Lewis Hamilton escapes penalty at Belgian GP

Lewis Hamilton has had an eventful weekend at the 2023 Belgian GP thus far.

Lewis Hamilton escaped a potential penalty for the second time this weekend at the Belgian Grand Prix, following an incident with Max Verstappen during the sprint shootout.

The incident occurred at Turn 8 of Spa-Francorchamps during SQ1, with Hamilton having been going slowly on the racing line.

Verstappen approached very quickly due to being on a hot lap, something which saw him have to take a wide line at the corner to avoid his 2021 rival.

The Dutchman actually didn’t lose much time by taking the different line; however, the incident was still noted by the stewards.

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Hamilton ultimately wasn’t penalised for impeding though, the same decision which was reached on Friday after a similar impeding incident with team-mate George Russell.

Both Verstappen and Hamilton ended up safely navigating their way into SQ2 and then into SQ3, where the reigning World Champion claimed sprint pole by just one-hundredth of a second ahead of Oscar Piastri.

Hamilton, meanwhile, could only salvage seventh.

Verstappen has been unstoppable once again in Belgium, with him having also claimed pole for the actual race on Sunday.

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However, a five-place grid penalty means he’ll start the main race in sixth.

Verstappen is expected to win both the sprint and the main race still though, with his pace having been very good all weekend.

A win on Sunday would extend his winning streak to eight races, whilst it’d mark his 10th for 2023.

Should either Verstappen or Sergio Perez win, then Red Bull’s own winning streak would stretch to 13 races, dating back to the 2022 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix.

Verstappen has claimed victory at the Belgian GP the last two seasons, adding further proof as to why he’s the favourite.

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Claiming victory in the sprint should be relatively straightforward for the Dutchman, unlike Sunday given that he’s starting on the third row.

Ferrari have looked very handy this weekend, especially Charles Leclerc who inherited pole for Sunday’s race after qualifying second.

Hamilton, too, will be keen to make some progress both in the sprint and the actual race, which he’ll start from third.