Sebastian Vettel had a successful final Belgian Grand Prix of his Formula 1 career, after the four-time World Champion claimed a solid eighth place finish at Spa-Francorchamps.
The German did well to avoid the opening lap carnage, which saw Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso collide. Vettel at one point early on find himself in fifth, before the charge of Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc dropped the Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team driver down a couple of spots.
Vettel did well to recover eighth late on, after coming out of the pits behind Pierre Gasly. This put the Aston Martin driver at risk of being caught by Esteban Ocon; however, the German dealt with Gasly to recover eighth.
Vettel was pleased to see his car being “more competitive” during the race, with finding a “decent rhythm” having been key to the strong result.
“Eighth is a solid result. I was a little bit unlucky with the timing for the second stop. I came out just behind Pierre [Gasly] and lost a lap behind him, which allowed Esteban [Ocon] on new tyres to close down the advantage I had built up during the middle stint.
“Once again, we were more competitive in the race than in qualifying: we started strongly and I managed to find a decent rhythm. I was able to put pressure on both Alpines, and I think seventh might have been possible, but they were a bit too fast for us today. But we will bank these points.”
“We were so close to picking up a point” – Lance Stroll
Lance Stroll came away from the Belgian GP with a highly disappointing eleventh place finish, after being unable to overtake Alex Albon for tenth across a number of laps in the latter stages of the race.
The Canadian driver had one of his strongest races of the season so far; however, it still wasn’t enough for a top ten finish after he was caught up in a DRS train for what felt like an eternity. Albon made his FW44 a mile wide it seemed, with nobody in the train having been able to find a way past.
Stroll was gutted to have been so close to the points, but “had some fun” during the race.
“It was a tricky day out there today, and we were so close to picking up a point. Things did not quite work out for us as we had hoped. Losing some positions early on made it tough, but we had some fun battles out there within the midfield. Later in the race we got stuck in a DRS train behind [Alex] Albon’s Williams, and ultimately we came up just short. Our race pace was positive, however, and we are extracting good performance from the car when it matters most.”