Sunday, August 30, 2020

Hamilton Scorches Spa-Francorchamps For Race Pole

Photo Credit: Pirelli & C. S.p.A.

In recent years, the Belgian Grand Prix has been recognized as the start of the second half of the Formula 1 season after the series’ summer break. With a revised 2020 schedule, the popular Formula 1 competition at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps appears as the seventh event on the recently finalized 17-race seasonal calender. 

The 20-car qualifying session for the 2020 Belgian Grand Prix concluded with the familiar sight of Lewis Hamilton’s #44 Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team race car prevailing after time expired in Q3. Achieving a new track record on the 7.004-kilometer Spa-Francorchamps circuit, Hamilton’s 1-minute, 41.252-second lap time was roughly 1.3 seconds faster than the pole qualifying time last year. The pole for Sunday’s 44-lap race in Belgium is Lewis Hamilton’s 93rd career Formula 1 pole position and was dedicated to the memory of recently departed actor Chadwick Boseman who lost a battle with colon cancer on Friday.

With a time of 1-minute, 41.763 seconds in Q3, Valtteri Bottas secured a lock of the front row for Sunday’s main event. The second place qualifying position is the Finnish driver’s highest grid spot at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.

Slotted into the second row of the grid order for the 2020 Belgian Grand Prix is Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo. Reaffirming a position as a top runner in this Formula 1 season when excluding the dominant performances of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, Verstappen’s Red Bull Racing RB16 vehicle was just 0.015 seconds slower than the second Mercedes AMG runner. With a course set to Renault following the 2020 season, Daniel Ricciardo is nonetheless eager to prove that himself and his current pairing with the Renault F1 team are capable of moments of greatness. Ricciardo’s Renault will be the highest starter in the Belgian Grand Prix wearing Pirelli soft compound tires. The top three starters (Hamilton, Bottas and Verstappen) are the only participants on Sunday beginning the race on medium compound rubber. 

Photo Credit: Pirelli & C. S.p.A.

Alexander Albon and Esteban Ocon will start on the third row for the grand prix in Belgium. With Carlos Sainz Jr. positioned in seventh and Lando Norris qualifying in tenth, the McLaren duo sandwiched the two Racing Point entries as Sergio Perez starts one spot higher than Lance Stroll. 

Belgian Grand Prix qualifying is another painful outing for the Scuderia Ferrari team. The winning team of the previous two grand prixs on the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Ferrari failed to have either of their two vehicles break into Q3. Last year’s Belgian Grand Prix victor Charles Leclerc could only obtain a 13th place starting spot while Sebastian Vettel grabbed 14th. Vettel’s top lap time in qualifying was more than two seconds slower than the pole-winning effort of Lewis Hamilton.  

The 44-lap Belgian Grand Prix will start Sunday at 3:10 pm local time or 9:10 am eastern time.

2020 Formula 1
Belgian Grand Prix
Starting Grid

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