Mercedes have been trying to find their first victory of the season after being stranded behind Red Bull and Ferrari since the start. However, the Silver Arrows have made serious ground in the last five races, securing a podium in each. The German outfit also bagged double podiums in the last two races in France and Hungary. Lewis Hamilton finished P2, followed by George Russell at P3. Mercedes were looking to keep the momentum going with a fresh power unit for Lewis Hamilton this weekend in Spa.
However, the two Mercedes drivers had another tough Friday. Lewis finished sixth, around 1.3 seconds behind Max Verstappen’s fastest lap time. Fortunately for the Briton, Verstappen and Charles Leclerc have been penalized by the FIA for exceeding the allowed limit for engine components. The Red Bull and Ferrari drivers will start the Belgian GP on Sunday towards the back end of the field. The penalties to the two drivers’ championship rivals could provide Hamilton and Mercedes a chance to bag their first victory of the season.
Further, McLaren’s Lando Norris, Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas, and Alpine’s Esteban Ocon have also received similar grid penalties. In addition, Haas’ Mick Schumacher will face a ten-grid-place penalty for taking a new power unit beyond the designated number. The penalties will come into effect after the result of the qualifying on Friday. Therefore, it remains to be seen where Max, Charles, and the others will start on the grid during the 44-lap race at the Spa Francorchamps Circuit.
Can Lewis Hamilton Keep His Unique F1 Record Going With A Win?
Hamilton has found himself in a tough spot since losing his potential eighth championship win to Max Verstappen. The seven-time world champ has not won a race since the 2021 Saudi Arabian GP. It has been 14 starts since without a win, the highest in his 15-season long career. However, the Mercedes driver will finally have an opportunity to keep Verstappen and Leclerc at bay and keep his unique title of winning at least one race in each F1 career season.
If Mercedes have to win, they would need to find some performance overnight and have a good qualifying on Sunday. However, Hamilton would also have to look out for Carlos Sainz. The Spanish driver will also have a chance to win his second race of the season after Silverstone. The Ferrari driver set the pace during FP1. His faster F1-75 could outsmart the experienced Hamilton during a rain-affected Belgian GP qualifying. It will be thrilling to find out if Lewis Hamilton gets back to winning ways in Spa during the upcoming race on August 28th.