Rate the race and Driver of the Weekend- Round 13 – Belgian GP, Spa Francochamps 2019
Rate the Race reader score 7.46 Rated 6/13 races so far this season
Well, you thought this was the best race in Spa over the last four years and rated it 6th of the season so far. 7.46 knocked last year’s 5.22 into a cocked hat and was better than the 7.28 of 2016, the 6.28 of 2017 and the 6.32 of 2015.
Ferrari looked dominant all weekend, but let’s face it, we’ve become accustomed to Merc sandbagging and then ‘miraculously’ Hamilton pulling it out of the bag during Q3. Well not this week, folks, Ferrari dominated in Q3 as well, with Leclerc taking his first ever pole in F1.
Ferrari were determined to get their first win of the season and do whatever it took to get it. There can be only one winner and on this occasion, it was x4WDC Sebastian Vettel who took one for the team. Firstly team orders were issued to let Leclerc pass, he then held up the challenging Mercedes (i.e. Hamilton) twice during the race, allowing his team mate to gain nearly a seven second lead.
Ferrari were triumphant, with Leclerc taking his first ever F1 victory and Ferrari their first win this season. Bodes well for Monza? Sainz stalled on the starting line, Kimi and Verstappen had yet another coming together, with Verstappen out of the race before he had completed a single lap and Raikkonen out of the points at the end. Some decent midfield scraps (although Magnussen was overtaken a lot) and the cameras focused for quite a while on Vettel and Hamilton.
Driver of the weekend: Leclerc 40.95% of reader vote.
Unlike the F1 driver of the Day, which went to Lando Norris, our coveted title went to the race winner, Charles Leclerc. This young man showed us exactly what he’s made of, as for the third time in his short life he went out and delivered fabulous racing under extreme emotional stress. Sadly, Charles’ close friend, Anthonie Hubert was killed in a horrible F2 accident on Saturday, and Charles dedicated his win to Athonie.
Leclerc had already come top of the leader boards in FP2, FP3 and qualifying before the tragic accident and won his first ever F1 GP the day after. Racing with a black arm band throughout the race, and not ‘celebrating’ his win on the podium this is a race which will stay with Charles for a long time, and sadly, for mixed reasons.
His win did not really come as a surprise, as he has exuded talent in this his first season with Ferrari. Many thought he was ‘too young and inexperienced’ (myself included) to take the coveted second Ferrari seat, but he has repeatedly shown the world he IS good enough and old enough to take on this prestigious role. Well done Charles!!