SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium — Lewis Hamilton led from start to finish at the Belgian GP to clinch his 89th career win and move two behind Michael Schumacher’s Formula One record on Sunday.
The defending series champion was untroubled from pole position at the Spa circuit, beating his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas by eight seconds and finishing 15 seconds ahead of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen. Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo was fourth and grabbed an extra point for the fastest lap.
Hamilton’s fifth victory in seven races this season (and his fourth at Spa) also extended his championship lead over Verstappen to 47 points with Bottas drifting back in third.
Hamilton is an overwhelming favorite to win a seventh title to tie Schumacher’s record.
— Mercedes-AMG F1 (@MercedesAMGF1) August 30, 2020
Schumacher won five of those F1 titles consecutively during a glorious era for Ferrari, but the proud Italian team is struggling badly now. Sebastian Vettel finished 13th and Charles Leclerc 14th.
Having secured a record-extending 93rd career pole, which he dedicated to American actor Chadwick Boseman, Hamilton made a clean start, and Bottas was unable to exert pressure on the long straight up to Turn 2.
Early in the 44-lap race, Williams driver George Russell and Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi crashed heavily but were both unharmed.
McLaren driver Carlos Sainz Jr. failed to start because of an exhaust failure.
A minute’s silence was held before the race in memory of French driver Anthoine Hubert, who died here last year following a horrific crash during an F2 race.
F1 driver Pierre Gasly, who was close friends with Hubert, and other drivers gathered solemnly around a picture of Hubert on the grid. His racing helmet was placed on a stand.