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Belgian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton clinches third victory at Spa

27 August 2017

Hamilton owned the session and never looked like being beaten, but in the end it was a close-run thing between the three-time champion and points leader Vettel, after a gripping hour of action.

Hamilton made history during qualifying on Saturday when he secured the 68th pole of his F1 career, equalling the all-time record set by racing legend Michael Schumacher.

Given that the high-speed, 19-turn, 7.004 km Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps was expected to favour Mercedes AMG F1 and Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari running them close in the Belgian Grand Prix was encouraging for the Italian squad.

To mark the occasion, Schumacher's son, Mick, drove his father's 1994 title-winning auto around the track at Spa before the drivers battled it out around the famous circuit.

He was second to Hamilton overall on Friday and his time of one minute 43.916 seconds was comfortably the fastest of the weekend and more than three seconds inside Vettel's 2009 race lap record. "I've got the best job in the world!" I feel very proud.

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"I'm here to deliver a very special message from Corinna Schumacher and the Schumacher family, who want to congratulate you on equalling Michael's record", he told the driver in front of the crowd.

"I enjoy the racing and, obviously, I want to do well".

"I was waiting for Lewis to make a mistake and he didn't, " the German driver said.

"I'm here to win".

According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, Lewis Hamilton is favored with -250 odds.

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The session began in bright and dry conditions, but finished in teeming rain.

"What Bottas was suffering from was general lack of grip", Wolff said.

For Hamilton, it was an excellent start to a key weekend. It was fun to be racing against another team and Sebastian really at his best and the auto at his best, battling within half a tenth every lap. "To see so much support for Max is quite phenomenal", Horner said.

"I can't think of what's been my favorite race".

Hamilton was good after the start, keeping his first place from the attacks of Vettel, until the 13th lap when he went into pit-stop for a tire change.

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Vettel joined Ferrari back in 2015 - after six seasons with Red Bull (eight if you include the two years with Scuderia Toro Rosso), during which time he won 39 races (his first with Toro Rosso in 2008) and took four Drivers' titles.

Belgian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton clinches third victory at Spa