Lewis Hamilton salutes Chadwick Boseman after dominating pole run

Lewis Hamilton Chadwick Boseman
Francois Lenoir/Pool via Getty Images

After a dominating pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix, six-time Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton immediately turned to Chadwick Boseman, the “Black Panther” star who died of colon cancer Friday at 43.

Hamilton radioed his team “that one was for Chadwick. Chadwick Boseman. Rest In peace, mate” on the cooldown lap from thumping the field with a track record 1 minute, 41.451 seconds (more than a half-second better than Mercedes-AMG F1 teammate Valtteri Bottas) on the famed 4.3-mile Spa circuit.

The only Black driver in F1 exited his No. 44 car and honored Boseman with a “Wakanda Forever” salute (from the movie that Boseman made famous).

“Today’s a really important pole for me because I woke up to the saddest news of Chadwick passing away,” Hamilton said after his 93rd career pole position. “It’s been such a heavy year for all of us, and that news really, really broke me.

“It was really not easy to get back in focus coming in today with that kind of hanging on my heart, but I was like I’ve got to go out there and drive to perfection because what he’s done for our people and what he’s done for this superhero shows all the young kids that it’s possible. He was such a shining light. So, ‘Wakanda Forever.’ ”

Hamilton has been an outspoken voice this season for social justice and advocating change in F1, joining a Black Lives Matter march in London and pushing for diversity in the series.

Max Verstappen qualified third, followed by Daniel Ricciardo. Alex Albon, Esteban Ocon, Carlos Sainz Jr. Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll and Lando Norris also advanced to the third and final round of qualifying.

The Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc continued to suffer through a disastrous weekend at the famed