Party Time For Lewis Hamilton

In the final race with ‘party mode’ available, Lewis Hamilton took charge and stormed to pole, beating out his teammate Valtteri Bottas to take his 93rd pole in F1. It was also Hamilton’s fifth pole of the 2020 Formula 1 season, and his sixth at the Belgian Grand Prix.

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Listen: 2020 Belgian Grand Prix Analysis




Emotional Pole For Hamilton

Following the death of Chadwick Boseman, it was an emotional pole for Hamilton, who dedicated his performance to the late actor.

‘I feel incredibly blessed to be able to take pole on a day like this. I woke up this morning to the terrible news about Chadwick Boseman. What a humble man he was, portraying these iconic black figures. As a kid I wanted to be Superman, and it’s so important today for young black people to have a superhero to look up to, who looks just like them. It’s really not easy to perform at your best when you have something weighing on your heart, and to be truthful it was so difficult to shake off that negativity and channel it into something exceptional, but Chadwick showed that was possible. I’ve done a lot of laps in my F1 career, but those two laps in Q3 were almost perfect. You can’t see my face under my helmet out there, but I was smiling, this track is just incredible and I was totally on the limit. We decided to go out early and run in the clean air as it’s so easy to make a mess of the tow if you get blocked or there’s a yellow flag and we definitely made the right call. We’ve got a big race still to come tomorrow and the Red Bulls looked good on the long-runs on Friday, but today it was an honour to be able to dedicate that pole to Chadwick because he inspired me. My prayers and thoughts are with his family,’ said Hamilton.

2020 Belgian Grand Prix, Saturday - Lewis Hamilton (image courtesy Mercedes-AMG Petronas)
2020 Belgian Grand Prix, Saturday – Lewis Hamilton (image courtesy Mercedes-AMG Petronas)

Bottas Looking For Race Day Advantage

Despite finishing well down on his teammates time, Valtteri Bottas isn’t too concerned, feeling there can be an advantage from starting in second on the grid at Spa.

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‘I’m quite happy with Qualifying, my lap felt good today, especially the second run in Q3. I don’t think I made any mistakes in that run, so I’m not sure where the delta to Lewis came from, I’ll have to look at the data. But I’m actually not too bothered about missing pole, as starting second or third can be an advantage in Spa. We’ve seen it before that with a tow on the first lap you can overtake the leader going into Turn 5. I hope there’s plenty of opportunity tomorrow to try and fight for a good result and I’m looking forward to an exciting race,’ said Bottas.

2020 Belgian Grand Prix, Saturday - Valtteri Bottas (image courtesy Mercedes-AMG Petronas)
2020 Belgian Grand Prix, Saturday – Valtteri Bottas (image courtesy Mercedes-AMG Petronas)

Max Verstappen Happy With Qualifying Result

With his teams closest gap to Mercedes in qualifying this year, Max Verstappen was pleased with his teams performance, and will look to take the fight up to Mercedes on race day.

‘Overall, it’s been a really positive weekend so far, we came here and thought it was going to be really tricky for us and actually to be that close to Valtteri and in P3 is a good result. The lap was decent and of course I always look at the fastest car and we are half a second down but I think it is the closest we have been to Mercedes in qualifying this year. For us on this track, that is not normally our type of qualifying track, I think we can all be very happy with the result and now I’m looking forward to the race. I don’t think we prefer a wet or dry race but a change in weather during the race would spice things up. This track is amazing to drive in qualifying and already very exciting in the race, but if the weather comes into play a bit like last year at Hockenheim then it could be very special. I’m happy with the balance of the car and we have made a good step. Now we need to hope for a good start and then we can push Mercedes hard and maximise our result again,’ said Verstappen.

2020 Belgian Grand Prix, Saturday - Max Verstappen (image courtesy Red Bull Racing)
2020 Belgian Grand Prix, Saturday – Max Verstappen (image courtesy Red Bull Racing)