Lewis Hamilton took a comfortable fifth win of the 2020 Formula 1 season in the Belgian Grand Prix, as the Ferraris finished outside the points and George Russell and Antonio Giovinazzi escaped a huge crash.
Hamilton controlled the race throughout ahead of Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.
Like most of the field, the top three had to take care of their tyres in the second half of the 44-lap race as they had all pitted under the safety car period caused by Giovinazzi and Russell’s lap 11 incident.
Giovinazzi had lost control of his Alfa Romeo on the exit of Fagnes and speared into the barriers before going back across the track.
As it did so, a stray wheel went into Russell’s path – with the Williams hitting it and ploughing into the wall as well. Both drivers were unhurt.
Hamilton had been keeping Bottas at a safe distance in the opening stint while Verstappen fell away from them.
Verstappen stayed closer to Bottas following the restart, but as all three focused on tyre management later on the gaps increased. Hamilton ultimately won by 8.5s, with Verstappen seven seconds behind Bottas.
Daniel Ricciardo grabbed the race’s fastest lap right at the end with a very strong drive to fourth place for Renault.
Completing a great final lap for the team, Ricciardo’s team-mate Esteban Ocon overtook Alex Albon for fifth, having previously fallen behind the Red Bull in the pitstops.
Albon went onto mediums at his sole stop when everyone else took hards, so spent the final laps under heavy pressure from Ocon and Lando Norris – who also put a late move on Lance Stroll.
Norris’s McLaren-Renault team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr failed to start the race following an engine problem on the reconnaissance lap that led to an exhaust failure.
Pierre Gasly charged to eighth in the early laps, including a pass through Eau Rouge on Sergio Perez. Both stayed out when the rest pitted under the safety car, meaning they had to charge from the back once they had stopped under green later in the race.
Gasly made it to eighth, with Perez finishing right behind team-mate Stroll in 10th.
Ferrari was a miserable 13th and 14th with Sebastian Vettel ahead of Charles Leclerc and both behind Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari-powered Alfa Romeo.
Leclerc surged to eighth on lap one then was overtaken by a string of cars. He made a second pitstop as Ferrari tried alternative strategies but nothing helped. His car also needed its pneumatic system topped up at both pitstops.
|Pos||Name||Car||Laps||Laps Led||Total Time||Fastest Lap||Pitstops||Pts|
|3||Max Verstappen||Red Bull-Honda||44||0||+15.455s||1m48.305s||1||15|
|6||Alex Albon||Red Bull-Honda||44||0||+42.712s||1m48.736s||1||8|
|9||Lance Stroll||Racing Point-Mercedes||44||0||+52.603s||1m49.136s||1||2|
|10||Sergio Pérez||Racing Point-Mercedes||44||0||+53.179s||1m48.389s||1||1|
|12||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||44||0||+1m11.504s||1m49.822s||1||0|
|Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||9||0||DNF||1m51.793s||0||0|