Sunday saw Spa-Francorchamps host a Formula One Grand Prix for the 50th time, the Belgian circuit joining Silverstone, Monza and Monaco in an exclusive club. But it wasn’t the only milestone reached this weekend…
Having tied Michael Schumacher’s pole position record on Saturday (breaking Jackie Stewart’s 47-year-old average pole speed record in the process), Lewis Hamilton completed a dream weekend on Sunday as he raced to his fifth victory of the season. It’s the third time Hamilton has won at Spa, and his 58th victory overall.
Hamilton’s victory came on his 200th Grand Prix start, the Briton becoming just the 17th driver in history to rack up two centuries of races at the highest level.
Hamilton’s not the first to win in the same race as reaching the milestone however – in fact three drivers have done it before. The first was Michael Schumacher (Europe 2004), the second was Jenson Button (Hungary 2011), and the third Hamilton’s former team mate Nico Rosberg (Singapore 2016).
Mercedes have now won in Belgium for three consecutive years, while Ferrari’s winless streak at the venue moves to eight years.
Hamilton's victory meanwhile means we're yet to see a back-to-back winner in 2017. It's only the second time since 1986 that there hasn't been a back-to-back winner in the first 12 races - the other example coming in 2012.
With second place, Sebastian Vettel recorded his first podium in Belgium since 2013, and his ninth rostrum from 12 races this year. No other driver has sprayed the champagne as often this year.
The German also picked up the fastest lap for the first time this year, and the 30th time in his career. Of the current grid, only Kimi Raikkonen (45) and Lewis Hamilton (37) have more.
Valtteri Bottas saw his five-race podium streak halted, but Daniel Ricciardo moved his podium tally for the year onto six, the Australian having now reached the rostrum in three of the last four races at Spa.
Red Bull team mate Max Verstappen, meanwhile, had another race to forget. In front of tens of thousands of orange-clad supporters the young Dutchman succumbed to his sixth retirement of the season with engine trouble. Remarkably, all six of Verstappen’s retirements have come within the first 12 laps of a Grand Prix, so it’s no surprise that he’s completed fewer raced laps (405) than any other regular driver this season – including Fernando Alonso, who missed the Monaco race, and Pascal Wehrlein who sat out two events with injury.
Speaking of Alonso, he was a non-classified finisher for the sixth time this season, with three of those coming in the last four races.
There was no such trouble for Nico Hulkenberg who equalled his best finish of the year with his third sixth place in the last eight races. The German has scored all 34 of Renault’s points this season, with the unlucky Jolyon Palmer finishing, you guessed it, in P13.
There were, in fact, eight different teams represented within the points places in Belgium – only in Baku were there more. Romain Grosjean and Felipe Massa climbed four and eight places respectively from their starting positions as they finish seventh and eighth, while Esteban Ocon finished ninth, meaning he maintained his record of having only missed the points once this year.
Speaking of Grosjean, his six-point haul means Haas have already surpassed their 2016 points total - and they still have eight races to go.
The top ten was completed by Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz who, having never previously finished at Spa, picked up a point at the third attempt.
Those with weekends to forget won’t have long to dwell on their misfortune – in seven days the drivers will be racing on Ferrari’s home turf of Monza. The Scuderia haven’t won there since 2010 – but don’t bet against them ending that barren streak this year.