The pole-winning advantage was taken advantage of by Ferrari racer Charles Leclerc when he finished first at Spa-Francorchamps, the Belgian Grand Prix on September 1st.
The first stage of Leclerc debut in F1 career is also the first time Ferrari won a race in the 2019 season.
A valuable victory gives the Monaco driver a valuable gift to send to his childhood friend Anthoine Hubert, the F2 driver who died on August 31 in a tragic accident at Spa-Francorchamps himself on August 31. On the other hand, this is also an achievement that makes the Ferrari racing team more confident in the end of the season, after a long period of being full of bowl and being completely dominated by Mercedes, even Red Bull.
As soon as he finished, Leclerc choked on the radio: “This victory was for Anthoine. I’m fine but it’s difficult to experience such a sad week like this”. When he reached the parking lot, the Ferrari driver turned his lenses to the words “Racing for Anthoine” to refer to his ill-fated friend and colleague.
At the test races , the Leclerc – Vettel duo impressed when the SF90 was faster than Mercedes by an average of 0.7 seconds per lap. And that form is the two drivers of Ferrari take full advantage of the classification competition to occupy the first two starting positions, right on the Mercedes duo. However, as expected, the German racing team, and especially Lewis Hamilton, were not easy opponents, despite Ferrari having a big advantage in speed-oriented racetracks like Spa-Francorchamps.
Right from the start, Vettel was soon overtaken by Hamilton when the two drivers ran through Round 1. However, the speed of the SF90 and the effort to help the German racer regained second place at the end of the straight line. Kemmel at the first lap. The race was halted in the first round when the safety car appeared after the collision between Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) and Max Verstappen (Red Bull). The incident caused the Dutchman to give up in the first round when the RB13 crashed into the fence in the corner of Eau Rouge.
After the car safely pulled out of the track at the end of the fourth round, Leclerc quickly made a breakthrough when successively setting up the fastest-lap. At the rear Vettel constantly had to keep an eye on Hamilton, when the distance was kept steady at less than two seconds. Pressure from Mercedes forced Ferrari to Vettel to pit early from the 15th to prevent Hamilton from jumping.
Ferrari calculated with good speed from the new set of tires , when Leclerc and Hamilton finished changing tires, Vettel will take the first place. The Italian team’s prediction was correct when the two Vettel rivals finished changing tires in the 22nd round, the German driver won the first place. However, the early change of tire made Vettel quickly be replaced by competitors that changed the tire late.
Go to round 27, witnessing the speed of Leclerc, Ferrari asked Vettel to give the position to the juniors to avoid Hamilton benefiting. Vettel also only held the second position until the 33rd round when he was easily overcome by both Hamilton and Bottas. At the heart of the race is Hamilton’s chase with Leclerc. The British rider has the advantage of speed, but Leclerc is still 7 seconds ahead of the opponent while the race has only 10 laps.
Despite great efforts and the support of the captured cars, Hamilton did not soon close the gap. In the final round, the distance between the two leading vehicles was still 1.5 seconds so Hamilton had no chance to attack the opponent. This is a worthy reward for Leclerc. The Monaco driver would have had his first win if he hadn’t lost the top spot at the start of the season at the Bahrain Grand Prix when the engine failed at the last minute.
Next week, the F1 team will continue to roll on a classic race track – “Speed Cathedral” Monza (Italy) and Ferrari’s home race track. The race takes place from 6-8 September. This is when the Italian racing team longed to win to finish Mercedes’ first-place finish five times at Ferrari’s hideout.