yellow flags. There is a lot of debris on the track and the drivers are having to slowly make their way through it. That was a big crash. Thankfully both drivers are up out of their cars and are walking away. Their races are over, though.
37/44 - Hamilton locks up! Hamilton is running out of grip and that was a contributing factor as the race leader locks up on the final turn of the track. However, Hamilton has such a lead on the rest of the pack that it doesn't cost him too much and he can continue his race without much fuss. That was interesting, though. How much life is left in those tyres?
Hamilton wins the Belgian GP! Hamilton leads from start to finish and wins the Belgian GP! He extends his championship lead with Bottas finishing second! Verstappen crosses the line in third to make up the podium. Ricciardo finishes P4 which is an excellent result for the Australian and Ocon makes it a very positive afternoon for Renault by claiming fifth.
PIT EXCHANGE OF THE DAY
“We have one push, no?” Bottas asked his race engineer as the race started to shape up after 10 laps or so, with the Finn seemingly keen to have a go at his teammate.
“We do but we agreed not to use it against each other,” came back the reply.
“I never heard that,” Bottas hit back. This exchange summed up how this race went.
This was a race short of overtaking action, certainly at the front of the pack where the top three finished in the same positions they qualified in, but there was an exceptional pass from Pierre Gasly on Sergio Perez in the first two laps, going down the inside of the Racing Point when the Mexican was expecting him on the other side of the track.
Belgian Grand Prix
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Belgian Grand Prix
F1: Belgian Grand Prix - as it happened