Lewis Hamilton’s streak of finishing on the podium has come to an end following his fourth-place finish in the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday.
Last weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix marked the end of Lewis Hamilton’s amazing streak of podium finishes at Spa when the Mercedes driver was forced to settle for a P4 finish.
With the exception of his first year, when he finished fourth, Hamilton had consistently finished in the top three at Spa-Francorchamps. However, this trend has since come to an end.
The penultimate race before the summer break was an important one for the seven-time world champion in terms of a podium finish. Despite finishing in fourth place, 17.4 seconds behind Charles Leclerc, Hamilton earned a bonus point for a successful, if desperate, fastest lap attempt.
On the same weekend, Max Verstappen won both the main event and the sprint race, making his clean sweep of the events complete with just that one fastest lap point remaining to be scored.
No much satisfaction for Hamilton, but the Briton’s amazing podium streak at Spa came to an end during the weekend, which may make him feel much worse.
Hamilton finished in Belgium but did not place on the podium for the first time since his debut year.
Of course he has attempted to cross the finish line at Spa but failed, notably in the controversial incident with Nico Rosberg in 2014, but each time he has seen the checkered flag, he has finished in the top three.
Given that Hamilton has retired five times at the Belgian Grand Prix in his career this is a clear indication that his performance at Spa Francorchamps has been quite inconsistent. In 2009, 2011, 2012, 2014 and 2022, the Mercedes driver failed to finish at the famed Formula 1 round.
However, in 2008, 2010, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021, he secured at least a podium. The Mercedes driver has now finished fourth twice at the venue, where he has earned four of his ten podium finishes.
His 2023 Belgian Grand Prix was disappointing, particularly after he was handed a penalty in Saturday’s sprint race. In a battle with Sergio Perez, Hamilton sneaked up the Mexican’s inside at Turn 15, but a sharp understeer sent the British driver wide.
The Red Bull driver was ultimately forced to retire from the race after he tangled with Perez and punched a hole in his sidepod.
As a result of the incident, Hamilton was knocked down from fourth to seventh place and given a five-second time penalty and two penalty points.
Mercedes decided not to challenge the decision considering sprint races don’t offer many points, yet many people see the incident as a racing event.
According to reports, one of the stewards agreed with Hamilton that it was just a racing incident, but they were overpowered by the other stewards who thought the 38-year-old was to blame for the crash. In spite of all this, Hamilton didn’t seem likely to finish in the top three in the sprint.