01-09-2020

Lewis Hamilton wins the Belgium GP to end Mercedes' three-year wait for another victory at Spa-Francorchamps

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Did you know.?

Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps first hosted Grand Prix racing events as far back as 1925 and was also part of the first year of the modern World Championship in 1950.

In the early years, Spa Francorchamps was a treacherous 14km track designed for speed, which used mainly local public roads. The circuit hosted a round of the inaugural Formula 1 World Championship in 1950, with Juan Manuel Fangio taking the victory. Spa remained on the F1 calendar until the late 1960s, but fatalities were common and drivers began voicing their concerns at racing on such a dangerous circuit.

Well let’s get back to the Belgium GP 2020.

An hour before the race it is sunny as it stands, with clouds on the horizon, the rain is expected later in the race. (Well when there is a rain, there is lot of drama)

What a start it was from silver arrows, and especially from one of the Renaults of Ricardo who went neck to neck with Max on the first lap. Leclerc has made up four places on that soft tyre, and Magnussen has had an electric start - he is up to P15 after starting last...

Hamilton led from start to finish defeating team-mate Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull's Max Verstappen into second and third respectively.

The victory has stretched his world championship lead to a massive 47 points - almost the equivalent of two race wins.

The six-time champion is now just two more victories away from Michael Schumacher's all-time record, which could be equaled in two races' time in Mugello at the 1,000th anniversary race for Ferrari, the team who the German great set the landmark with.

But Sunday's race underlined that Ferrari have far bigger worries right now than simply losing a prestigious record. The famous Scuderia had won the previous two Belgian GPs.. at the end of a disappointing race, which saw both cars finish outside the points. Sebastian Vettel was 13th and Charles Leclerc was 14th. Although in reverse order, the two SF1000s finished where they started. Their torrid year is getting worse as each race goes by. Sebastian Vettel swore at his team over the radio, urging them to bring him in for a second change of rubber, before taking the flag in 13th. Charles Leclerc won from pole here last year, but finished 14th after he had to stop for a second time following concerns over his engine. Vettel and Leclerc ended the race 62 and 64 seconds respectively ¬behind Hamilton. Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo led home the team’s best finish of the year in fourth, crossing the line under four seconds behind Verstappen after some rapid final laps, with Esteban Ocon overtaking the Red Bull of Alex Albon on the final lap to take fifth, Albon just holding onto sixth from the McLaren of Lando Norris.

An impressive drive from Pierre Gasly saw him take eighth for AlphaTauri, while the final points were taken by the Racing Point pair of Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez in P9 and P10.

Meanwhile, Hamilton’s fourth Belgian Grand Prix win sees him draw equal with Jim Clark and Kimi Raikkonen on third in the all-time list for Spa victories, behind Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna.

Accident. On lap 10, the Safety Car was required after Antonio Giovinazzi crashed in the Alfa Romeo, an incident which also involved George Russell (Williams.) George Russell's relief after narrowly missing a loose tyre at Belgian Grand Prix with the British driver forced to crash into a barrier as he admits a loose wheel weighing 22lbs barreling towards him in Spa was the most dramatic incident in my career as One year ago, Antoine Hubert lost his life in a Formula Two race at same track The Williams driver admitted that motor racing is 'still incredibly dangerous.

By Lap 10 Hamilton was around 2 seconds clear of Bottas, who’d asked to use his push button to try and close in to and attack his teammate. “We agreed not to use it against each other,” came his race engineer’s response. “I never heard that,” retorted Bottas. (which seemed unusual to me)

By Lap 22 of 44, it was Hamilton was a 3s lead from Bottas, who had Verstappen in close company, while over 10s behind the top three came Ricciardo in fourth – who'd breezed past Gasly down the Kemmel Straight on Lap 21 – with Gasly in fifth heading Albon, with Ocon, Stroll, Norris and Kvyat rounding out the top 10. Ultimately, Gasly was then unable to resist the superior speed of either Albon or Ocon, who passed on Lap 24 and Lap 26 respectively.

With three laps to go, Hamilton was seven seconds clear of Bottas, who was a further 7s up the road from Verstappen – although both Mercedes drivers were worried about the condition of their tyres, with some nervy radio calls to the team as fears of a 70th Anniversary GP-style repeat ending appeared to bubble up in the Silver Arrows camps.

Those fears ultimately proved unfounded, though, as Hamilton eased across the line to take his 89th victory, and fourth at Spa in a race where the threatened rain failed to materialize, with Bottas coming home second, seven seconds to the good over Verstappen, who’d once again somehow managed to summon up Mercedes-esque pace from his Red Bull RB16

This whirlwind season will now head to Monza for the 2020 Italian Grand Prix at Ferrari’s home race for one classic racetrack.

Who can conquer the Temple of Speed next weekend? Tune in on September 4-6 to find out.

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About Author
Farzad Bhagat
Farzad Bhagat

It is said that Parsi's are born with a different vein for cars, however Farzad, was born with a different vein for F1. F1 is in his bloods, and he is someone who can constantly chatter about races and evolution of F-1. 

He started watching races in the early 2000's and has been an ardent Ferrari Fan, like any one of us. While, he has a soft spot for German Drivers, the best driver on the grid undoubtedly is legendary Micheal Schumacher 

 




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