Belgian Grand Prix qualifying result: Lewis Hamilton in a class of his own to take pole position by more than half a second

Reigning world champion used his pole position to pay tribute to actor Chadwick Boseman after his tragic death

Lewis Hamilton clinched pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton clinched pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix
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Lewis Hamilton continued his dominance of the Formula One season by putting his Mercedes on pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix.

Hamilton, who holds a 37-point championship lead over Red Bull's Max Verstappen, beat team-mate Valtteri Bottas to top spot with a new track record at Spa-Francorchamps.

The world champion saw off Bottas' challenge around the iconic 4.3-mile venue in the Ardennes by a mighty half-a-second. Verstappen lines up in third ahead of Renault's Daniel Ricciardo.

"That one was for Chadwick [Boseman]," said Hamilton, in reference to the Hollywood star who died on Saturday. "Rest in peace, mate."

After Sebastian Vettel finished rooted to the foot of the timings in final practice, Ferrari had been staring at one of the most humiliating afternoons in the Italian team's long history.

However, very much against the odds, both scarlet cars survived the embarrassment of being knocked out in Q1.

Instead, Leclerc, who won from pole here last year, will start 13th - one spot ahead of team-mate Vettel in what is proving to be a season to forget for the Scuderia.

"F*** there's not much more I can do," said a despondent Leclerc on the radio.

British driver Hamilton, though, remains firmly on course to match Michael Schumacher's record seven championships.

The pack had appeared closer to the all-black machines heading into qualifying.

But Mercedes, and in particular its star driver, proved their class by locking out the front row for a sixth time in seven rounds.

They have taken pole at all of the races this year, with Hamilton claiming his fifth pole of 2020 here and sixth at Spa.

"It is a really important pole because I woke up to the saddest news of Chadwick passing away," said Hamilton.

"It has been such a heavy year for all of us, and that news just broke me so it was not easy to get back into focus with that in my heart.

"But I wanted to drive to perfection for what he has done for our people."

Ferrari have led the challenge to Mercedes in recent seasons but they have suffered following an FIA investigation into the engine they used last year.

Indeed, it shows how far the sport's most successful team has fallen that locking out the seventh row of the grid will be considered something of a decent result.

Further questions will continue to be asked of Ferrari, and the team's beleaguered boss, Mattia Binotto at their home race in Monza and their 1,000th Grand Prix at Mugello a week later.

British driver Lando Norris finished 10th in his McLaren while George Russell out-qualified his Williams team-mate Nicholas Latifi for a seventh time in as many rounds. The young Briton lines up in 15th, just behind the Ferrari pair.

Final Positions after Qualifying

1 Lewis Hamilton (Gbr) Mercedes GP 1min 41.252secs

2 Valtteri Bottas (Fin) Mercedes GP 1:41.763

3 Max Verstappen (Ned) Red Bull 1:41.778

4 Daniel Ricciardo (Aus) Renault 1:42.061

5 Alexander Albon (Tha) Red Bull 1:42.264

6 Esteban Ocon (Fra) Renault 1:42.396

7 Carlos Sainz (Spa) McLaren 1:42.438

8 Sergio Perez (Mex) Racing Point 1:42.532

9 Lance Stroll (Can) Racing Point 1:42.603

10 Lando Norris (Gbr) McLaren 1:42.657

11 Daniil Kvyat (Rus) Scuderia AlphaTauri 1:42.730

12 Pierre Gasly (Fra) Scuderia AlphaTauri 1:42.745

13 Charles Leclerc (Mon) Ferrari 1:42.996

14 Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Ferrari 1:43.261

15 George Russell (Gbr) Williams 1:43.468

16 Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:43.743

17 Romain Grosjean (Fra) Haas F1 1:43.838

18 Antonio Giovinazzi (Ita) Alfa Romeo Racing 1:43.950

19 Nicholas Latifi (Can) Williams 1:44.138

20 Kevin Magnussen (Den) Haas F1 1:44.314

PA

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