Sebastian Vettel leads Ferrari 1-2 in Spanish GP first practice

CiU5B0IWEAA8jbfSebastian Vettel led team mate Kimi Raikkonen as Ferrari made full use of their soft tyres to top the timesheet in first practice at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya on Friday morning.

Mercedes, who unlike the Prancing Horse only used Pirelli’s medium compound rubber, were half a second back, with championship leader Nico Rosberg edging Lewis Hamilton in the fight for third.

Max Verstappen, making his debut for Red Bull, was a solid sixth behind new team mate Daniel Ricciardo, while Toro Rosso returnee Daniil Kvyat ended up in 12th, four spots and half a second down on the other STR11 of Carlos Sainz.

Esteban Ocon, participating in FP1 in place of Jolyon Palmer, had a disappointing session for Renault, completing just six untimed laps before being halted by a technical issue.

Sergio Perez also experienced mechanical woes, though Force India were able to repair his car and return the Mexican to the track before the end of the session.

While the top quartet were in a league of their own – and the Red Bulls completed a mini-group with Williams’ Valtteri Bottas – it was very close behind, with less than one second covering Sainz in eighth down to Perez in 14th.

That grouping included the second Williams of Felipe Massa, McLaren’s Fernando Alonso, Renault’s Kevin Magnussen, Kvyat and Perez’s team mate Nico Hulkenberg.

While Alonso therefore earned McLaren’s heavily-revised MP4-31 a place in the top 10, team mate Jenson Button was far less happy. He finished 19th – 1.4s down on Alonso – and complained of handling issues during the 90-minute session.

Haas’s Romain Grosjean was also unhappy, labelling his car a ‘disaster’ in low-speed corners. The Frenchman – who along with team mate Esteban Gutierrez did not set a time in the opening half of the session – wound up 16th, with Gutierrez one spot further back.

The session was also notable for a couple of off-track moments in Turn 1 for Hamilton, whose Mercedes is using a new MGU-H after his recent problems, one for Raikkonen, and a spin by Massa in Turn 5.

Spanish Grand Prix First Practice Results
Pos. Car # Driver Best Time Behind Gap Laps
1 5 Sebastian Vettel 1:23.951 Leader Leader 22
2 7 Kimi Raikkonen 1:24.089 -0.138 -0.138 18
3 6 Nico Roseberg 1:24.454 -0.503 -0.365 34
4 44 Lewis Hamiton 1:24.611 -0.660 -0.157 33
5 3 Daniel Ricciardo 1:25.416 -1.465 -0.805 25
6 33 Max Verstappen 1:25.585 -1.634 -0.169 29
7 77 Valtteri Bottas 1:25.672 -1.721 -0.087 36
8 55 Carlos Sainz Jr 1:26.078 -2.127 -0.406 19
9 19 Felipe Massa 1:26.186 -2.235 -0.108 32
10 14 Fernando Alonso 1:26.243 -2.292 -0.057 18
11 20 Kevin Magnussen 1:26.576 -2.625 -0.333 30
12 26 Daniil Kvyat 1:26.583 -2.632 -0.007 21
13 27 Nico Hulkenberg 1:26.938 -2.987 -0.355 27
14 11 Sergio Perez 1:27.064 -3.113 -0.126 9
15 12 Felipe Nasr 1:27.253 -3.302 -0.189 27
16 8 Romain Grojean 1:27.258 -3.307 -0.005 17
17 21 Esteban Gutierrez 1:27.283 -3.332 -0.025 18
18 9 Marcus Ericsson 1:27.392 -3.441 -0.109 24
19 22 Jenson Button 1:27.610 -3.659 -0.218 19
20 94 Pascal Wehrlein 1:28.084 -4.133 -0.474 29
21 88 Rio Haryanto 1:29.052 -5.101 -0.968 34
22 45 Esteban Ocon 0:00.000 -1:23.951 -1:29.052 6

 

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Sebastian Vettel leads wet final Chinese GP practice

CgI5C_jWEAA7O3ISebastian Vettel kept Ferrari on top in a rain-hit final practice session in Shanghai on Saturday morning, though eight drivers – including Mercedes duo Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton – opted not to set a time in the tricky conditions.

Valtteri Bottas – the first driver to venture out on the track, fifteen minutes into the session – was second fastest for Williams, just ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez and Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz, with Haas’s Esteban Gutierrez completing the top five.

The session began amid heavy rainfall and treacherous conditions, but with around 20 minutes remaining the rain had abated enough to allow drivers to switch from full wets to intermediates, with Vettel quickly moving to the top of the timesheet.

There were several off-track moments throughout the session as drivers struggled to keep control of their machines on the greasy surface, though Haas’s Romain Grosjean was the only spinner.

Chinese Grand Prix Final Practice Results
Pos. Car # Driver Best Time Behind Gap Laps
1 5 Sebastian Vettel 1:57.351 Leader Leader 3
2 77 Valtteri Bottas 1:58.061 -0.710 -0.710 7
3 11 Sergio Perez 1:58.689 -1.338 -0.628 4
4 55 Carlos Sainz Jr 1:58.800 -1.449 -0.111 9
5 21 Esteban Gutierrez 1:59.526 -2.175 -0.726 7
6 30 Jolyon Palmer 1:59.677 -2.326 -0.151 7
7 20 Kevin Magnussen 1:59.761 -2.410 -0.084 9
8 94 Pascal Wehrlein 1:59.964 -2.613 -0.203 8
9 33 Max Verstappen 2:00.150 -2.799 -0.186 6
10 27 Nico Hulkenberg 2:00.158 -2.807 -0.008 4
11 12 Felipe Nasr 2:00.197 -2.846 -0.039 8
12 7 Kimi Raikkonen 2:00.812 -3.461 -0.615 5
13 19 Felipe Massa 2:02.438 -5.087 -1.626 4
14 88 Rio Haryanto 2:02.732 -5.381 -0.294 5
15 22 Jenson Button 0:00.000 -1:57.351 -2:02.732 3
16 14 Fernando Alonso 0:00.000 -1:57.351 0.000 3
17 8 Romain Grojean 0:00.000 -1:57.351 0.000 3
18 26 Daniil Kvyat 0:00.000 -1:57.351 0.000 4
19 6 Nico Roseberg 0:00.000 -1:57.351 0.000 2
20 3 Daniel Ricciardo 0:00.000 -1:57.351 0.000 3
21 44 Lewis Hamiton 0:00.000 -1:57.351 0.000 2
22 9 Marcus Ericsson 0:00.000 -1:57.351 0.000 1

 

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Rosberg takes Japanese pole after huge Kvyat crash

untitledSaturday’s qualifying session at Suzuka finished in dramatic fashion after Daniil Kvyat crashed his Red Bull at the end of Q3, leaving Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg on pole, less than a tenth of a second up on team mate Lewis Hamilton.

Williams were the Silver Arrows’ biggest rivals, with Valtteri Bottas third and Felipe Massa fifth, split by the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel, whose team mate Kimi Raikkonen was sixth. Daniel Ricciardo was seventh for Red Bull, ahead of Lotus’s Romain Grosjean and Force India’s Sergio Perez.

Kvyat ended up tenth after walking away from the wreckage of his heavily-damaged RB12. The Russian put a wheel on the grass on the run up to the hairpin and lost control before hitting the barriers and barrel rolling to a stop.

Max Verstappen progressed into Q2, but was unable to participate, having stopped his Toro Rosso with a loss of power at the hairpin at the end of Q1.

The Dutchman thus dropped out in the second phase, along with Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg – carrying a three-place grid drop for his collision with Massa in Singapore, Carlos Sainz in the sister Toro Rosso, Lotus’s Pastor Maldonado and McLaren’s Fernando Alonso.

Verstappen’s drama prevented several drivers improving on their final Q1 runs and eliminated in the opening phase were McLaren’s Jenson Button, Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson – who survived a spin at Spoon early in the session, team mate Felipe Nasr, and the Marussias of Will Stevens and Alexander Rossi.

Japanese Grand Prix Qualifying Results
Pos. Car # Driver Q1 Q2 Q3 Gap Laps
1 6 Nico Roseberg 1:33.015 1:32.632 1:32.584 Leader 16
2 44 Lewis Hamiton 1:32.844 1:32.789 1:32.660 -0.076 15
3 77 Valtteri Bottas 1:34.326 1:33.416 1:33.024 -0.364 11
4 5 Sebastian Vettel 1:34.431 1:33.844 1:33.245 -0.221 11
5 19 Felipe Massa 1:34.744 1:33.377 1:33.337 -0.092 12
6 7 Kimi Raikkonen 1:34.171 1:33.361 1:33.347 -0.010 10
7 3 Daniel Ricciardo 1:34.399 1:34.153 1:33.497 -0.150 17
8 8 Romain Grojean 1:34.398 1:34.278 1:33.967 -0.470 19
9 11 Sergio Perez 1:35.001 1:34.174 0:00.000 -0.207 16
10 26 Daniil Kvyat 1:34.646 1:34.201 0:00.000 -0.027 15
11 27 Nico Hulkenberg* 1:35.328 1:34.390 Eliminated -0.189 13
12 55 Carlos Sainz Jr 1:34.873 1:34.453 Eliminated -0.063 15
13 13 Pastor Maldonado 1:34.796 1:34.497 Eliminated -0.044 13
14 14 Fernando Alonso 1:35.467 1:34.785 Eliminated -0.288 8
15 33 Max Verstappen 1:34.522 0:00.000 Eliminated 0.263 7
16 22 Jenson Button 1:35.664 Eliminated -1.142 6
17 9 Marcus Ericsson 1:35.673 Eliminated -0.009 5
18 12 Felipe Nasr 1:35.760 Eliminated -0.087 6
19 28 Will Stevens 1:38.783 Eliminated -3.023 5
20 53 Alexander Rossi 1:47.114 Eliminated -8.331 5
  • – Hulkenberg: 3 Place Grid Penalty 

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Vettel ends Ferrari’s three-year pole drought in Singapore

UntitledFor the first time since June of last year, Sunday will see a Grand Prix start without a Mercedes on pole position after Sebastian Vettel clocked the fastest time in qualifying at Marina Bay. Vettel won the Ferrari-Red Bull battle, beating Daniel Ricciardo by over half a second, with Mercedes consigned to the third row of the grid.

Kimi Raikkonen was third fastest in the second Ferrari, a fraction up on Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat. Then came the beleaguered Silver Arrows of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, followed by Williams’ Valtteri Bottas, Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen, Felipe Massa in the second Williams and the Lotus of Romain Grosjean.

Q1 had seen Kvyat pip Hamilton for fastest time, 1m 45.340s to 1m 45.765s, but while they had to use supersoft tyres for that, Vettel was third with 1m 46.017s on the softs. Jenson Button squeaked through in the dying moments for McLaren, 1m 46.891s giving him 15th place at the expense of Sauber’s Felipe Nasr on 1m 46.965s. His partner Marcus Ericsson also failed to make it on 1m 47.088s and Pastor Maldonado couldn’t better 1m 47.323s for Lotus.

In the Marussia camp, Will Stevens jumped ahead of new team mate Alex Rossi on their final runs, with 1m 51.021s to 1m 51.523s. Both have five-place grid penalties for unscheduled gearbox changes.

As Vettel beat Kvyat with 1m 44.743s to 1m 44.979s, Carlos Sainz clobbered the wall with the left-rear of his Toro Rosso in Turn 19 as he, the McLaren drivers and the Force India drivers battled to get through to Q3. The resultant yellow flags ruined that, leaving the order outside the top 10 as Nico Hulkenberg 1m 46.305s, Fernando Alonso 1m 46.328s, Sergio Perez 1m 46.885s, Sainz 1m 46.894s and Button 1m 47.019s.

As Vettel set the pace on the first Q3 runs with 1m 44.305s, things got worse for Mercedes as Hamilton aborted his after running wide over the kerb in Turn 7. Ricciardo was second, Raikkonen third and Kvyat fourth.

The second runs merely confirmed the order, as Ricciardo trimmed down to 1m 44.428s for second, Raikkonen stayed on 1m 44.667s, and Kvyat improved only marginally to 1m 44.745s. Hamilton, however, jumped from ninth to fifth with 1m 45.300s, as Rosberg failed to improve on 1m 45.415s.

Right at the end, Vettel emphasised his superiority when he slammed round in 1m 43.885s to take his first pole since Brazil 2013. Ferrari’s last pole was Germany 2012.

Bottas took seventh for Williams with 1m 45.676s, as Verstappen’s 1m 45.798s gave Toro Rosso eighth. Massa was a disappointing ninth on 1m 46.077s, as Grosjean completed the top 10 for Lotus with 1m 46.413s.

Singapore Grand Prix Qualifying Results
Pos. Car # Driver Q1 Q2 Q3 Gap
1 5 Sebastian Vettel 1:46.017 1:44.743 1:43.885 Leader
2 3 Daniel Ricciardo 1:46.166 1:45.291 1:44.428 -0.543
3 7 Kimi Raikkonen 1:46.467 1:45.140 1:44.667 -0.239
4 26 Daniil Kvyat 1:45.340 1:44.979 1:44.745 -0.078
5 44 Lewis Hamiton 1:45.765 1:45.650 1:45.300 -0.555
6 6 Nico Roseberg 1:46.201 1:45.653 1:45.415 -0.115
7 77 Valtteri Bottas 1:46.231 1:45.887 1:45.676 -0.261
8 33 Max Verstappen 1:46.483 1:45.635 1:45.798 -0.122
9 19 Felipe Massa 1:46.879 1:45.701 1:46.077 -0.279
10 8 Romain Grojean 1:46.860 1:45.805 1:46.413 -0.336
11 27 Nico Hulkenberg 1:46.669 1:46.305 Eliminated 0.108
12 14 Fernando Alonso 1:46.600 1:46.328 Eliminated -0.023
13 11 Sergio Perez 1:46.576 1:46.385 Eliminated -0.057
14 55 Carlos Sainz Jr 1:46.465 1:46.894 Eliminated -0.509
15 22 Jenson Button 1:46.891 1:47.019 Eliminated -0.125
16 12 Felipe Nasr 1:46.965 Eliminated 0.054
17 9 Marcus Ericsson 1:47.088 Eliminated -0.123
18 13 Pastor Maldonado 1:47.323 Eliminated -0.235
19 28 Will Stevens 1:51.021 Eliminated -3.698
20 53 Alexander Rossi 1:51.523 Eliminated -0.502

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Vettel closes out Singapore GP practice on top

Sebastian Vettel was the class of the field on Saturday evening in Singapore, as Ferrari and Red Bull dominated final practice. Kimi Raikkonen and Daniil Kvyat were the only men to get within half a second of the German, while the lead Mercedes – Lewis Hamilton in fifth – was over a second off the pace as the world champions showed no sign of regaining their competitive edge.

Daniel Ricciardo was fourth fastest, with Nico Rosberg trailing his Mercedes team mate in sixth.

“1.1s off, right?” Hamilton asked his crew. It said everything.

In the first half of the hour-long session it was Kvyat, fastest in FP2, who initially set the pace again, with 1m 47.629s. But by the halfway stage it was the Ferraris to the fore on the soft Pirellis with Vettel on 1m 46.728s and Raikkonen on a more distant 1m 47.571s. Then came Kvyat, Rosberg, Hamilton – who went off in Turn 7 without hitting anything – and Ricciardo. There was no sign at that stage of a Mercedes comeback, and the team tweeted that the pace of their rivals was genuine and very quick… Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz were in the top ten for Toro Rosso, in seventh and 10th, sandwiching Romain Grosjean’s Lotus and Felipe Massa’s Williams.

As the session entered its second half Ricciardo quickly moved ahead of the Mercedes and Raikkonen to take second place, before being supplanted by his team mate.

Everyone switched to the supersoft tyres in the final 15 minutes, and Ricciardo – the first to take on the softer rubber – jumped ahead, only to be displaced by Raikkonen and Kvyat who undercut his 1m 46.359s best with 1m 46.132s and 1m 46.167s respectively. But Vettel – a three-time winner here – was the star, looking like his old self as he slid round in 1m 45.682s to put the benchmark 0.450s beyond reach.

It turned out that Mercedes had not found the silver bullet overnight, as Hamilton was 1.1s off the leading Ferrari, and Rosberg 1.5s adrift of it.

Putting their troubles into full perspective, Fernando Alonso in the formerly uncompetitive McLaren was only 0.014s off Rosberg, in seventh place… It wasn’t a bad day for the Woking team, as Jenson Button was 13th, the half-second gap to his team mate filled by the understeering Toro Rossos of Sainz and Verstappen, Marcus Ericsson’s Sauber, Valtteri Bottas’s Williams and Nico Hulkenberg’s Force India.

Massa ended up down in 14th ahead of Pastor Maldonado’s Lotus, Sergio Perez’s Force India, Grosjean’s Lotus and Felipe Nasr’s Sauber.

At the back, Alexander Rossi was quicker than Marussia team mate Will Stevens, as they focused on race work after missing much of Friday because of crashes.

So now we know the truth, Mercedes are in genuine trouble here as Ferrari and Red Bull look so much stronger. It’s going to be a fabulous qualifying session…

Singapore Grand Prix Final Practice Results
Pos. Car # Driver Best Time Behind Gap Laps
1 5 Sebastian Vettel 1:45.682 Leader Leader 12
2 7 Kimi Raikkonen 1:46.132 -0.450 -0.450 12
3 26 Daniil Kvyat 1:46.167 -0.485 -0.035 19
4 3 Daniel Ricciardo 1:46.359 -0.677 -0.192 14
5 44 Lewis Hamiton 1:46.802 -1.120 -0.443 15
6 6 Nico Roseberg 1:47.223 -1.541 -0.421 16
7 14 Fernando Alonso 1:47.237 -1.555 -0.014 14
8 55 Carlos Sainz Jr 1:47.301 -1.619 -0.064 18
9 33 Max Verstappen 1:47.464 -1.782 -0.163 17
10 9 Marcus Ericsson 1:47.568 -1.886 -0.104 20
11 77 Valtteri Bottas 1:47.587 -1.905 -0.019 20
12 27 Nico Hulkenberg 1:47.640 -1.958 -0.053 16
13 22 Jenson Button 1:47.715 -2.033 -0.075 14
14 19 Felipe Massa 1:47.733 -2.051 -0.018 21
15 13 Pastor Maldonado 1:47.817 -2.135 -0.084 16
16 11 Sergio Perez 1:48.002 -2.320 -0.185 15
17 8 Romain Grojean 1:48.116 -2.434 -0.114 15
18 12 Felipe Nasr 1:48.932 -3.250 -0.816 20
19 53 Alexander Rossi 1:52.588 -6.906 -3.656 26
20 28 Will Stevens 1:55.293 -9.611 -2.705 22

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Rosberg quickest in opening Singapore practice

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As expected Mercedes set the pace in Friday’s opening practice at Marina Bay, but with a much smaller advantage than they enjoyed at the previous round in Italy. Around the tight street circuit, Daniel Ricciardo lapped his Red Bull within a tenth of Lewis Hamilton and less than four-tenths down on leader Nico Rosberg.

The Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen were also in the hunt, setting the fourth and fifth fastest times, followed by the Williams of Valtteri Bottas and the Toro Rosso of Max Verstappen. Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg, Toro Rosso’s Carlos Sainz and Lotus’s Pastor Maldonado completed the top ten.

Alexander Rossi had been having an impressive first session as a Marussia race driver, all but matching team mate Will Stevens at the bottom of the order, but the American brought out the red flags near the very end of the 90 minutes when he crashed at Turn 18, causing extensive damage to his car.

The session began amid sweltering temperatures and humidity, but on a dirty track that compounded a lack of grip early on. Rosberg set the pace almost immediately, but Ricciardo quickly showed Red Bull’s potential by going faster than Hamilton and after 30 minutes the top five read: Rosberg on 1m 49.184s, Ricciardo on 1m 49.596s, Hamilton on 1m 49.677s, Raikkonen on 1m 49.718s and Vettel on 1m 49.950s, with 0.766s separating them. Hulkenberg and Force India team mate Sergio Perez were up next, with Bottas’s Williams, Maldonado’s Lotus and Fernando Alonso’s McLaren completing the top ten.

Things remained close in the second half hour, with Rosberg still leading – now on 1m 47.995s – as Hamilton improved to second on 1m 48.314s, ahead of Ricciardo on 1m 48.439s, Vettel on 1m 48.494s and Raikkonen on 1m 48.785s. Hulkenberg was sixth as the upgraded Toro Rossos of Sainz and Verstappen moved up, while Maldonado brushed the wall with his right-rear wheel and Alonso stayed in the top 10.

As night fell in the final 30 minutes most of the front runners focused on longer runs, but Vettel understeered off at Turn 5 and was lucky to get his Ferrari stopped before it could make contact with the wall. Bottas and Verstappen, meanwhile, improved, which bumped Alonso out of the top ten. The Spaniard nevertheless had an encouraging session for McLaren on a track where power is less important, though he did have to contend with charging problems which prevented him from improving on his time of 1m 50.123s.

The midfield proved to be incredibly tight – Sainz, Maldonado, Alonso, Perez and Felipe Nasr in the upgraded Sauber were split by little more than 0.1s, while Lotus’s Romain Grosjean, McLaren’s Jenson Button and Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson were fractions of a second further down the road.

Felipe Massa struggled to 17th place in the second Williams, while Daniil Kvyat was restricted to just eight laps and 18th place in the second Red Bull due to fuel system problems.

Down at Marussia, meanwhile, Rossi was initially faster than team mate Will Stevens, with half a second splitting the pair after the first half hour. The Briton subsequently got back ahead by just 0.015s, and with just under four minutes to go the American brought out the red flag after getting a little too much oversteer in the Turn 18 right-hander, hitting the wall and damaging the right-hand suspension of his MR03B.

Singapore Grand Prix First Practice Results
Pos. Car # Driver Best Time Behind Gap Laps
1 6 Nico Roseberg 1:47.995 Leader Leader 27
2 44 Lewis Hamiton 1:48.314 -0.319 -0.319 24
3 3 Daniel Ricciardo 1:48.331 -0.336 -0.017 21
4 5 Sebastian Vettel 1:48.494 -0.499 -0.163 23
5 7 Kimi Raikkonen 1:48.785 -0.790 -0.291 20
6 77 Valtteri Bottas 1:49.380 -1.385 -0.595 19
7 33 Max Verstappen 1:49.466 -1.471 -0.086 17
8 27 Nico Hulkenberg 1:49.854 -1.859 -0.388 21
9 55 Carlos Sainz Jr 1:50.019 -2.024 -0.165 28
10 13 Pastor Maldonado 1:50.068 -2.073 -0.049 21
11 14 Fernando Alonso 1:50.123 -2.128 -0.055 21
12 11 Sergio Perez 1:50.125 -2.130 -0.002 23
13 12 Felipe Nasr 1:50.158 -2.163 -0.033 18
14 8 Romain Grojean 1:50.341 -2.346 -0.183 23
15 22 Jenson Button 1:50.455 -2.460 -0.114 21
16 9 Marcus Ericsson 1:50.883 -2.888 -0.428 21
17 19 Felipe Massa 1:51.035 -3.040 -0.152 18
18 26 Daniil Kvyat 1:51.188 -3.193 -0.153 8
19 28 Will Stevens 1:53.903 -5.908 -2.715 20
20 53 Alexander Rossi 1:53.918 -5.923 -0.015 18

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Hamilton untouchable in charge to Belgian Grand Prix victory.

53A superbly controlled drive saw Lewis Hamilton beat Mercedes team mate Nico Rosberg to win Sunday’s 2015 Formula 1 Shell Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. The hard-charging Lotus of Romain Grosjean took third after Ferrari’s gamble to one stop Sebastian Vettel backfired with a spectacular tyre failure on the penultimate lap.

Daniil Kvyat made two strong passes in the closing laps to finish fourth for Red Bull, ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez, Williams’ Felipe Massa and Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen. A typically aggressive drive from Max Verstappen resulted in eighth place for Toro Rosso, with Williams’ Valtteri Bottas and Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson completing the top ten.

As expected, the new starting procedures mixed things up off the line, with Rosberg and Bottas making poor getaways from P2 and P3 on the grid, as Perez (starting P4) and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo (P5) capitalised to chase polesitter Hamilton out of the first turn.

It wasn’t until the first round of stops that Rosberg was able to get back on terms with Hamilton, moving up to second using sheer pace rather than passing, and when the Virtual Safety Car was deployed on lap 21 to remove Ricciardo’s broken-down Red Bull the gap was barely two seconds.

From there, however, Hamilton had things in hand and the real battle was for third, with Grosjean pushing Vettel hard in the closing stages, only for the German’s right-rear tyre to let go in dramatic fashion approaching Les Combes with less than two laps remaining.

There were two early retirements: Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg had power issues on the grid, prompting a second formation lap, while Pastor Maldonado’s Lotus came to a halt on just his second tour of Spa. Carlos Sainz also had technical issues en route to the grid and made a delayed start from the pit lane. Two laps down, he ultimately pulled his Toro Rosso into the garage to retire on lap 36.

Belgian Grand Prix Race Results
Pos. Car # Driver Laps Behind Status Points
1 44 Lewis Hamiton 44 Leader Running 25
2 6 Nico Roseberg 44 -2.0 Running 18
3 8 Romain Grojean 44 -37.9 Running 15
4 26 Daniil Kvyat 44 -45.6 Running 12
5 11 Sergio Perez 44 -53.9 Running 10
6 19 Felipe Massa 44 -55.2 Running 8
7 7 Kimi Raikkonen 44 -55.7 Running 6
8 33 Max Verstappen 44 -56.0 Running 4
9 77 Valtteri Bottas 44 -1:01.0 Running 2
10 9 Marcus Ericsson 44 -1:31.2 Running 1
11 12 Felipe Nasr 44 -1:42.311 Running 0
12 5 Sebastian Vettel 43 -1 Lap Running 0
13 14 Fernando Alonso 43 -1 Lap Running 0
14 22 Jenson Button 43 -1 Lap Running 0
15 98 Roberto Merhi 43 -1 Lap Running 0
16 28 Will Stevens 43 -1 Lap Running 0
17 55 Carlos Sainz Jr 35 -9 laps Retired 0
18 3 Daniel Ricciardo 20 -24 Laps Retired 0
19 13 Pastor Maldonado 2 -42 Laps Retired 0
20 27 Nico Hulkenberg 0 -44 Laps DNS 0

 

Drivers Championship
After Race 11 of the 2015 season at Belgian Grand Prix
Pos. Car # Driver Team Wins Points Behind
1 44 L. Hamiton Mercedes 6 227 Leader
2 6 N. Roseberg Mercedes 3 199 -28
3 5 S. Vettel Ferrari 2 160 -67
4 7 K. Raikkonen Ferrari 0 82 -145
5 19 F. Massa William-Mercedes 0 82 -145
6 77 V. Bottas William-Mercedes 0 79 -148
7 26 D. Kvyat Red Bull Racing-Renault 0 57 -170
8 3 D. Ricciardo Red Bull Racing-Renault 0 51 -176
9 8 R. Grojean Lotus-Mercedes 0 38 -189
10 33 M. Verstappen Toro Rosso 0 26 -201
11 11 S. Perez Force india-Mercedes 0 25 -202
12 27 N. Hulkenberg Force india-Mercedes 0 24 -203
13 12 Felipe Nasr Sauber-Ferrari 0 16 -211
14 13 P. Maldonado Lotus-Mercedes 0 12 -215
15 14 F. Alonso McLaren-Honda 0 11 -216
16 55 C. Sainz Jr Toro Rosso 0 9 -218
17 9 M. Ericsson Sauber-Ferrari 0 7 -220
18 22 J. Button McLaren-Honda 0 6 -221
19 98 R. Merhi Marussia-Ferrari 0 0 -227
20 28 W. Stevens Marussia-Ferrari 0 0 -227
21 20 K. Magnussen McLaren-Honda 0 0 -227

 

Constructors Championship
After Race 11 of the 2015 season at Belgian Grand Prix
Pos. Team Wins Points Behind
1 Mercedes 9 426 Leader
2 Ferrari 2 242 -184
3 Williams-Mercedes 0 161 -265
4 Red Bull Racing-Renault 0 108 -318
5 Lotus-Renault 0 50 -376
6 Force India-Mercedes 0 49 -377
7 Toro Rosso-Renault 0 35 -391
8 Sauber-Ferrari 0 23 -403
9 McLaren-Honda 0 17 -409
10 Marussia-Ferrari 0 0 -426

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