As it happenedended1535296391

Belgian Grand Prix 2018: Sebastian Vettel wins to close gap on Lewis Hamilton - as it happened

Follow all the latest from Spa-Francorchamps

Jack Watson
Sunday 26 August 2018 15:39
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Formula 1: Official intro video

Lewis Hamilton starts the Belgian Grand Prix from pole position after yet another wet-weather masterclass in qualifying.

As the rain swept in over the Spa-Francorchamps Circuit, Hamilton took advantage of the tricky conditions to finish comfortably clear of title rival Sebastian Vettel. Frenchman Esteban Ocon will line up in a shock third place for Force India ahead of his team-mate Sergio Perez.

Vettel, who trails Hamilton by 24 points in the driver's championship, was the strong favourite to take pole with Ferrari holding the advantage over Mercedes in the dry. But as the rain arrived in the seconds before the top-10 shootout, it was Hamilton who took the spoils to finish a mighty seven tenths clear of the German.

We will have all the latest updates from Belgium:


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Preview

What time is it?

The 2018 Belgian Grand Prix starts at 14.10 BST.

What channel is it on?

The race is live on Channel 4 with coverage beginning at 1pm. The race is also being shown live on Sky Sports F1 with their show starting at 12.30pm.

What if I don't have access to a TV?

You can watch the race online via SkyGo. The race is also being broadcast live on BBC 5Live.

Who's going to win?

Lewis Hamilton is Evens to win from the front with title rival Sebastian Vettel a shade odds on at 5/4. If you fancy a longer shot Max Verstappen is 25/1 to pull off the upset.

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Drivers' Track Parade

Jack Watson26 August 2018 13:33
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Rain update

It's raining a fair bit in the United Kingdom and it seems that it's heading east, and you know what's east of the UK...that's right, it's the Belgian Grand Prix! There could be rain!

Jack Watson26 August 2018 13:37
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1998 carnage

20 years ago on this weekend, David Coulthard caused millions of pounds worth of damage on the first corner of one of the best Formula 1 races in recent history. An equal amount of drama and action this afternoon would be most welcome. 

Jack Watson26 August 2018 13:40
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30 minutes to go!

Jack Watson26 August 2018 13:42
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This. Is. Genius. 

It's got cup holders and everything!

Jack Watson26 August 2018 13:45
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Grid walk time

David Coulthard and Mark Webber have been making their way through the grid on Channel 4.

Segio Perez, Force India, Q4: "Expectations are good, we have a good opportunity but we must stay realistic. 

Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, Q20: "The only way is up from here, it's not been an ideal weekend. Hopefully the cars in front cause mayhem in front of use. It's my turn to push him (Bottas) off.

Christian Horner, Red Bull team principle: "We're going to be quick on the straights and let's see. The driver are free to race each other and pass the other cars. Force Indias are quick on the straight so lets see if we can go on Kimi. All the support races the tires have been going off quickly.

Kevin Magnussen. Haas, Q9: "I think it's great we have an opp with the Renault starting from the back and us starting in the points, we need to make use of that. It's great fun and a really good track to race on, there's a lot of stuff happening."

Esteban Ocon: Force India. Q3: "I'm feeling great, being here with the two guys fighting for the title is great. They're (Hamilton and Vettel) going to fight hard and I'm here to take my opportunity. If i have a good start i will take the opportunity, our fight is more with the Red Bull and the Haas."

Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Q7: "We were unlucky in qualifying but we will push it during the race, maybe not good enough to beat Mercedes or Ferrari. A lot of things can happen in Spa so we are keeping positive."

Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Q2: "As long as we get him (Hamilton), that's the game plan."

Jack Watson26 August 2018 13:57
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National anthem

We've had the Belgian National Anthem, just ten minutes to go until the drivers charge towards La Source.

Meanwhile at Haas...

Jack Watson26 August 2018 14:00
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Formation Lap

Lights out is just moments away, here's a reminder of how the drivers line up:

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes
  2. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
  3. Esteban Ocon, Force India
  4. Sergio Perez, Force India
  5. Romain Grosjean, Haas
  6. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari
  7. Max Verstappen, Red Bull
  8. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull
  9. Kevin Magnussen, Haas
  10. Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso
  11. Brendon Hartley, Toro Rosso
  12. Charles Leclerc, Sauber
  13. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber
  14. Fernando Alonso, McLaren
  15. Sergey Sirotkin, Williams
  16. Lance Stroll, Williams
  17. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes
  18. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault
  19. Carlos Sainz, Renault
  20. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren
Jack Watson26 August 2018 14:09
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Lights out!

We're away! Hamilton gets away well, it's an even start. Hamilton holds his position in the first corner but Vettel gets past him after a short spell of pressure by getting into his slipstream down the Kemmel Straight.

And a there's a safety car! Alonso is involved in an almighty crash with Nico Hulkenberg. The Renault completely locks up and flies into the back of Alonso at La Source.

Vettel gets ahead of Hamilton before the safety car is announced so he holds his place. No overtaking for now. 

Jack Watson26 August 2018 14:16
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Lap 2

Daniel Ricciardo is in the pits, as is Kimi Raikkonen. Ricciardo has a new back wing as the Ferrari changes tires. All the cars are coming through the pits to avoid the debris at La Source.

Jack Watson26 August 2018 14:20

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