F1 2020

Hamilton storms to Spa pole as Mercedes lock out front row

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton has a great chance of winning at Spa for the first time since 2017 after a qualifying masterclass.

F1 2020: Hamilton storms to Spa pole as Mercedes lock out front row

Lewis Hamilton smashed the track record to secure pole position at the Belgian Grand Prix as Mercedes locked out the front row and Ferrari endured another miserable day.

Hamilton will start at the front of the grid for a sixth time in Spa, where the Silver Arrows have not won for three years, courtesy of a blistering lap of one minute, 41.252 seconds.

The British driver was just over half a second quicker than team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who celebrated his 31st birthday on Friday, and Max Verstappen took third spot, only missing out on second spot by a whisker.

Championship leader Hamilton was in a league of his own, dominating qualifying for Sunday's race after setting the pace in the final practice session.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel were in danger of missing out on Q2, and although they made it through, the Scuderia duo will start the race back in 13th and 14th respectively.

Daniel Ricciardo took fourth place on the grid ahead of Alex Albon, with Esteban Ocon securing sixth and Carlos Sainz seventh.

Sergio Perez, Lance Stroll and Lando Norris also made it into the top 10 as Hamilton produced another masterclass, which he dedicated to Chadwick Boseman after the American actor died after battling colon cancer aged only 43 on Friday.

The six-time Formula One world champion said: "I woke up to the sad news of Chadwick passing away. That news really, really broke me.

"He was such a shining light. Wakanda Forever. I just wanted to come out today and drive to perfection."

 

Provisional classification:

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 1:41.252
2. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) +0.511s
3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +0.526s
4. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) +0.809s
5. Alex Albon (Red Bull) +1.012s
6. Esteban Ocon (Renault) +1.144s
7. Carlos Sainz (McLaren) +1.186s
8. Sergio Perez (Racing Point) +1.280s
9. Lance Stroll (Racing Point) +1.351s
10. Lando Norris (McLaren) +1.405s