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Belgian GP: Hamilton eases to victory in Spa

Jack Hunsley

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Sep 26, 2010
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Ham Spa Win.png


Lewis Hamilton took a relatively comfortable win on Formula One's return to Spa Francorchamps, finishing just over two seconds clear of his team mate Nico Rosberg, with Lotus' Romain Grosjean completing the podium.


Even before the race start there was drama as Nico Hulkenberg, after a change of heart from his engineer, stalled on the grid to become the day's first retirement and forcing another formation lap, which then took Carlos Sainz Jr. out of the race after a similar issue forced the Spaniard to rejoin three laps into the race.

On the second attempt however the field finally got away. Hamilton took off from the line well after a poor start from Rosberg, and managed to hold off a fast starting Sergio Perez under braking into Les Combes to set the scene for the next 43 laps. Rosberg meanwhile found himself down in 5th place with the Williams of Bottas and Daniel Ricciardo's Red Bull ahead.

However, even though the German managed to work his way back into 2nd through a mixture of on track overtakes and pitstop strategy, his poor start meant he never truly posed a real threat to Hamilton.

Behind the Mercedes pair however we saw a good battle for third place with Perez, Vettel, Ricciardo, Grosjean and Kvyat all coming close to occupying the third step on the podium after a pit stop blunder at Williams saw Valtteri Bottas leave the pitlane with three option tyres and single prime tyre, netting the Finn and drive through penalty.

Ricciardo was the next to fall by the wayside after his Red Bull gave up the ghost relatively early in the race whilst he fought with Sergio Perez, meaning last years race winner was forced to watch from the sidelines, whilst Vettel rose into the picture following his poor qualifying yesterday with a one stop strategy.

Perez however, also dropped off from the battle in the closing stages, leaving Vettel and Grosjean to squabble between themselves, only for another tyre blowout on the penultimate lap on Vettel's car gifted the Frenchman his first podium since the 2013 American Grand Prix.

Kvyat made good use of a set of option tyres to rise into 4th late on in the race, whilst Perez came home 5th ahead of Kimi Raikkonen who made an excellent recovery after his drama's in qualifying yesterday, whilst Felipe Massa took 6th with a very quiet drive.

Max Verstappen was next in line in 7th and no doubt made the overtake of the day after overtaking the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson around the outside of Blanchimont, whilst Bottas and Ericsson rounded off the top ten.

Outside the top ten Vettel came home 12th and lap down after his tyre debacle, and reportedly deliberately missed his weigh in after the race and will thus have to answer to the stewards, Alonso and Button came home 13th and 14th, with the Spaniard describing his day as 'painful'..

FInally the two Manor's both made the chequered flag with Roberto Merhi leading home Will Stevens for 15th overall.

Belgian GP Official Results

1. Lewis Hamilton- Mercedes - 1:23:40.387
2. Nico Rosberg - Mercedes - +2.058
3. Romain Grosjean - Lotus - +37.988
4. Daniil Kvyat- Red Bull - +45.692
5. Sergio Perez - Force India - +53.997
6. Felipe Massa - Williams - +55.283
7. Kimi Raikkonen - Ferrari - +55.703
8. Max Verstappen - Toro Rosso - +56.076
9. Valtteri Bottas- Williams - +1:01.040
10. Marcus Ericsson - Sauber - +1:31.234
11. Felipe Nasr- Sauber - +1:42.311
12. Sebastian Vettel - Ferrari - +1 Lap
13. Fernando Alonso - McLaren - +1 Lap
14. Jenson Button- McLaren - +1 Lap
15. Robert Merhi- Manor - +1 Lap
16. Will Stevens - Manor - +1 Lap
17. Carlos Sainz Jr.- Toro Rosso - DNF
18. Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull - DNF
19. Pastor Maldonado- Lotus - DNF
20. Nico Hulkenberg - Force India - DNF
 
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Joel

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Jan 1, 2014
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I'll post it here again.

Relatively boring race, especially for the lead, but a good amount of battles and surprises with the different strategies.

Driver of the day? Definitely Grosjean, done an incredible job to get that Lotus to third even though a few things may have gone his way.

Exceptional performance? Well I gotta always give it to Lewis for winning, but I must admit. Nico did a fantastic job recovering. Dropped to 5th, recovered to 2nd, to be only a little behind Lewis, which in my opinion was fantastic to see. Looked like there was some smoke in his car at the grid, so not sure if something was a little too hot, but just seemed like he messed up the start. Sad because I really think Nico has the advantage in this area :)

Aaaaand finally, I'm going to Monza in 2 weeks time, so let's hope that race will bring us some good overtaking into the first corner!
 

Dan Allen

I am the Pastor Maldonado of RaceDepartment.
Dec 29, 2013
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Unlucky for Bottas and his "interesting" tyre choice
 

Tim.E

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Oct 27, 2014
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Gotta agree once more with @Joel. Nico was the quickest imo today, only being within 2 seconds after that poor start. Lewis was the most consistent today. Romain Grosjean..... well, I'm so happy for them. Max and Kimi also drove outstanding, recovering from poor grid positions.

Finally, well.... Mclaren expected to be where Ferrari was in terms of the engine. Go figure!
 

Blkout

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Aug 2, 2010
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Grosjean had a great race however I felt bad for Vettel who likely had 3rd place locked up until his tire blew one lap before the finish.
 

Iain McKenzie

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Jun 3, 2013
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Williams are just a joke at this point. I think Manor have better strategists and have made fewer pit mistakes than them. Really hope Jensen doesn't end up there.
 

f.1.

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Oct 30, 2011
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An ok race. Honestly the start was hyped up so much by everyone that it seemed like a regular start (Hungaroring was much better). I was surprised by the pace of the Red Bulls, they seemed really fast down the straights and they were some incredible overtakes by Kvyat. Driver of the Day for me has to be either Raikkonen or Verstappen.
 

Chris

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Apr 1, 2011
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I thought the race was fairly so-so tbh. Not a huge amount of action, although Verstappen was just amazing in some of his overtakes. That boy has got some serious talent.

Hamilton controlled the race very well and stretched the gap when he needed to (+5.5 seconds to Nico after the VSC) and then just cruised home. Nico did exceptionally well to get back to P2 after a poor start. Very smart decision by Mercedes to pit Rosberg first when you consider how effective the undercut was, to get him ahead of Perez.

Was awesome to see Grosjean on the podium again! Fantastic race from him.

For me, Hamilton was the Driver of the Weekend, especially after his astonishing pole lap which was pretty much as close to perfection as you can get. And Grosjean was the driver of the race.

Looking forward to Monza!
 

Chris

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Also, DRS was just stupid. Totally ruined any chance of any battles. Needs to go.
 

Mark Aalberts

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Mar 6, 2010
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Toro and RBR took away a lot of down force in order to be competitive in the straights. And if i have to be honest, Ferrari >> Kimi and WIlliams should be ashamed with their race pace and the things they do in the race. At the end Max is only few seconds away from P5,.. with an underpowered car that is actually not supposed to take points here if the other teams don't fail.

Anyway been there at the track, it was a full house. great weather and great atmosphere. It was the first time i stood at the bottom of Eau Rouge watching that corner and you perceive that corner in a way different perspective. I have driven it in sims and you know it from pictures but that never shows the real elevation it has. When you stand there for real it looks so different and you would almost think it is impossible that they fly up there with 300kmh.:p

Anyway its easy to hand Lewis the drive of the day but I wont, with a Merc you have to be 1-2 isn't it. Just making sure for a good start and control the race, that car is heaven. I have seen it myself in the bus stop chicane, everyone is sliding the car there except the Mercs. That thing is on rails and seems so easy to drive.

I probably go with Grosjean for drive of the day, while I am not a fan of this guy it is still pretty impressive with the limited time he is given (FP1 he loses his car to Palmer) to be up there. Also taking in consideration that Maldonado crashed his car so the team collected less data out of the first practice sessions. On the other hand Max going from 18th to 8th with some luck but also some balsy moves and obviously the move of the day on Nasr. The battle with Kimi in the end surely got the Belgium and Dutch croud standing.:) Maybe I should pick Max instead of Grosjean but then I am biased.:D
 
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Apr 2, 2015
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I would go with Grosjean driver of the weekend. What a performance in a car that's the same as it was in Australia (because Lotus can't afford upgrades). Not only was he 4th in qualifying, he finished 3rd. Well earnt and that must be a massive lift for Lotus

Hamilton drove very well. Tbh, I was surprised he got away a lot better than Nico did. Tbh that's championship over. No one will be able to challenge Hamilton now (Unless Maldonado punts him off ;) )
 

Milos

Had things gone my way, who knows..
Nov 11, 2013
21,894
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Finally, well.... Mclaren expected to be where Ferrari was in terms of the engine. Go figure!
*close to that
and I think they achieved their goal.

They are almost as fast as the Manors (which are using Ferrari engines, let's ignore the fact that they are last year's engine :D)
 

Martin Maaskant

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Aug 24, 2008
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Had a great day. It was a long time ago when I last visited a F1 race (1997). Had picked the hill on Kemmel straight to watch the race. I agree that the race was a bit boring for the top runners but behind them there was plenty of action. To bad Max Verstappen could not make that pass stick on Kimi Räikkönen. I do think he got the maximum result what was achievable with the STR when starting so far back. Anyway I now can have a fact based opinion on the new sound and it is a lot less noise then it used to bed. I needed hearing protection with the GP3, GP2 and Porsche super cup but I didn't need them with the F1 race.
 
Jun 3, 2013
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For me, Vettel had one of the best drives of the day.
Great start and danced around cars like a champ to the first turn. He drove a steady race at good pace and the story would have been a lot different had his tire lasted just 2 more laps. As it is, he was VERY lucky it didn't blow a few seconds earlier....could have been in serious trouble.
Kimi was too slow imo. He just stayed where he was...for ever!!!
Nico was driver of the day.
 
Feb 4, 2012
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Had a great day. It was a long time ago when I last visited a F1 race (1997). Had picked the hill on Kemmel straight to watch the race. I agree that the race was a bit boring for the top runners but behind them there was plenty of action. To bad Max Verstappen could not make that pass stick on Kimi Räikkönen. I do think he got the maximum result what was achievable with the STR when starting so far back. Anyway I now can have a fact based opinion on the new sound and it is a lot less noise then it used to bed. I needed hearing protection with the GP3, GP2 and Porsche super cup but I didn't need them with the F1 race.
I saw a race two years ago and actually found the GP3 cars to sound louder or more brutal than the GP2 cars, which I found pretty strange :D
 

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