Lewis Hamilton got back to winning ways in Spain a fortnight ago to extend an already commanding lead at the top of the Formula 1 Drivers’ Championship, but can the defending world champion now make it back-to-back victories at a circuit that has not been too kind to him in recent years?
Hamilton saw a three-race win streak come to an end in the second race of the Silverstone double-header, but his response in Barcelona was nothing short of emphatic, and borderline flawless, as he dominated the Spanish Grand Prix, finishing 24 seconds ahead of second-place Max Verstappen and 44 seconds clear of Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas. It was the British ace’s fourth straight Spanish success, but this weekend he takes on a circuit that has not brought much joy recently.
The Mercedes man is a three-time winner of the Belgian Grand Prix, but after winning it for the first time in 2010 he had to wait until 2015 for his sophomore success at Spa-Francorchamps. Hamilton completed a Belgian hat-trick two years later on his way to winning the world title, and despite his dominance of the sport he has been waiting for win number four ever since. He was forced to settle for second place behind Sebastian Vettel in 2018 and after a disappointing qualifying outing in 2019 he once again had to settle for the runners-up spot, this time behind Charles Leclerc.
So can Hamilton finally halt his Spa drought this weekend? How can we bet against him! The defending world champion has largely been outstanding since the 2020 Formula 1 season got underway and neither Red Bull nor Ferrari have done anything to suggest that they can upstage him here. Team-mate Bottas has managed to do it on a couple of occasions, but he remains firmly in Hamilton’s shadow and will stay there this weekend as the British star takes the chequered flag for the fifth time this season.
The odds on a Hamilton Pole Position/Race Winner double are not exactly lucrative though, so if you are looking for bigger odds why not consider the Fastest Lap market?
I have backed Hamilton for the fastest lap on a couple of occasions so far this season, but he has delivered on only two occasions and, as I have noted previously, Spa-Francorchamps is not a circuit that has brought a massive amount of success. Therefore I fancy Bottas to record the fastest lap in Sunday’s race. The Finn managed this back in 2018 and he continues to be one of only two drivers that have been able to get close to Hamilton this season, let alone beat the Brit, so it would not be a massive shock to see him record the fastest lap here.
Belgian Grand Prix Predictions & Tips: Circuit Guide
Spa Francorchamps has been the home of the Belgium Grand Prix – on-and-off – since the race was first held back in 1925, and despite undergoing several changes over the years this circuit remains one of the most popular on the Formula 1 calendar with both drivers and F1 fans. This track features one of the most famous corners in motor racing, Eau Rouge, and the 4.352-mile lap length makes it the longest circuit in all of F1. It is one of the most challenging circuits that drivers will face all season because it is a high risk-high reward track that can punish even the most smallest of mistakes, so this is a race that often produces plenty of drama and entertainment. Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton are three-time winners at the circuit, but out of the active driver line-up it is Kimi Raikkonen who is, rather surprisingly, the most successful at the Spa Francorchamps. The experienced Finn won here four times between 2004 and 2009.
Location: Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Francorchamps, Belgium
Number Of Laps: 44
Lap Length: 4.352 miles
Lap Record: Valterri Bottas, 1 minute 46.286 seconds (2018)
Belgian Grand Prix Winners
|1925||Antonio Ascari||Alfa Romeo||Spa-Francorchamps|
|1937||Rudolf Haase||Auto Union||Spa-Francorchamps|
|1946||Eugene Chaboud||Delage||Bois de la Cambre|
|1947||Jean-Pierre Wimille||Alfa Romeo||Spa-Francorchamps|
|1950||Juan Manuel Fangio||Alfa Romeo||Spa-Francorchamps|
|1951||Giuseppe Farina||Alfa Romeo||Spa-Francorchamps|
|1954||Juan Manuel Fangio||Maserati||Spa-Francorchamps|
|1955||Juan Manuel Fangio||Maserati||Spa-Francorchamps|
|2011||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||Spa-Francorchamps|
|2013||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||Spa-Francorchamps|
|2014||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull-Renault||Spa-Francorchamps|