Daniel Ricciardo claims his third win of the season in the BelgiumGP

Bvz3XA5IYAAPJOLDaniel Ricciardo took his third win of the season as a second-lap collision involving Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton badly compromised Mercedes’ race. Rosberg suffered front wing damage but eventually fought his way back to second place but Hamilton, who sustained a puncture in the incident, dropped to the back of the field and finally retired on lap 39.

Valtteri Bottas claimed his fourth podium finish of the season with third place ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, who took his best result of the season so far.

Before the start, Fernando Alonso’s afternoon was already going badly. The Ferrari driver’s car was still on jacks as the parade lap began and though he finally got going, members of his crew were still on the grid inside the 15-second cut-off point before the formation lap. It would later earn him a five-second stop-go penalty.

BvzqZU7IEAAH375At the start Hamilton passed the slow-starting Rosberg and stole into the lead on the run up to La Source. Vettel too made a good start and passed his fellow German around the outside. Vettel then attempted to overtake Hamilton into Les Combes but outbraked himself, ran wide and rejoined behind Rosberg.

The drama wasn’t over, however. On the following lap Rosberg attempted a pass on his team-mate at Les Combes, but as Hamilton shut the door the pair collided, the right side of Rosberg’s front wing clipping the rear left-tyre of Hamilton’s car.

The Briton immediately swerved off track with a puncture while Rosberg shipped heavy front-end damage. Hamilton limped back to the pits for a new wheel, but while Rosberg reported much damage he was told to stay out and see how matters developed.

BvzhM57IIAAHa9LBehind the front two, Ricciardo was on the move, passing Alonso at Les Combes. He was soon on Vettel’s tail and overtook his team-mate when the champion ran wide at Pouhon. The Australian then set off after Rosberg who appeared to be suffering badly due to the front wing damage. Ricciardo closed to within a second and Mercedes took the decision to pit the leader for a new wing and medium tyres. The Red Bull driver assumed the lead.

Valtteri Bottas too was making a move. The Finn passed Alonso for third on lap eight, overtaking the Ferrari under DRS on the Kemmel Straight.

Rosberg was soon in trouble again. On lap 10 he picked up some debris on the track while racing down the Kemmel Straight. The debris became entangled in the aerial on the nose cone of his car and fluttered dangerously around his steering wheel.

Bvz2bkTIAAAcTRvAlonso, meanwhile, was handed a five-second stop-go penalty by the stewards, which he elected to serve during the first round of stops.

That round of stops was completed by the end of lap 15. Ricciardo, on softs, still led, with Kimi Raikkonen now second ahead of Vettel. Rosberg, who took on medium tyres during his stop, was now fourth ahead of Bottas, Magnussen and Alonso. Hamilton was now 16th and some 16 seconds adrift of Sauber’s Adrian Sutil.

On lap 16 Rosberg attempted to pass Vettel for third place but ran wide under braking and the error allowed Bottas to close and eventually pass the Mercedes driver under DRS on the following lap as the pair raced down the long Kemmel Straight.

Rosberg then reported that he was getting significant vibration from the tyre he had lit up attempting the pass on Vettel and he was forced to pit again on lap 19, taking on more medium rubber. He rejoined in 11th place but was soon up to ninth behind Sergio Perez.

Bvzen3nIYAADEmCRaikkonen made his second stop from second place on lap 21, taking on medium tyres. Vettel took his set of mediums on lap 22 and rejoined in P8. Ricciardo pitted from the lead on lap 27, taking on medium tyres, which he would race to the flag. Bottas now assumed the lead, having stopped just once, ahead of Rosberg who had made two stops and carved his way through the pack.

Bottas pitted on the very next lap, which promoted Rosberg back to the lead he had lost on lap eight. The German, on 10-lap-old medium tyres, would need to stop again, though with Bottas rejoining in fifth and new third-place man Raikkonen also possibly requiring another stop, Rosberg was told he was a “safe second”.

On lap 31, Bottas passed Vettel for fourth place and seemed set to secure his podium place as both Vettel and third-placed Raikkonen looked set to take on fresh tyres, whereas Bottas was on a two-stop plan.

BvzlAn_IUAAloiiWith 10 laps to go Rosberg and Vettel made their stops, with both taking on soft tyres, aimed at utilising the tyre’s better pace to see what they could achieve against the two-stoppers on ageing prime tyres.

Rosberg rejoined in fourth and quickly dismissed Bottas and Raikkonen, but now the German was 22 seconds down on Ricciardo. That was simply too big a gap to make up to the Australian and the Mercedes driver settled in the end for his safe second place.

Behind him Raikkonen defied expectation, the Finn attempting to cling on to third on the set on prime tyres he had taken on at the end of lap 21. It was a brave choice but ultimately one that failed as Bottas, breezed past the Ferrari on the Kemmel Straight four laps from home.

F1 Testing in Bahrain - Day TwoWith Raikkonen secure in fourth, a furious battle developed for fifth. Magnussen held fifth but a train was building up behind him, featuring Alonso, Button and the hard-charging Vettel.

A titanic battle ensued, with at times, the drivers racing four abreast on the run to Les Combes. It was Vetttel who came out on top, thanks to fresher tyres. Magnussen was sixth ahead of Button and Alonso. It wasn’t without a price though and Magnussen was placed under investigation after the race for his driving during the period.

Ahead, though, Ricciardo took a calm and controlled third career win, to leave him on 156 points, just 35 behind championship contender Hamilton, who stays on 191 points. Rosberg, meanwhile, moves to 220 points and a healthy title lead as the championship heads towards Monza.

 Belgian Grand Prix Race Results
Pos. Car # Driver Laps Behind Status Points
1 3 Daniel Ricciardo 44 Winner Running 25
2 6 Nico Roseberg 44 -3.3 Running 18
3 77 Valtteri Bottas 44 -28.0 Running 15
4 7 Kimi Raikkonen 44 -36.8 Running 12
5 1 Sebastian Vettel 44 -52.1 Running 10
6 20 Kevin Magnussen 44 -54.2 Running 8
7 22 Jenson Button 44 -54.5 Running 6
8 14 Fernando Alonso 44 -61.1 Running 4
9 11 Sergio Perez 44 -64.2 Running 2
10 26 Daniil Kvyat 44 -65.3 Running 1
11 27 Nico Hulkenberg 44 -65.6 Running 0
12 25 Jjean-Eric Vergne 44 -71.9 Running 0
13 19 Felipe Massa 44 -75.9 Running 0
14 99 Adrian Sutil 44 -82.4 Running 0
15 21 E. Gutierrez 44 -90.8 Running 0
16 4 M. Chilton 43 -1 Lap Running 0
17 9 Marcus Ericsson 43 -1 Lap Running 0
18 17 Jules Bianchi 39 -5 Laps Running 0
19 44 Lewis Hamiton 38 -6 Laps Retired 0
20 8 Romain Grojean 33 -11 Laps Retired 0
21 13 Pastor Maldonado 1 -43 Laps Retired 0
22 45 Andre Lotterer 1 -43 Laps Retired 0

 

Drivers Championship after Belgium
Pos. Car # Driver Team Points Behind
1 6 N. Roseberg Mercedes 220 Leader
2 44 L. Hamiton Mercedes 191 -29
3 3 D. Ricciardo Red Bull Racing-Renault 156 -64
4 14 F. Alonso Ferrari 119 -101
5 77 V. Bottas William-Mercedes 110 -110
6 1 S. Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 98 -122
7 27 N. Hulkenberg Force india-Mercedes 69 -151
8 22 J. Button McLaren-Mercedes 66 -154
9 20 K. Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 45 -175
10 19 F. Massa William-Mercedes 40 -180
11 7 K. Raikkonen Ferrari 39 -181
12 11 S. Perez Force india-Mercedes 31 -189
13 25 J. Vergne STR-Renault 11 -209
14 8 R. Grojean Lotus-Renault 8 -212
15 26 D. Kvyat STR-Renault 7 -213
16 17 J. Bianchi Marussis-Ferrari 2 -218
17 99 A. Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 0 -220
18 9 M. Ericsson Caterham-Renault 0 -220
19 13 P. Maldonado Lotus-Renault 0 -220
20 21 E. Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 0 -220
21 4 M. Chilton Marussis-Ferrari 0 -220
22 10 K. Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 0 -220
23 45 A. Lotterer Caterham-Renault 0 -220

 

Constructors Championship after Belgium
Pos. Team Points Behind
1 Mercedes 411 Leader
2 Red Bull Racing-Renault 254 -157
3 Ferrari 158 -253
4 Williams-Mercedes 150 -261
5 McLaren-Mercedes 111 -300
6 Force India-Mercedes 100 -311
7 STR-Renault 18 -393
8 Lotus-Renault 8 -403
9 Marussia-Ferrari 2 -409
10 Sauber-Ferrari 0 -411
11 Caterham-Renault 0 -411

 

 

 

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