Wearing a black armband as he stood on the top step of a Formula One podium for the first time in his career, Charles Leclerc pointed to the sky to acknowledge Anthoine Hubert, the young French driver killed at Spa-Francorchamps. There was no customary champagne spraying. The motor racing world was in mourning. I have lost a friend. I would like to dedicate my first win to him.
Lewis Hamilton arrives at Spa-Francorchamps, one of the cathedrals of motor racing, with a point lead in the drivers' championship over teammate Valtteri Bottas after signing off with a win in Hungary four weeks ago.
Hamilton has gained 31 points over his teammate in the last three races and there is little Bottas, or anyone else for that matter, can do to stop him from winning a sixth world title.
The Finn is level with the Briton on four pole positions but has won just two races to Hamilton's eight and struggled in the final two races before the summer break, crashing out in Germany and colliding with Ferrari's Charles Leclerc on the first lap in Hungary.
However, there was positive news for Bottas this week, with Mercedes announcing he will remain with the team for another year.
After a difficult start to the season. Sebastian Vettel rediscovered some form before the summer break, finishing second in Germany and third in Hungary.
The German's return to form comes at a very opportune time as both the Belgian and Italian Grand Prix—which is scheduled for next week—are on the sort of high-speed tracks that favor the Italian team.
Here's all you need to know ahead of Sunday. The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, one of the most historic venues in Formula One history, hosts the race. A classic high-speed circuit where straight-line speed is crucial, the track dives in and out of a forest, making it very picturesque for viewers.
It first hosted the Belgian Grand Prix in and retained it until , with the exception of , and when the race wasn't held.
The Belgian Grand Prix returned to Spa-Francorchamps in and then again in where it's been held ever since, bar for and The race is scheduled to start at p. Coverage of race day begins at a. ET on Sunday, with the race scheduled to get underway just over 30 minutes later.
Odds Bookmakers are backing Lewis Hamilton to make it back-to-back wins.