Tue | Dec 12, 2017

Hamilton on top in Belgian GP

Published:Monday | August 28, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain (centre) is jubilant while raising his trophy on the podium after winning the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix in Spa-Francorchamps yesterday. Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany (left) placed second and Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo of Australia (second right) placed third.

SPA-FRANORCHAMPS, Belgium (AP):

For a brief moment, Lewis Hamilton feared he had lost the Belgian Grand Prix yesterday.

Sebastian Vettel, on quicker tires with about 10 laps to go, drove up right alongside him on a long straight, and Hamilton thought "this might be it."

But the British driver fended off his rival heading into the corner.

"It worked out perfect. It was great to go into turn five, having just done enough," Hamilton said. "He was able to get way too close. It was only just enough to stay ahead."

After that, Vettel never got another chance to pass Hamilton and conceded some ground in the title race.

Hamilton's third Spa win helped him trim championship leader Vettel's advantage over him to seven points, with eight races left in what is shaping up to be a nail-biting finish.

Hamilton's fifth win this season was his 58th overall, having equalled Michael Schumacher's pole position record of 68 in Saturday's qualifying.

Vettel finished about two seconds behind Hamilton.

"I was waiting for Lewis to make a mistake and he didn't," the German driver said. "I'm not entirely happy."

The track was more suited to Mercedes than Ferrari, and Hamilton said improvement can still be made.

"This weekend we definitely didn't have the race pace. The car is not quite where we need it," said Hamilton, who was competing in his 200th GP. "It was only just enough to stay ahead."

Four-time F1 champion Vettel has 220 points to three-time champion Hamilton's 213 heading into next weekend's Italian GP in Monza.

"The positive thing is that we had really good race pace," Vettel said.

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo finished third for his sixth podium of the season ahead of Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen, with Hamilton's teammate, Valtteri Bottas, fifth.

 

Belgian Grand Prix Results:

 

1. (1) Lewis Hamilton, Britain, Mercedes GP, 1 hour, 24 minutes, 42.820 seconds

2. (2) Sebastian Vettel, Germany, Ferrari, 1:24:45.178

3. (6) Daniel Ricciardo, Australia, Red Bull, 1:24:53.611

4. (4) Kimi Raikkonen, Finland, Ferrari, 1:24:57.291

5. (3) Valtteri Bottas, Finland, Mercedes GP, 1:24:59.276

6. (7) Nico Hulkenberg, Germany, Renault, 1:25:10.907

7. (12) Romain Grosjean, France, Haas F1, 1:25:14.373

8. (16) Felipe Massa, Brazil, Williams, 1:25:19.469

9. (9) Esteban Ocon, France, Force India, 1:25:20.974

10. (14) Carlos Sainz, Spain, Scuderia Toro Rosso, 1:25:22.267

11. (18) Lance Stroll, Canada, Williams, 1:25:31.819

12. (17) Daniil Kvyat, Russia, Scuderia Toro Rosso, 1:25:32.760

13. (10) Jolyon Palmer, Britain, Renault, 1:25:36.059

14. (15) Stoffel Vandoorne, Belgium, McLaren, 1:25:39.898

15. (13) Kevin Magnussen, Denmark, Haas F1, 1:25:50.082

16. (19) Marcus Ericsson, Sweden, Sauber-Ferrari, 1:25:52.531

17. (8) Sergio Perez, Mexico, Force India, 2 Laps

Did Not Finish

18. (11) Fernando Alonso, Spain, McLaren, 25 laps

19. (5) Max Verstappen, Netherlands, Red Bull, 7 laps

20. (20) Pascal Wehrlein, Germany, Sauber-Ferrari, 2 laps

Driver Championship Standings

1. Sebastian Vettel, Germany, Ferrari, 220

2. Lewis Hamilton, Britain, Mercedes GP, 213

3. Valtteri Bottas, Finland, Mercedes GP, 179

4. Daniel Ricciardo, Australia, Red Bull, 132

5. Kimi Raikkonen, Finland, Ferrari, 128

6. Max Verstappen, Netherlands, Red Bull, 67

7. Sergio Perez, Mexico, Force India, 56

8. Esteban Ocon, France, Force India, 47

9. Carlos Sainz, Spain, Scuderia Toro Rosso, 36

10. Nico Hulkenberg, Germany, Renault, 34

11. Felipe Massa, Brazil, Williams, 27

12. Romain Grosjean, France, Haas F1, 24

13. Lance Stroll, Canada, Williams, 18

14. Kevin Magnussen, Denmark, Haas F1, 11

15. Fernando Alonso, Spain, McLaren, 10

16. Pascal Wehrlein, Germany, Sauber-Ferrari, 5

17. Daniil Kvyat, Russia, Scuderia Toro Rosso, 4

18. Stoffel Vandoorne, Belgium, McLaren, 1

Manufacturers Standings

1. Mercedes GP, 392

2. Ferrari, 348

3. Red Bull, 199

4. Force India, 103

5. Williams, 45

6. Scuderia Toro Rosso, 40

7. Haas F1, 35

8. Renault, 34

9. McLaren, 11

10. Sauber-Ferrari, 5