Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has described Lewis Hamilton’s performance in qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix as “extraterrestrial” after claiming yet another Formula 1 pole position in 2020.

Hamilton dominated qualifying at Spa Francorchamps, scoring his fifth pole position of the season and his 93rd overall in F1.

The six-time world champion was in a league of his own on Saturday, ending the day over 0.5s ahead of Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

 

 

Reflecting on his drivers’ performances in qualifying, Wolff explained Bottas’ struggles and heaped praise on Hamilton.

“No, I don’t think there’s any psychological reason for the gap today,” Wolff said. “I think overall Valtteri struggled with the setup, particularly in Q3. I’ve just been talking to him and you can see that on the data there’s just a little bit more sliding exiting the corners and that obviously adds up - that makes the difference but I don’t want to downplay or diminish anything of Lewis’ performance which was extraterrestrial today, again on these fast, traditional circuit he’s just in a league of his own.”

Hamilton was one of the only drivers not to complete his lap behind another car and thus had no slipstream advantage down the straights.

He believes this was a crucial factor in his dominant performance at Spa this weekend.

“Yeah, I studied that and of course there have been times where we have had to try to get a tow, Hamilton said. “You’ve got these three difficult sections where you’ve got the straight line in the first section, which is pretty straightforward, but getting the right wing level here is not so easy and some, as you can see, are really quick in the first and last sector but not so good in the middle sector.

“We are not the strongest I would say in the first and the last but the middle is really, really strong and I think for me this weekend it was my choice to go first or second out of Valtteri and I chose to go first. I just wanted to be out in the clean air not having to worry about people up ahead of me, getting a gap in the last corner, wondering whether it’s four or eight seconds gap – because you’re still getting a tow from someone at seven seconds behind and I didn’t want anything coming in my way so it worked out perfectly I think.”

 

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