Charles Leclerc fended off Lewis Hamilton to declare a bittersweet first Formula One victory on Sunday at the Belgian Grand Prix, taking the win after the death of Anthoine Hubert. Monegasque Leclerc, who had began from base, passed the line less than a second ahead of Mercedes rider Hamilton, who still expanded his lead to 65 points over colleague Valtteri Bottas, who ended fifth in the general rankings.
Hamilton and Vettel had been fighting throughout the race, unable to pass each other or Leclerc as the 21 year old continued to hold the lead. Finally, on the 32nd lap, Hamilton passed Vettel, and began chasing Leclerc down. It was clear that the Mercedes was quicker but they eventually ran out out of laps. Vettel completed fourth, ending the race worse off than when he started. Hoping for their first victory since the Belgian event in 2018, Mercedes soon pushed the German into pitting. While he was originally given an opportunity with an earlier stop, with the four-time winner was unable to claim the lead.
He was instructed to create room for the obviously quicker Leclerc before pausing on the 33rd lap for a second time. His only comfort in setting the fastest track was winning the single point on offer. Alexander Albon made his Red Bull debut by finishing fifth in the race. Albon had taken the place of former Frenchman Pierre Gasly.
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