British ace celebrates his 200th grand prix with a pole position record and narrow victory
28 August 2017

Having matched Michael Schumacher’s record for the most pole positions, Lewis Hamilton resisted race-long pressure from title rival Sebastian Vettel to secure victory in the Belgian Grand Prix.

In his 200th race, Mercedes ace Hamilton outdragged fellow front-row start Vettel on the run to Spa-Francorchamp’s tight first turn, and son built a narrow lead over the Ferrari driver.

Vettel, who recently signed a three-year contract extension to stay at Ferrari, pushed Hamilton throughout the race, and closed right in following a late-race safety car period. But Hamilton made a clean restart, pulling out enough of a gap to secure his 58th career win in his 200th start.

“It was fun to be racing against another team, with Sebastian at his best and the car at its best,” said Hamilton. “We were just battling within half a tenth every single lap and that’s what racing is all about.” 

Hamilton, who now trails Vettel by seven points in the standings, had already made history on Saturday. He claimed the 68th pole of his career, to match the all-time F1 record set by seven-time champion Michael Schumacher.

Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) and Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) battled for third early in the race, until Raikkonen was handed a ten-second stop-go penalty for failing to slow for yellow flags. But the safety car period, sparked by Force India drivers Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez making contact, eroded Bottas’ advantage and allowed Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo to jump the pair of Finns and claim the final podium spot.

Raikkonen finished fourth, ahead of Bottas. Nico Hulkenberg finished sixth in his Renault.

The event marked the 25th anniversary since Michael Schumacher claimed his first Formula 1 victory. To celebrate the occasion his son Mick completed a demo lap of the circuit in the Benetton-Ford Schumacher used to claim his first world title in 1994.

MSA British Touring Car Championship: Rockingham

James Cole, Ashley Sutton and Andrew Jordan took race wins in the BTCC event at Rockingham. Check out our full report here.

Japanese Super GT: Suzuka 1000km

Formula Formula 1 world champion Jenson Button had a tough debut outing in the Japanese Super GT championship at Suzuka last weekend, finishing 12th.

Sharing a works Mugen-Honda with Daisuka Nakajima and Hideki Mutoh, Button picked up two penalties – the first for being released into the path of another car in the pits, the second for overtaking under the safety car – and his car also suffered two separate punctured.

Bertrand Baguette and Kosuke Matsuura won the race in their Nakajima-Honda.

Round-up: Formula 2, GP3, IndyCar Series

-Ferrari junior driver Charles Leclerc was stripped of his seventh GP2 win of the season at Spa after his car’s underbody plank was found to have been excessively worn. Artem Markalov inherited the win. Sergio Sette Camera won the second race.

-George Russell and Giuliano Alesi shared the GP3 Series victories at Spa.

-Josef Newgarden held off Scott Dixon to secure victory in the IndyCar Series race at Gateway Motorsports Park in St Louis. It was the American’s third win in the last four races, and he now leads Dixon by 31 points in the standings with two events left.

Our Verdict

Mercedes-AMG C 63

Merc's factory tuner turns up the C-Class wick to unparalleled levels

Join the debate

Comments
1

28 August 2017

.... F1 is a snoozefest these days too.

Steam cars are due a revival.

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Citroën C3 Aircross
    First Drive
    17 October 2017
    It's got funky looks and a charming interior, but it's another small SUV, and another dynamic miss. Numb steering is just one thing keeping it from class best
  • Skoda-Karoq 2.0 TDI 4x4
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Diesel version of Skoda’s junior SUV is unobtrusive and undemanding, but we’d still go for the silkier petrol version of the Karoq
  • Audi Q7 e-tron
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Expensive and flawed but this understated diesel-electric Audi Q7 has a lot to offer
  • Citroën C3
    First Drive
    16 October 2017
    Is the third gen Citroën C3 ‘fresh and different’ enough to take on its supermini rivals? We spend six months with one to find out
  • BMW X3
    First Drive
    15 October 2017
    A satisfying rework of the X3 that usefully improves its handling, cabin finish, space and connectivity to make this BMW a class front-runner again