Belgium Grand Prix Highlights:
- Vettel came first with a time of 1:23:34 to add 25 points to his tally
- Hamilton and Verstappen took home 18 and 15 points respectively with their 2nd and 3rd place finishes
- Vettel closed the gap to Hamilton to 17 points
- The Italian GP will take place next Sunday
Formula 1 made a grand re-entry after its summer break with a roller-coaster of a Belgian Grand Prix that saw Sebastian Vettel run away with pole position. A time of 1:23:34 was enough for him to finish ahead of current championship leader Lewis Hamilton by 10 seconds. The race left the Mercedes man dejected and disappointed which left him just 17 points in the lead ahead of a long and championship leader Lewis Hamilton busy race season.
After coming first in the qualification round, the odds were in favor of Hamilton resuming regular work. However, he was pegged up by Vettel who refused to let him overtake on multiple positions, leaving Hamilton frustrated on the end of the day.
With both Mercedes and Ferrari bringing in power upgrades this weekend after getting plenty of time to work on their cars in the four-week break, fireworks were expected to erupt in Belgium. And we were treated to just what we wanted with Vettel and Hamilton continuing their rivalry in fine fashion as they fought it out for first place in a photo finish.
The drama unfolded in the race as soon as lights were out with chaos ensuing after Alonso’s McLaren landed on top of Leclerc’s Sauber after being launched into the air by Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg, who missed his braking point at the first corner at Spa. Luckily for the drivers, the newly introduced halo ensured that both escaped from the terrifying crash without any sustainable injuries. The new protective headgear which has been introduced this season to help aid drivers’ safety was applauded by Alonso and Leclerc after the race.
Alonso added: “The positive side is we are all three OK, especially Charles. I flew over his car and the halo was a good thing to have today.”
Leclerc: “If today it has been useful or not, I don’t know. I don’t know what would have happened without it but in some cases, it is definitely helpful.”
With the safety car in place, Vettel and Hamilton took to racing towards the finishing flag. Hamilton’s back to back victories before the break meant Vettel needed to come first to keep the championship alive. Overtaking Hamilton in Kemmel Straight, Vettel went onto holding him off at Les Combes to take a massive advantage, one Hamilton was never able to overcome.
“He drove past me like I wasn’t even there on the straights,” said Hamilton after his defeat. “I think I could have [passed him] but again he would have sailed past me on the straight,” he said. “They’ve got a few trick things going on in the car. I did what I could, we did what we could and we’ve just got to keep working.”