The Winners and Losers of the 2020 Belgian Grand Prix
Another weekend, another Lewis Hamilton domination, but there was more to the race than just his brilliance. There were great performances – and some not so good - elsewhere in the field. We’ve picked out the winners and losers of the Belgian Grand Prix…
Winner: Lewis Hamilton
As if simply dominating on track on his way to victory at Spa wasn’t enough, Hamilton landed another hammer blow on his rivals after this race when he said “I feel better than ever”.
He’s not wrong, the Briton stretching his already towering lead in the championship to 47 points – almost two race wins – after just seven races. His points tally is just one short of Red Bull’s whole points score.
This was his fifth win of the season and now takes him to just two away from a record some thought would never be broken – Michael Schumacher’s all-time win tally of 91.
Key to his success of late has been his consistency – this was his 40th consecutive points finish, one short of the classified finishing record. It’s an astonishing achievement.
Sebastian Vettel, Charles Leclerc and Mattia Binotto cut dejected figures as they talked to the media after the race on Sunday night, the heavy rain that fell as the sun set tallying with their mood.
This was a dreadful weekend, their second non-scoring weekend of the season. Yes, they avoided the ignominy of getting the boot in Q1, but they hardly did much better.
They languish fifth in the constructors’ championship on 61 points, 200 adrift of leaders Mercedes, and they are on course for their worst season in 40 years.
As Ferrari flounder, Mercedes go from strength to strength. Victory at Spa was their sixth in seven races this year and a double podium meant they have 12 from 14 in 2020.
They also led a lap for the 30th consecutive Grand Prix, which is the second longest streak of all-time, one adrift of Williams, who completed that record run across 1995 through 1997.
They are commanding the constructors’ championship, more than four race wins clear of Red Bull, and are quite frankly in a class of their own.
Loser: Carlos Sainz
Carlos Sainz and Spa do not get on. In six visits, he has failed to finish four times. Of those four, he hasn’t even competed in the race in two of them, including this year.
This has not been his season so far, engine gremlins causing grief once more. He’s dropped out of the top-10 in the drivers’ championship, into 11th, and is now 22 points behind McLaren team mate Lando Norris.
Since becoming a works team once again in 2016, Renault have threatened to become a force in F1, but failed to deliver it consistently.
In Belgium, they were strong all weekend and rewarded the team with their best points tally in this era of the team with 23.
Daniel Ricciardo was sensational throughout, getting everything out of the R.S. 20 and even having enough performance, on old tyres, to nail the Fastest Lap at the end of the race. Superb.
Haas need smooth weekends if they are to ever get more performance out of their machine – and they were not afforded that luxury at Spa.
With a lack of performance across the board plus very little data, Sunday’s race essentially became a test session. They have now gone seven races with just one finish in the points.
Winner: Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly continues to impress in 2020, his drive at Spa particularly impressive given the emotion of the weekend, which he began by laying flowers for his late friend Anthoine Hubert.
Eighth was a less than he deserved, having flown through the field at the start, including a ballsy pass on Sergio Perez through Eau Rouge of all places.
You were impressed by what you saw, too, voting him Driver of the Day. The misery of his Red Bull stint seems a long time ago. This is Pierre Gasly 2.0 – and it’s a high quality spec.
Loser: Antonio Giovinazzi
Antonio Giovinazzi has had a few big crashes in his F1 career, with his tally at Spa now up to two, the Italian spinning his Alfa Romeo hard into the barriers at Fagnes.
Fortunately, he climbed out unscathed, but it was his first retirement of the season and leaves him with just one points score – two in Austria – from seven races.
Winners: Alfa Romeo
OK, so Alfa Romeo didn’t score points again, but this was a better weekend all round for the Swiss team, particularly with Kimi Raikkonen at the wheel, as they continue to chip away at their deficit.
Both cars ended up ahead of both Ferraris in FP2. Sure, there are no points handed out then, but this is a big sign of improvement, and it’s clear talking to the team that they are starting to make progress at long last.
Losers: Racing Point
Points for both cars is usually a good afternoon for any midfield team, but with the quality of the car Racing Point have, they should have achieved better than ninth and 10th.
They simply didn’t have the pace everyone expected them to have in qualifying or the race, their lack of speed in the latter stages of the Grand Prix particularly disappointing as they lost a host of positions.
As a result, they dropped behind McLaren in the battle for third in the constructors’ championship. This was a missed opportunity.