World champ Hamilton dedicates Belgian GP pole position to Black Panther star

BOITUMELO RANTAO 

DEFENDING world champion Lewis Hamilton put on a show in qualifying to ensure starting the Belgian Grand Prix from the front of the grid.

Hamilton dedicated his pole position lap to “superhero” Chadwick Boseman, the Black Panther film star (43) who died after a four-year battle with colon cancer.

“A superhero died last night,” Hamilton said. “That was really weighing heavy on me today.”

Mercedes have looked dominant in preparation for Sunday. “Every lap just felt better and better. Q3 first lap was incredible, and I did not believe we were going to beat that.” said Hamilton.

Teammate Valtterri Bottas will start at the front row of the grid for the first time in Belgium, qualifying in second. Red Bull driver Max Verstappen will start in third having shown great pace throughout the race weekend.

“It’s been a positive weekend so far. To be P3 [after both Mercedes cars] overall I can be very pleased with that. The lap was decent.”, Verstappen added.

Renault driver Daniel Ricciardo qualified in fourth, between both Red Bull drivers Verstappen and Albon, continuing to show positive signs. Ricciardo’s teammate Esteban Ocon qualified in sixth.

Mercedes drivers Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris qualified in seventh and tenth respectively. Both Racing Point cars qualified in eighth and ninth after a difficult qualifying session.   

Leclerc, who won the Belgian GP from pole in 2019, qualified in 13th with teammate Sebastian Vettel qualifying just behind him in 14th.

“We have taken big steps back from the others, it is just not a good day. We need to keep working very hard and keep our heads up during tough times.” said Leclerc.

Race start:

Driver classification:

1.    Hamilton – Mercedes

2.    Bottas – Mercedes

3.    Verstappen – Red Bull

4.    Ricciardo – Renault

5.    Albon – Red Bull

6.    Ocon – Renault

7.    Sainz – McLaren

8.    Perez – Racing Point

9.    Stroll -Racing Point

10. Norris – McLaren

11. Kyvat – AlphaTauri

12. Gasly – AlphaTauri

13. Leclerc – Ferrari

14. Vattel – Ferrari

15. Russell – Williams

16. Raikonnen – Alfa Romeo

17. Grosjean – Haas

18. Giovinazzi – Alfa Romeo

19. Latifi – Williams

20. Magnussen – Haas