Lewis Hamilton pays tribute to Chadwick Boseman after F1 Belgian GP victory


Lewis Hamilton paid his own tribute to Chadwick Boseman after closing to within two wins of Michael Schumacher’s all-time Formula 1 record by winning the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday.

The reigning world champion led all 44 laps at Spa-Francorchamps, with Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas in second and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen completing the top three.

Hamilton – the only black driver in Formula 1 – was shocked by the death of the 43-year-old actor, who lost a four-year battle with colon cancer on Friday night.

Lewis Hamilton adopts a Black Panther gesture on the Belgian Grand Prix podium in tribute to actor Chadwick Boseman.

On the podium at the Spa victory, Hamilton struck the Wakanda salute that Boseman made famous as the title character in the movie “Black Panther” and then spoke about the inspiration behind another famous victory.

“We’re continuing to push forward and it’s great to end this weekend on a high, especially with Chad (Chadwick Boseman) dying because he made everyone feel like a superhero,” Hamilton said.

It was his 89th career win as he chases a record-equalling seventh world championship, another all-time best by the legendary Schumacher.

However, it was another humiliating afternoon for Schumacher’s former team Ferrari, with four-time champion Sebastian Vettel in 13th, and team-mate Charles Leclerc in 14th, a long way from the his brilliant first win at Spa last season.

Schumacher took 72 of his 91 wins with Ferrari, but the team is a sad shadow of that dominant past ahead of his home race at Monza and his 1,000th Grand Prix at Mugello a week later.

The contrast with Mercedes is stark, with Hamilton completely in charge, claiming his fifth win of the season. That leaves him 47 points ahead of Verstappen in a one-sided title race.

“It wasn’t the easiest race,” Hamilton said.

“I had a lockup, which produced vibrations, in turn five and another in the last corner, and it was a bit of a struggle, but I still think it was OK in the end,” he said.

Apart from minor technical issues, Hamilton had more than eight seconds to spare at the finish line, with Verstappen unable to keep pace with the Mercedes pair.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo set the fastest lap on his final lap as he claimed fourth ahead of Renault team-mate Esteban Ocon, with Alex Albon’s second Red Bull rounding out the top six .

The seeds of Hamilton’s victory were sown on Saturday, when he took the 93rd pole position of his career, breaking the track record to top the grid.

An emotional Hamilton later took to social media to dedicate this classy performance to Boseman.

From pole, Hamilton made no mistake and quickly built up a solid lead until a safety car was deployed following a heavy crash between Williams’ Briton George Russell and Antonio’s Alfa Romeo Giovinazzi, who lost control of his car at the exit of the fast Fagnes Chicane.

Fortunately, both walked away unscathed as Hamilton built up his lead again once the safety car was deployed, winning in imperious style and leaving the Briton nearly two wins clear of his rival closest to the championship standings.

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