Team Dominates Belgian GP with Solid Points Finish, Extends Lead in Constructors’ Championship

Words Chris Danielson | July 31, 2023
2023 Belgian Grand Prix – Sunday
Words Chris Danielson July 31, 2023

The team performed well in the Belgian Grand Prix, with Lewis Hamilton finishing fourth and George Russell securing a commendable sixth place. Starting from third position, Lewis skillfully maintained his position through the first corner chaos. However, George encountered trouble and dropped to eleventh due to a damaged car. Despite challenges, both drivers showed their racing prowess, with Lewis securing the fastest lap. The team’s performance enabled them to extend their lead in the Constructors’ Championship by 51 points as they head into the summer break. Though some technical issues were faced, the team is confident of making progress with a dedicated focus on improvement during the break. Looking ahead, they remain optimistic about their chances of achieving victory and closing the gap to the front in the upcoming races.

Formel 1 – Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team, Großer Preis von Belgien 2023. Lewis Hamilton
Formula One – Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team, 2023 Belgian GP. Lewis Hamilton

Press Release

The Team extends gap over P3 in the Constructors’ Championship ahead of summer break

  • Lewis Hamilton finished fourth and George Russell sixth in today’s Belgian Grand Prix.
  • Starting third on the soft tyre, Lewis avoided contact as the field squeezed into turn one to maintain his grid position.
  • George, lining up eighth on the medium compound, lost out however as he was boxed in behind the damaged McLaren of Piastri and dropped to P11.
  • As the race settled into its rhythm, Lewis dropped behind Verstappen to P4 before stopping for the Medium tyre on lap 12. George extended his stint until lap 24, switching to the Soft tyre.
  • George dropped to P16 but quickly made his way back through the field and up to P6, managing the soft tyre to the end. Lewis boxed for a second set of soft tyres but was unable to undercut Leclerc ahead. He then took a new medium tyre on the penultimate lap and set the fastest lap of the race.
  • As we head into the summer break, the Team has extended its advantage over P3 in the Constructors’ Championship to 51 points.
  • Imagery of the day is available on our media site. All imagery is rights-free for editorial use.
Driver Grid Result Fastest Lap Start Tyre Stop One Stop Two Stop Three
Lewis Hamilton P3 P4 1:47.305 Soft Medium (L12) Soft (L27) Medium (L42)
George Russell P8 P6 1:50.603 Medium Soft (L22)

Lewis Hamilton

It was a non-eventful race for me today with not a huge amount going on. I was unable to keep up with the cars ahead of me and was struggling in the beginning. We know the rear end is our biggest issue and then we had some bouncing this weekend. At the end, I was keeping the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc within a few seconds, but I couldn’t get any closer. It was nice to have the gap to the car behind and to attempt to go for the fastest lap. It was gusty out there today and difficult to keep it on the track, but my lap was decent.

We know we have more work to do to close the gap to the front. We’ll work with all the data we’ve accumulated and try to figure out what we can do for the next race after the summer break.

George Russell

I really felt that I could have been up there with Lewis fighting for a podium for the Team today. Unfortunately, I was boxed in on the opening lap behind Oscar when he picked up damage at the first corner. That cost me a couple of positions and compromised my Grand Prix. After that it was a good race for us, and we have opened the gap in the Constructors’ by 51 points to third place.

It has been an intense first half of the season for everyone in the Team, so we are looking forward to the break and the chance to switch off for a few weeks before we get back racing again at Zandvoort. We know our goal is to win races, and I still believe that we can do that this season.

Toto Wolff, Team Principal & CEO

We struggled with the car at points today and experienced some bouncing. That was the main limiting factor this weekend, so we’ve got some work to do to understand that more. We’ve got the shutdown coming up, but we will get our heads down this week, review the data, and see what we can do to make progress.

Going into the summer break, I feel that we are on the right trajectory overall. There is so much hard work going across the Team to upgrade the car and help us to make those important steps forward. I believe we are making progress and the direction we are going in is the right one. We will go away, recharge over the summer break and come back refreshed and re-energised.

Andrew Shovlin, Trackside Engineering Director

With the everchanging weather and a sprint race thrown into the mix, it’s been a challenging weekend in Spa. At times, our pace has been good. However, on the slicks today, we needed another tenth to be able to challenge for a podium. On the run to Eau Rouge at the beginning of the race, George unfortunately got boxed in behind Piastri’s damaged McLaren. That meant that he was stuck in a pack for the first stint. Once he was clear, we made good progress, but we lost too much time to be able to challenge Alonso at the end. Lewis also couldn’t get close enough to place Leclerc under pressure, so our options were limited.

It was good to bring home a point for fastest lap, but we need to focus on bringing more performance. The first half of the season has been tough, and everyone in Brackley and Brixworth has been working incredibly hard. We’re looking forward to the break and will be back in Zandvoort ready to take on the final 10 races of the season.