Last week was the return of Formula 1 after the summer break, and it’s been a weekend full of emotions at Spa-Francorchamps.
Ferrari looked strong from day 1 on the 7.004 km long circuit. Signing the best time in Practice 2 and 3 for Leclerc, and in Practice 1 for Vettel, their opponents never seemed to be able to fight. This fact was confirmed in qualifying when Charles Leclerc took his third pole of the season in front of his team-mate Vettel. Hamilton qualified 3rd with Bottas 4th and Verstappen 5th.
Following Formula 1 qualifying on Saturday was the first Formula 2 race of the weekend and all the motorsport world has been shocked… Anthoine Hubert lost his life in a terrible crash at the Raidillon de l’Eau Rouge. The weekend couldn’t be any normal anymore and obviously the second Formula 2 race of the weekend was canceled. After multiple tributes from all the motorsport world united, it was time to get back on track on Sunday for the race.
We can imagine how difficult it was for the drivers to go out on track again after the terrible news but in a way, doing this Grand Prix was a homage to the late French driver. After a minute of silence before the Formula 3 race on Sunday’s morning, the same thing happened before the Formula 1 race, a moment full of emotions.
Now it was time for Formula 1 to race again…
Charles Leclerc drove a perfect race from start to finish, he took his first win in Formula 1 in a difficult moment and dedicated his win to Anthoine Hubert, his friend. His team-mate Sebastian Vettel played a great part in his victory producing a serious team effort work, the German driver finished in 4th place. Strong performance from the Mercedes drivers which never seemed really able to fight with Ferrari during the weekend, Hamilton who managed to put a lot of pressure on Leclerc at the end of the race finished 2nd in front of team-mate Bottas. Red Bull Racing got a weekend in half-hearted tone as Max Verstappen crashed in the first lap in front of his all orange dressed fans after a collision with Räikkönen as he damaged his steering. In the other hand, for his first Grand Prix with the Austrian team, Alex Albon did a really solid performance as he started 17th and finished the race in 5th position, auspicious for the rest of the year.
“Best of the rest” since a few races now, McLaren encountered a really difficult weekend. Carlos Sainz had to retire two laps into the race, his team-mate Lando Norris who was 5th during the all race encountered a mechanical failure in the final lap and finished in 11th position, the British team lost big points there. Racing Point which always performs well at Spa didn’t disappoint this year, Pérez finished the race in 6th position, Stroll in 10th. The Scuderia Toro Rosso got its two cars in the Top 10, strong performance from the Italian team with the 7th place for Kvyat and 9th position for Gasly at the checkered flag. Hülkenberg did bring 4 points home in his Renault, finishing in 8th place.
Now all our eyes are turned to Monza this weekend to see how the rest of the season goes !
Finally, we would like to express our sincere condolences to Anthoine Hubert’s family and friends. Our thoughts are also with all the Formula 1, Formula 2 and Formula 3. We wish Juan Manuel Correa a good recovery and we don’t forget Marino Sato, both drivers were in the crash too.