A pole for Black Panther: Hamilton crushes the clock in Spa

A pole for Black Panther: Hamilton crushes the clock in Spa

He will command the grid in Belgium for the sixth time. He dedicated his conquest to the actor and friend Chadwick Boseman, who played the famous superhero. Carlos Sainz will start from seventh place

A pole for Black Panther: Hamilton crushes the clock in Spa

The 'party mode' is rather the way of life that Mercedes has. Because Lewis Hamilton lives like this, in 'party mode', although those aggressive motor maps are going to be banned by the FIA. The landscape will hardly change. In the middle of the forest of Spa, quieter than usual, in the absence of those avalanches of fans who camped many times in the mud, the Briton again took out his lethal paw, with a circuit record and a special memory for the late actor Chadwick Boseman, who played the Black Panther Avenger. There are already 93 poles, six of them in the Ardennes. His only rival, his teammate Valtteri Bottas, finished half a second. Carlos Sainz will start from seventh position.

“Wakanda forever,” Hamilton silently yelled from the top of his Mercedes, crossing his arms and lowering his head. This is how his friend Chadwick Boseman used to do it every time he immersed himself in that fictional character called Black Panther. Wakanda was his kingdom, as Formula 1 has been, for a handful of years, Lewis's. Boseman received the melancholic message with which he celebrated the umpteenth pole of his life on the radio. The 93, specifically. “Upon hearing the sad news, I decided to go out there and ride perfectly, which is what he would have done. He was a true hero,” he revealed minutes later, on the Spa paddock. Lewis might as well join The Avengers, because the merger between him and his almighty Mercedes would make for a movie. For a good saga, rather. It is expected that in Italy, next appointment, next appointment, the German team will not be able to resort to its aggressive engine map during qualifying. The famous 'party mode'. The same will give.

“We are enjoying the last party, before everything is more boring,” joked Mercedes boss Toto Wolff . And that Max Verstappen , the greatest threat to Hamilton, finished half a second (526 thousandths), standing up to Valtteri Bottas. Although the name of the day was that of Daniel Ricciardo , who dazzled with his Renault in the cloudy Belgian sky, to finish fourth, less than a second behind the leader. That same seat will be occupied in a few months by Fernando Alonso, who does not lose detail of everything that happens in this countdown to his return.

The McLarens pulled out their elbows until Q3 and Carlos Sainz ended up seizing a seventh place with which to face a demanding battle for Spa. An adventure that the rain can turn into a good opportunity for the Spanish. Curiously, the Renault will be his great rivals this time. “The biggest surprise was beating Racing Point. In race pace we saw that they are going well and we are a little behind them. Starting seventh we will be able to fight,” he said.

The nightmare that does not stop Ferrari

On the radio a lament rang out again from Ferrari. “I can't do much more,” cried Charles Leclerc on the radio, as soon as the Ferrari double KO was confirmed. Neither he (13th) nor Sebastian Vettel (14th), owners of the faltering red cars, were able to climb to that 'top 10'. Mattia Binotto's tiresome walk towards his garage, casting a leaden glance towards the Ardennes forest, serves to explain the thorny situation facing the Italian team.

Something like this hadn't happened to them since 2014, although on that occasion, on the asphalt at Silverstone, it was the weather that conditioned Fernando Alonso (16th) and Kimi Raikkonen (18th). This time they ended up following the slipstream of the two Alpha Tauri and, again with wrinkled faces. The scenario that Carlos Sainz will find when he lands in Maranello does not seem the most exciting.

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