Victory clouded by friend Hubert’s death in F2 race
Leclerc: his maiden Formula One victory at the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday to his late friend, Anthoine Hubert onan emotional day at a sombre SpaFrancorchamps. The Ferrari driver's landmark success came in the aftermath of 22yearold Frenchman Hubert's death in Saturday's tragic Formula Two race.
Leclerc led almost the entire race from pole to hold off Mercedes' defending five-time World champion Lewis Hamilton's dramatic late charge by one second. Difficultto enjoy “My first victory in F1 and this one is forAnthoine,” he said on the team radio. “It feels good, but it's difficultto enjoy on a weekend like this.”
After what he described as “a verydifficult weekend” headded: “I have lost a friend and I want to dedicate this victory to him. “One hand I've got a dream since being a child that has been realised, on the other hand it has been a very difficult weekend since yesterday,” said Leclerc,who dedicated his win to Hubert.
“We grew up together, my first everrace I did it with Anthoine, Esteban (Ocon), Pierre (Gasly). I can't fully
enjoy my firstvictory, but it will definitely be a memory I will keep forever,” added Leclerc.
Bottas third Valtteri Bottas took third in the second Mercedes ahead of last year's winner Sebastian Vettel in the second Ferrari.
Red Bull new boy Alex Al bon came home fifth, after luckless British rookie Lando Norris's McLaren had
stopped with one lap remaining, ahead of Sergio Perez of Racing Point, Daniil Kvyat of Toro Rosso and Nico Hulkenberg of Renault. Pierre Gasly was ninth on
his return to the Toro Rosso team and Lance Stroll 10th in the second Racing Point.The race was preceded
by a minute's silence to honour Hubert, killed in a multicar collision in the Formula Two race 24 hours earlier.