By Abhishek Takle(REUTERS) – Lewis Hamilton took another step towards a record-equalling seventh Formula One title on Sunday with a dominant lights-to-flag victory in the Belgian Grand Prix.The Briton, who had started from pole position after an inspired qualifying display, was at the front for every single lap as he led team mate Valtteri Bottas across the line for a Mercedes one-two.Hamilton looked to be in perfect control in the lead after retaining his advantage at the start and down the long flat-out blast to the Les Combes chicane despite a snap of oversteer.The durability of his tyres, which stirred memories of his winning three-wheeled limp to the line at his home British Grand Prix, raised some concern for the champion.But even those worries, which injected a hint of jeopardy into the otherwise straightforward race, proved unfounded as he crossed the line a comfortable 8.4 seconds clear of his Finnish stablemate.“I know it’s not necessarily what everybody always wants to see, a Mercedes at the front,” said Hamilton, who now has a 50-point lead in the championship over Bottas and is 47 ahead of Red Bull’s third-placed finisher Max Verstappen.“But no matter how much success we have, we just keep our heads down.”Hamilton’s win was the 89th of his career, putting him ever closer to matching Michael Schumacher’s seven title triumphs and leaving him just two short of the German’s record tally of 91 race victories.It was also the champion’s fifth win from seven races so far this season and the fourth of his career on the Spa-Francorchamps track.Bottas, winner of the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix but now effectively two whole race victories behind Hamilton, said: “I think Lewis was faultless today.”“PRETTY BORING” Verstappen, the only non-Mercedes winner so far this year, took his sixth consecutive podium but dubbed the race “boring.”“I ran out of tyres at the end, so I was just stretching it out, saving the front tyres,” said the 22-year-old, who had a lonely afternoon after a first-lap battle with former team mate Daniel Ricciardo.“It was not enjoyable out there today.”Ricciardo finished fourth for Renault, while also taking the extra point for fastest lap. Team mate Esteban Ocon rounded off a strong weekend for the French manufacturer by snatching fifth on the last lap from Red Bull’s Alexander Albon.Lando Norris, the sole McLaren in the race after team mate Carlos Sainz failed to make the start due to an exhaust issue, was seventh while Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasly took ‘Driver of the Day’ honours in eighth.FERRARI STRUGGLE Ferrari, winners in Belgium for the last two years, finished out of the points as their lack of speed was laid bare on Spa’s long straights.Sebastian Vettel, leaving Ferrari at the end of the year, was 13th, a place ahead of last year’s pole-sitter and winner Charles Leclerc, whose race was further hampered by slow pitstops.“We need to work and find something because like this it’s very difficult,” Leclerc said of the Italian team’s form that even drew a shake of the head from Vettel’s replacement Sainz.The race was interrupted by an early safety car, sent out after a crash involving Antonio Giovinazzi and George Russell.The Italian lost control of his Alfa Romeo at the exit of the Fagnes chicane.Russell, running behind Giovinazzi in his Williams, collected a loose wheel that came off the car, leaving debris strewn across the track.
Donegal County Council is looking to increase the number of ocean liners which can dock in Co Donegal and bring a tourism windfall to the county.Garry Martin, Director of Economic Development with Donegal County Council said cruise ship tourism is something that can be developed for Donegal.Mr Martin was speaking after the visit of world-famous ocean liner, the Queen Victoria to Killybegs last weekend. Killybegs was bustling with crowds of people excited to welcome the world famous cruise ship to County Donegal.This was the first visit of the Cunard line, Queen Victoria cruise ship to Killybegs Harbour on the Wild Atlantic Way.Mr Martin said the visit of the Queen Victoria was a great success, generating much economic activity locally.And he added “We need to continue to develop cruise tourism and to adopt a collaborative approach to preparing for increasing numbers of visiting cruise ships to Donegal, there is potentially a significant economic value in cruise tourism for the local economy.” He added “we are looking forward now to the visit of the Queen Elizabeth on 20th July 2018”.Launched by Camilla Parker Bowles following a €39m makeover last year, the Queen Victoria attracted large numbers of visitors from all over Donegal and further afield who travelled to Killybegs and surrounding areas to catch a glimpse of the luxurious cruise ship.Captain Tomas Connery successfully navigated the 90,000 tonne ocean liner, only slightly shorter than the Eiffel Tower, into Killybegs Harbour with the help of his Third Officer Nuala O’Donnell who hails from Fintown.Nuala O’Donnell was delighted to have the responsibility of sailing the Queen Victoria into Killybegs Harbour just before the Captain took over to make the final turn to come to a stop alongside the pier.Nuala, who trained at the National Maritime College in Cork, was greeted by her proud family who were waiting to welcome her home to Donegal. Cathaoirleach Gerry McMonagle presented Captain Tomas Connery and Head of Hotel Operations James Cusick with gifts from Donegal.Captain Connery along with other senior crew members joined Cathaoirleach Gerry McMonagle, Donegal County Council, Director of Economic Development Garry Martin and Head of Tourism, Barney McLaughlin in the Chart Room for the presentations where they also had the opportunity to discuss the potential of cruise tourism and gained a valuable insight from Captain Connery on his experience of arriving into Killybegs.Captain Connery and his team were also delighted to have met Henry Coleman, as football fans, they wanted to hear more about Killybegs native and football star Seamus Coleman.The visiting delegation was treated to a tour of the ship including a visit to the Britannia Club restaurant, the ballroom and the magnificent theatre on board. The Queen Victoria visit was successful thanks to the hard work of local people and Cathaoirleach Gerry McMonagle said that “the collaborative approach by local people including community groups, individuals and local businesses ensured that the day was a great success and visitors had a positive experience in Killybegs and surrounding areas”.The team at Killybegs Information Centre were busy with their popular Hidden Gems and Hidden Delights tours that were guided by local people and they had organised a shuttle bus.Representatives from Donegal Tourism and the Killybegs Information Centre were on hand at the pier to provide visitors with details of the local area including a Killybegs town map, the Donegal Tourism brochure and a list of local entertainment. Local businesses arranged entertainment such as the craft fair in the Bay View Hotel and Irish music and dancing in local venues.Julie Parkinson and Elaine Quinn from Killybegs Company, Sinbad Marine had a vital role in the organisation of the visit of the Queen Victoria. As local shipping agents in Killybegs, this visit would not have been possible without their expertise and assistance.Captain Connery, who is from Hook Head, was impressed with the port facilities in Killybegs and said that he was delighted to have the opportunity to visit Donegal.Hopes high that further ocean liners can bring financial spin-off for Donegal was last modified: May 24th, 2018 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:councilFinanceGarry MartinKillybegsQueen Victoria