Stunning. Outstanding. Driver of the day. Amazing. Remarkable.
All words used to describe Lewis Hamilton’s drive from 21st on the grid to third in the race.
But the reality was far different from what the results suggested.
Don’t get me wrong, the result was impressive. Starting 21st and finishing third is a good result no matter the circumstance.
But a good result does not mean the drive to get there was stunning, outstanding, amazing, remarkable or good enough to be voted driver of the day.
Hamilton – and Fernando Alonso, who finished seventh – were aided by Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen coming together at Turn One.
And there was the Pascal Wehrlein and Jenson Button incident that gained Hamilton, and Alonso, two places.
Carlos Sainz, running in the top 10, had a puncture that turned his rear wing the wrong way; he was out of the race.
And then the big moment, for both Kevin Magnussen and Lewis Hamilton. The Danish driver lost control of his Renault at the top of Eau Rouge and smashed into the tyre barriers, thankfully walking away relatively unhurt.
The safety car was deployed, with numerous drivers coming into the pits. Alonso and Hamilton found themselves fourth and fifth.
And then the Safety Car became a red flag. Fourth and fifth without pitting, with the chance to change their tyres without losing time.
By lap 10, Alonso and Hamilton were in a very good position for scoring points, and, in the case of Hamilton, some high-scoring points.
Hamilton ended up third while Alonso finished seventh. But in gaining those 18 positions from the start of the race, Hamilton only overtook four cars on track.
In fact, two of the passes were before the red flag: Daniil Kvyat and Esteban Ocon. There were then two passes after the red flag, on Alonso and Nico Hulkenberg.
After three new engines were fitted to the car to stockpile for the remainder of the season, it’s fair to say Hamilton’s luck turned on Sunday.
A stunning, outstanding, amazing or result? Definitely. A drive worthy of those descriptions? Definitely not.