It was a Hamilton weekend at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit and the British driver for Mercedes-Petronas certainly had more reasons then ever to celebrate. Starting his 200th Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton won the Belgian GP after starting on pole and managed to beat Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to claim the victory. Interestingly, Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo finished third on the podium having started sixth on the grid. It was a rather special race for Hamilton as he also managed to equal Michael Schumacher’s all-time record of 68 pole-positions in the Belgian GP.
Hamilton dominated right from the start and the track was favourable to the former world champion’s Mercedes W08. That said, Vettel did come up close and side-by-side with Hamilton on the Kemmel Straight on the opening lap but the German couldn’t match up to the Mercedes’ pace over the 44 lap race. Hamilton managed to maintain a 1.5 second lead over Vettel throughout, eventually winning the Belgian GP with a lead of 2.3 seconds. The victory has also narrowed the gap further between the two drivers to just seven points, making things a lot more exciting for who the world champion will be this year.
Showing some incredible pace quite surprisingly was Ricciardo after a less impressive practice and qualifying sessions. The Red Bull cars weren’t exactly up to pace at the track and things seemed to plummet further for the team after Max Verstappen retired on Lap 6. The 19-year-old suffered a mechanical problem, which prompted the yellow flags to be called out. This ensured that a lot of drivers at the back of the grid had enough time to catch up. It also led to Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen receiving a 10-second penalty for not slowing down when the yellow flags were out. This helped Ricciardo to recover to fourth. The Australian then used slip-stream coupled with ultra-soft tyres to pass Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas, who was in the third place until that point.
LAP 18/44: In comes Kimi, he’s not too happy about it!