Charles Leclerc claimed his first ever Formula 1 Grand Prix win in Belgium on Sunday.

Charles Leclerc enjoyed a first Formula 1 race win for Ferarri at the Belgian Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton extended his lead in the Drivers’ Championship to 65 points after finishing second.

Leclerc, 21, was delighted to convert his pole position into a race win having lost out to Max Verstappen when in a similar situation ahead of the Austrian GP earlier in the season.

The Monegasque driver had managed four more podium finishes in the opening 12 races of 2019, so it was a relief to take the chequered flag with Hamilton less than a second behind in his Mercedes.

However, Leclerc’s win was tinged with sadness as he dedicated it to Formula 2 driver Anthoine Hubert, who was killed in a crash on Saturday.

He said: “Yeah on the one hand I’ve got a dream since being a child that was been realised and on the other hand it has been a difficult weekend since yesterday.

“We have lost a friend and I would like to dedicate my first win to him, I grew up with Anthoine, we raced together. I can’t enjoy my first victory.

“It’s been a very difficult race, we were struggling with the tyres towards the end it was better than Budapest I managed the tyres better but again it’s a good weekend performance-wise with pole position and my first victory.

“At the end of the race was not easy [Lewis Hamilton] was catching quickly.”

Leclerc remains fifth in the standings, but moves to within 12 points of team-mate Sebastian Vettel who finished fourth.

Hamilton, who stretched his lead at the top by three points after his Silver Arrows team-mate Valtteri Bottas came third at Spa, admitted that Ferrari’s pace was difficult to deal with possibly with one eye on next weekend’s Italian GP at Monza.

He said: “The Ferraris were just too fast on the straights. Maybe a few more laps [to have caught Leclerc] but congratulations to Charles for his first win, he had it coming all year so I’m really happy for him.”

Verstappen’s hopes of challenging Bottas for second place in the Drivers’ Championship has faltered after the Red Bull driver crashed out on the first lap.

There were points for his new team-mate Alexander Albon, who was fifth on his Red Bull debut, while Racing Point duo Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll were sixth and tenth respectively.

Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly finished in seventh and ninth with Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg sandwiched in between.

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