Lewis Hamilton Edges Out Sebastian Vettel at Belgian Grand Prix 2017
Following an intense competition, Britain’s Lewis Hamilton defeated Germany’s Sebastian Vettel to clinch his fifth win of the current F1 season at the Belgian Grand Prix 2017 on August 27th. The race unfolded in front of a 100,000-strong crowd at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Stavelot, and Hamilton came out on top after a grueling 44-lap race to be crowned the Belgian Grand Prix winner.
In the wake of Hamilton’s first place and Vettel’s second, Daniel Ricciardo was left to bag a third for Red Bull, while Kimi Raikkonen claimed fourth and Valtteri Bottas came fifth.
Mercedes vs. Ferrari – A Close Battle
Hamilton and Vettel engaged in a tough and intense battle on a track which is characteristic for its challenging, fast, and winding nature. The circuit was known to favor Hamilton’s car, but Vettel’s Ferrari gave Hamilton’s Mercedes a run for their money. Throughout the race, both drivers went wheel-to-wheel only twice – however, the tension never abated once.
Vettel’s Ferrari remained within a second and a half of the Mercedes driver throughout most of the race, resulting in a neck-to-neck competition that the crowds greatly appreciated. Eventually, however, Hamilton expertly managed both a tyre disadvantage and a late safety car to finish first by 2.3s.
“There was no point at which I was comfortable,” Hamilton admitted, following the race. “Both of us were pushing for every single lap. It was like a sprint race, no room for error or the smallest mistake.” Vettel was equally appreciative of the tense competition, terming it “a very good race, good fun”.
Following the Belgian Grand Prix results, Hamilton is now 7 points short of Vettel in the on-going 2017 Formula 1 season.
Hamilton Equals Michael Schumacher’s Record For F1 Poles
In addition to his win at the Belgian Grand Prix 2017, Hamilton also enjoyed another special accomplishment at Stavelot. At the Belgian GP, Hamilton led from the pole – his 68th pole position at his 200th GP. This put him in a tied position with Michael Schumacher for the all-time highest number of pole positions achieved in F1. Hamilton termed it a “surreal and a humbling experience” to have equaled the legendary Schumacher’s record.
An Unpredictable F1 2017
The 2017 Formula One season has been an exciting and unpredictable one so far, with no single rider having cinched consecutive wins. This makes it difficult to determine how the finale in Abu Dhabi will play out, and who will end up crowned the winner. “From today it looks like it is going down to the wire, the difference could be in the pendulum swinging a millimetre either way”, Belgian GP champion Hamilton noted after claiming his victory at Spa-Francorchamps.
With 8 more Grands Prix remaining, the championship continues. The riders are set to battle it out next in Italy, at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza on September 3rd.
Lewis Hamilton finally managed to cut Sebastian Vettel’s lead at the top of the F1 drivers’ championship to 7 points after recording his incredible 58th career race victory at the Belgian Grand Prix 2017 in Spa.