It was not a matter of if Ferrari's driver Charles Leclerc would win a Formula One race, but when, and on Sunday at the Belgian Grand Prix, the Monegasque
did what had long been anticipated in scintillating fashion.He led from the start and was in charge of the lead for the better part of it except for a few laps in which his teammate, Sebastian Vettel, stayed in front through what was ultimately an erroneous strategy that cost him a podium position.
It is held under the patronage of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco and following the initiative of Luc Pettavino, President of the Association Monegasque
contre les Myopathies.
Less than 24 hours after Leclerc's French motor racing contemporary, Anthoine Hubert, was killed at the Spa-Francorchamps venue, the young Monegasque
driver delivered a dominant display to take the chequered flag in his friend's honour.
Leclerc briefly traded places with Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel, owing to different tyre strategies, but once the four-time world champion was ordered aside, the Monegasque
's win rarely looked in doubt - even though Lewis Hamilton ran the youngster close.
Leclerc has impressed this weekend and, after an engine failure denied him victory in Bahrain, before Verstappen's fine fightback drive in Austria prevented him from winning in June, the Monegasque
will be hoping it is third-time lucky as he bids to open his GP account.
Leclerc was 0.630 seconds faster than Vettel in the afternoon session, with Ferrari enjoying a clear advantage in the straightfilled first sector and the Monegasque
youngster looks worth backing for his third pole of the season.
But, ahead of Q3 - the shoot-out for pole - Ferrari mechanics were scurrying all over the back of the Monegasque
However the young Monegasque
managed to take the final podium spot after Vettel hit Verstappen with 15 laps to go.
It was Vettel's team-mate Charles Leclerc who set the pace, the Monegasque
finishing a third of a second faster than anybody else.
finished on top, edging out his team-mate Sebastian Vettel by seven hundredths of a second.
, who is now set to start 16th of the 20 runners, shook his head as he spoke to Ferrari mechanics in what appeared another miscalculation by the Italian team.
The young Monegasque
claimed one position back to take fifth, but he will depart Baku wondering what might have been had it not been for his qualifying blunder.