Lewis Hamilton dedicates Belgium GP pole to Chadwick Boseman

Hamilton broke track record at Spa-Francorchamps, and used his post-qualifying interview to pay tribute to Boseman

Last Updated: 29/08/20 4:15pm

Lewis Hamilton dedicated his pole position at the Belgian GP to actor Chadwick Boseman, whose death he said “broke” him.

Boseman’s death at the age of 43 after a four-year battle with colon cancer was announced on Saturday morning, hours before Hamilton dominated his rivals by more than half a second in the Spa-Francorchamps shootout.

Hamilton – the only black driver in Formula 1 – paid an emotional tribute to the actor on team radio before, standing atop his Mercedes car, performing the Wakanda salute that Boseman made famous as the title character in Black Panther.

The six-time F1 champion then said it was hard to regain focus after hearing that the actor had died.

“It’s a really important pole for me,” Hamilton told Sky F1‘s Paul Di Resta after claiming his 93rd pole. “I woke up to the news of Chadwick Boseman passing away and that news really, really broke me.

“It was really not easy to get back in focus coming in today with that kind of hanging on my heart, but I was like I’ve got to go out there and drive to perfection because what he’s done for our people and what he’s done for this superhero shows all the young kids that it’s possible.

“He was such a shining light. So Wakanda forever.”

Hamilton then posted a further tribute on Twitter:

The Brit already had the record of five poles in Belgium, and was pleased with the performance to achieve his sixth.

He continued: “It was a very, very clean session, every lap getting better and better.

“We’re not the strongest in the first and last section but we’re good in the middle section. I wanted to go out first, in the clean air, and it worked out perfectly.

“Turn One has been a weakness in the last few years, but I was really good there and I’m happy with that.”

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