Sports Desk, Aug 30 (efe-epa).- Lewis Hamilton eased to his 89th career victory on Sunday in the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.
The Briton finished ahead of his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas in second and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in third thanks to another dominant performance.
The result leaves the six-time world champion two race wins behind Michael Schumacher’s record of 91, and sees him extend his tally in the drivers’ championship to 157 points, 47 more than Verstappen and 50 more than Bottas, who is third in the championship.
“It wasn’t the easiest of races. It was a bit of a struggle but nonetheless I think it was OK,” Hamilton said after the race.
“I know it is not necessarily what everyone wants to see – the Mercedes at the front – but no matter how much success we have to just keep our heads down.”
Bottas, who has won just once this season and faces a struggle to take the world championship away from Hamilton, said: “I think Lewis was faultless today and yesterday he was quick. It was a clean weekend for me. I’m just happy there’s an opportunity again next weekend.”
Verstappen rounded off the podium finishers, none of whom faced any real pressure throughout the 44 laps.
“It was pretty boring. Not much to do,” Verstappen complained. “I couldn’t keep up with (the Mercedes) when they started pushing.
“It was not really enjoyable out there today. It was a bit lonely. Maybe it is not the most satisfying P3 but it is still better than nothing.”
Verstappen’s former teammate Daniel Ricciardo, now at Renault, ended in fourth, while also grabbing the prize for fastest lap.
Red Bull’s Alexander Albon and Esteban Ocon finished fifth and sixth, respectively, as the top six mirrored the places on the starting grid.
Spaniard Carlos Sainz, who was seventh on the grid after qualifying, did not start due to an exhaust problem with his McLaren.
Englishman Lando Norris, Sainz’s teammate, was seventh, while French Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri) placed eighth, and Canadian Lance Stroll, Mexican Sergio Pérez’s teammate at Racing Point in ninth.
After a disastrous qualifying session, the two Ferrari drivers did not make the points, on a sad weekend for the most successful team in history.
German Sebastian Vettel – four-time world champion (2010-13) with Red Bull – finished 13th, one spot ahead of Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc.
The next Grand Prix, in Italy, will be held next weekend at the Monza circuit. EFE-EPA