Vettel Showing The Strain As Leclerc Takes Belgian GP

Sebastien Vettel’s place at the top table of F1 looks in doubt as he limped home in fourth place in the Belgian Grand Prix.

Former world champion and Ferrari’s top driver Vettel looked a spent force as he was left in the wake of eventual winner and team mate Charles Leclerc.

The Spa race was Leclerc’s first F1 win.

Second and third went to the Mercedes duo of Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, with Lewis pressing hard on Leclerc who hung on to take the chequered flag at the finish.

Hamilton is still leading the driver’s championship, with eight wins and 268 points.

Season so far

Valtteri is second with two wins and 203 points, followed by Red Bull’s Max Verstappen (Two wins/183 points).

Vettel (0/169) and Leclerc (1/157) are fifth and sixth.

With the season half way through, unless Hamilton suffers a major upset, he looks to already have one hand on the title.

Meanwhile, Leclerc dedicated his win to F2 driver Anthoine Hubert, who died in a crash at the Spa circuit on Saturday.

“This one is for Anthoine,” he said. “Feels good, but difficult to enjoy on a weekend like this.”

Childhood dream

Vettel led the race at one stage, but was passed by Hamilton with 22 laps left, and then by Leclerc.

The race was between the two as Vettel slipped back in the rankings.

Hamilton was seven seconds behind Leclerc with 10 laps to go, but chiselled away at the leader to leave him just 1.5 seconds ahead at the start of the last lap.

“On the one hand I have realised a childhood dream but on the other it has been a very difficult weekend,” said Leclerc.

“We lost friend first. It is very difficult in these situations. I want to dedicate this win to Anthoine. We have grown up together and my first ever race I did when I was seven with Anthoine. So it is such a shame what happened yesterday. I can’t enjoy it fully, my first victory, but it is a memory that will live with me forever.”

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