Ferrari newcomer Charles Leclerc enjoyed his first taste of Formula One victory on Sunday after crossing the finish line first at the Belgian Grand Prix, held at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
Ferrari was dominant the entire weekend, with Leclerc starting on pole and his teammate, Sebastian Vettel, starting next to him. Unfortunately for Vettel, he had to make an additional pit stop after his tires on his second stint degraded more than expected. This dropped him to fourth place by the end of the race.
Leclerc was in the lead throughout most of the race, only trailing Vettel momentarily following pit stops. Mercedes-AMG's Lewis Hamilton made a late attack on the lead driver but couldn't pass so had to settle for second, crossing the line about a second behind Leclerc. Third was fellow Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas who finished more than 12 seconds behind the winner.
Elsewhere, McLaren’s Lando Norris looked to impress with a fifth-place finish, which would have been his best result, though unfortunately for him a retirement came on the final lap due to power unit trouble. The position was then handed to Aston Martin Red Bull Racing newcomer Alexander Albon.
Mercedes-AMG's Lewis Hamilton at the 2019 Formula One Belgian Grand Prix
Red Bull's other driver, Max Verstappen, also retired after he came into contact with Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen on the opening lap. Raikkonen was able to continue but only finished 16th.
Hamilton still leads the Drivers' Championship with 268 points. Bottas is second with 203 points and Verstappen is third with 181 points. In the Constructors' Championship, Mercedes leads with 471 points versus the 326 of Ferrari and 254 of Red Bull. F1 will continue in just a few days with the Italian Grand Prix.
Sadly, the past weekend was marred by the death of promising driver Anthoine Hubert in a major crash on Saturday during a Formula Two race held at Spa. Two other drivers, Juan Manuel Correa and Guiliano Alesi, the son of former F1 driver Jean Alesi, were also involved in the crash. Alesi was cleared by doctors on the day but Correa remains in hospital after undergoing surgery for leg fractures and a “minor spinal injury,” according to a statement from the FIA.
Below are the full results from the 2019 Formula One Belgian Grand Prix:
1) Charles Leclerc, Ferrari
2) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes-AMG +0.981 seconds
3) Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes-AMG +12.585 seconds
4) Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari +26.422 seconds
5) Alexander Albon, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing +81.325 seconds
6) Sergio Perez, Racing Point +84.448 seconds
7) Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso +89.657 seconds
8) Nico Hulkenberg, Renault +106.639 seconds
9) Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso +109.168 seconds
10) Lance Stroll, Racing Point +109.838 seconds
11) Lando Norris DNF
12) Kevin Magnussen, Haas +1 lap
13) Romain Grosjean, Haas +1 lap
14) Daniel Ricciardo, Renault +1 lap
15) George Russell, Williams +1 lap
16) Kimi Raikkonen, Alfa Romeo +1 lap
17) Robert Kubica, Williams +1 lap
18) Antonio Giovinazzi, Alfa Romeo DNF
NC) Carlos Sainz, McLaren
NC) Max Verstappen, Aston Martin Red Bull Racing