The Belgian Grand Prix, Round 7 of the curtailed 2020 F1 season saw Mercedes take a commanding victory once again which has become the norm in 2020 given the competitive advantage of their car.
Mercedes powered Lewis Hamilton to take his fourth victory at the Belgian Grand Prix. Of the seven grands prix so far in 2020, the Anglo-German outfit has secured its sixth triumph today, highlighting its technical supremacy in the seventh year of the hybrid power unit era of the sport.
Despte all his efforts, Max Verstappen played only second fiddle to the Mercedes duo, bringing his Red Bull RB16 home in third place. The Belgian-born Dutchman continued his incredible streak this season by scoring his sixth podium finish in seven races. The 22-year-old was only absent from the rostrum in the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix after retiring from the race action due to technical issues to his car.
MercedesLewis Hamilton, 1st
"Spa is such a special circuit, I could just drive around here for lap after lap. It's not always been an easy one for me, so to come here and get pole and the win this weekend is fantastic. The first lap can be a nightmare, because of the huge tow down the big straight, but I managed to keep Valtteri behind me on lap one and from there I had a strong race. Of course, I'd love to be able to win every race wheel to wheel, but today was a different kind of race, it was all about managing the tyres and the gap to the cars behind. I was slightly nervous at the end that we might see a repeat of the tyre issue we had in Silverstone, but thankfully it held in there. Huge credit to the team, both here and back home in Brackley and Brixworth. No matter how much success we've had over the years, everyone just keeps their heads down and focuses on trying to improve. It's an incredible mentality to have and it's inspiring to be working in that kind of environment."Valtteri Bottas, 2nd
"The race was pretty straight-forward today; I was hoping to really get some good opportunities today in the first lap and at the Safety Car restart, but I couldn't use the tow going up to Turn 5 enough today. I was actually really close to Lewis out of the first corner, but the tow effect was much smaller today than it was in previous years. I'm not quite sure why, maybe that's because we had a tail wind going into Turn 5. I don't think there was really any other opportunity to catch Lewis; he was on pole, drove a good race and deserved the win today. Towards the end of the race, we had to really manage the tyres quite a bit; I was starting to get the same kind of vibration that I felt before the end of the race in Silverstone when I suffered the puncture. I had to reduce the pace quite a bit to save the tyres, but it worked out and I'm happy that this time I didn't lose the points. I was just told that this was my 51st podium - the same number of podiums that Mika Häkkinen scored in his career. He was my idol growing up, so it's great to equal him in that way, although he is obviously mostly known for his two titles."
Alfa RomeoKimi Raikkonen, 12th
“I feel the result today is as good as it could have been. The car felt good but P12 is the most we could get, and that gives you no points: it’s disappointing as we really gave everything we had. The start was bad, the car went into antistall at Turn 1 and it put me at the very back. After that we had good speed but sadly not enough to make it into the top 10. I got stuck behind Kvyat, I felt I was quicker than him in the middle sector but couldn’t get a run on him where I could try a pass. We’ll try to make more progress in Monza.”Antonio Giovinazzi, DNF
“A disappointing ending to my race: I was pushing a lot to keep within DRS range of Sebastian [Vettel] and the car just snapped on the exit. I was on the limit and when you’re there, sometimes mistakes can happen. I feel sorry for the team as they deserved a good result this weekend, and of course also for George [Russell] as his race was compromised as well, although I couldn’t do anything about that. There are still some positives I can take from this race: I had another really good start, I made up a few places and I was able to be in a fight with the Ferraris, so we can build on that. Next race up is my home race in Italy, I’ll need to reset and be in a better shape for next weekend.”
HaasRomain Grosjean, 15th
“We wouldn’t necessarily haven taken P15 this morning, if offered it, but what we would have taken is to be able to fight with Ferrari. For us, that’s a benchmark, and in that aspect we did well. I thought I could keep Charles (Leclerc) behind me, but sadly on the last lap I had a bit of a lock up at Turn 1 – anyway the tyres were running out of life. It was fun in that aspect. We did the best behind Vettel and Leclerc; Alfa Romeo did a good job being in front of them.”Kevin Magnussen, 17th
“We needed something to help us today, weather or something, but we didn’t get any. I had another good first lap though, I’m really happy about that. But from there we just didn’t really have the pace, especially on the first stint on the C3 tyre. At the beginning of that stint I was very slow, just overheating the tyres. I got that under control later on, then we pitted onto the C2 and it was a little bit like that again – just struggling a bit on the first part of the stint but getting better towards the end. I lost a position at the end when we pitted again. It’s been a tough day but there was not much we could do.”
"It is frustrating, I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and there was nothing we could do. I went to the left to avoid Antonio’s car and then his wheel came from nowhere and hit the front of my car which pushed me into the wall. It was quite a big impact, but I am okay. I feel very fortunate to have the halo on the car as it could have gone quite near my helmet. It was a very unfortunate set of circumstances, but that’s just racing sometimes. Up until that point I was in a good rhythm. I had overtaken the Haas, but it would have been a long and difficult race out there for us."Nicholas Latifi, 16th
"Straight from the formation lap and the start of the race I didn’t have a good feeling with the car, there was quite an imbalance. The conditions were different compared to the previous days and it was a real challenge out there. I enjoyed the last stint pushing flat out on the edge, chasing Romain and the Ferraris. Overall, it was a very tough race today."
Red BullMax Verstappen, 3rd
“I love this track but the race was not really the most exciting from my side. It wasn’t really much of a fight and I just tried to do my own race and maximise the result. On the medium tyre I didn’t have a lot of grip and then on the hard I was initially trying to put pressure on Valtteri but he was told to speed up and was able to build a good gap, so after that it was a bit lonely. There was not much action up front unfortunately and the tyre wear was quite high so we couldn’t really push. I had some vibrations towards the end of the race so I really had to manage my tyres, I took no risks and brought it home. Overall, we had a good weekend and the car balance was nice so we can be pleased with that. We are not here to finish third and we want more but it is always good to be on the podium.”Alex Albon, 6th
“It was a frustrating race and it was pretty tricky to do anything. We knew before the race that the Renaults would be hard to overtake with their low downforce and straightline speed and that proved to be the case. I felt pretty good at the start on the soft tyre and then we managed to jump Ocon in the pits when we changed to mediums, thanks to a good stop from the boys in the garage. I don’t think we expected as much degradation as we got on that compound and maybe they weren’t the right choice in the end but I pushed as hard as I could to try and do the overtakes and the tyres just dropped off. We’ll have a look at it to see what we can learn before our focus shifts towards Monza in a few days but it’s nice to move up to fourth in the championship which is a sign we’re making progress.”
“What a race and definitely an excellent result for the team. We had a lot of pace today and fourth is a strong result. It’s been a while since I’ve had the fastest lap of the race, so that was also nice. My engineer told me what the current fastest was and I thought ‘I got this’! It was a proper big lap; I used all the track and went for it. Maybe it was better than my qualifying lap yesterday! This was a good track for us last year and Monza was even better. We’ll see what happens, but we can go there with a lot of confidence.”Esteban Ocon, 6th
“That fifth place was ours today, so I’m very happy to secure it on the last lap. It’s fantastic for the team to have fourth and fifth today, we’ve been quick all weekend and fighting with the top cars. The race was pretty solid, we got Albon at the start and then lost it at the pit stop. The guys did a great job on the stop, so we’ll see where we missed out there. From there we had to keep working hard, close the gap and then find a pass at the end. It’s positive that the car is performing well at these tracks, so we can go to Monza feeling ready to go again.”
McLarenCarlos Sainz, DNS
“I’m extremely disappointed not to race for a second-consecutive year here in Belgium. Having started from P7 and seeing how the race unfolded, we definitely missed a very strong chance to score big points and get a good result. So, I’m very far from happy. It’s the second engine with issues this year and the frustration of losing points again is very tough. I strongly feel this is not the season we deserve so far. However, we’ll put it behind us and switch our focus to Monza tomorrow. We move on.”Lando Norris, 7th
"A good race in the end: P10 to P7, so I’m pretty happy. It was a tricky start – I don’t know what happened at the end of the back straight, there was some water or a bit of oil on track or something and I completely lost the rear. It put me down a few positions more than I wanted and set me back – but the rest of the race was really good.
“I controlled my pace when I had to, knowing that the Racing Points and Renaults were quick when we had a similar tyre life. I knew I might’ve been able to overtake and that’s what I did. I felt the car came on strong – it got better and better towards the end of the race and we managed to push forward a bit with some good pace. One more lap and I could’ve done something to get P6, but I’m still happy with P7.”
AlphaTauriPierre Gasly, 8th
“It was an important day for me because I wanted to do well for Anthoine after what happened last year. We decided to go for a different strategy, starting on the hard compound. It was better than expected and I was able to attack and overtake quite a few cars. The move on Perez was especially intense but very enjoyable! We knew a Safety Car between the start of the race and Lap 20 would be a killer for us, but unfortunately, that’s what happened and gave the other cars a free pit stop. We didn’t give up because we had a great car, good pace, so I pushed as hard as I could. After our pit stop, we exited almost last and we had to fight back through the field, but I enjoyed it and to recover to P8 was just great! I reckon the Safety Car cost us a potential P5 today because I think we lost around 20 seconds there and finished seven seconds behind Ocon in P5. We had a big job ahead of us today, so to recover the way we did was great and I think we can be very happy with that. It’s nice to be voted Driver of the Day, so thanks to all the people who voted for me and I’ll try to put this kind of performance again and again in the coming weeks.”Daniil Kvyat, 11th
“I think that we didn’t choose the right strategy today, so we will have to review our race. We couldn’t have known it before the race, so we split the cars and unfortunately, I was on the wrong side of the strategy call. It would have been better to start on the harder compound, and I felt I was always in the wrong place at the wrong time today, because at a track like Spa, it’s very hard to keep cars behind on old tyres.”
Racing PointSergio Perez, 10th
“It’s important we go away and review the strategy, but I don’t think it had a big bearing on the race as we were able to get both cars into the points – which is the positive from today. The task now is to go away and understand why we weren’t able to maintain the pace we had at the beginning of the weekend through qualifying and the race. We were able to make up places after our pitstop and get back into the points, and it was nice to be able to make a few overtakes out there! But overall, we just didn’t have enough pace today, so we need to make sure we come back stronger at Monza next weekend. It’s a track that should suit us, and I’m hopeful we can score good points there.”Lance Stroll, 9th
“It was a difficult race today. We made a good start and gained a place, and we were looking comfortable in the first stint, but we had degradation in the second on the hard tyre and it was difficult to manage. We were running in P7 late on and I’m disappointed to have finished in P9 – but there was nothing I could do to hold onto a higher position. The positive is that we were able to score points on a challenging day regardless, and we’ve got a chance to improve and score more points next weekend at Monza. I think the circuit should suit our car, but we need to go away and analyse everything that happened today to find some solutions to ensure we hit the ground running at Monza.”
FerrariSebastian Vettel, 13th
"It was not an easy race. We finished in the same place in which we started. We tried everything with both cars, but we were just too slow. I hope the situation on this circuit doesn’t repeat itself. I think this track maybe exposed our weaknesses a bit more than others. I believe we can do a bit better next week. We must work to make sure that we take everything we can from this weekend, learn all there is to learn and go forward."Charles Leclerc, 14th
"It has been a very difficult day. I had a very good start and managed to make up several positions thanks to a good tow up to Turn 5, but after that things started to get worse. First of all, we lost time during both pit stops due to some issues.
"During the second stint, we knew that we couldn’t make any miracles happen so, seeing the position we were in, with a train of cars ahead and no possibility to overtake, we decided to try something different and go for a second stop. It’s a shame that it didn’t work out, but ultimately, today we just didn’t have the pace we needed. The next race will be a difficult one for us, but hopefully from Mugello, it could get better. We have to stay united, react and work hard to come back to where we were before.”