Sebastian Vettel Wins The Belgium Grand Prix
Sebastian Vettel has won the Belgium grand prix.
It is the longest circuit on the grand prix calendar, and it was Vettel’s day to shine.
Lights out, and it was 2012 all over again. Alonso gets hit by Hulkenberg from behind, sending him over the top of Charles Leclerc.
Into the first lap, and a safety car has been deployed. Following Alonso’s retirement, Raikkonen had a puncture, as did Leclerc thanks to the Alonso incident.
Daniel Ricciardo set the president to come into the pits. His car was also damaged, with a rear wing needing replacing. Next into the pits is Raikkonen.
Leclerc, Alonso and Hulkenberg have retired from the race and at lap 4, the safety car ends, and Vettel (who overtook Hamilton just before the safety car) leads the race.
Lap 8, and Vettel still leads Hamilton by 2.5 seconds. Perez had a great start, and sits in 3rd place, ahead of Verstappen and Ocon. Lap 9, and Raikkonen retires. From the first corner incident where he got a tyre puncture, and rear wing issue it was a real uphill battle and one which would never last the full 44 laps.
Lap 14 and not much has changed apart from Bottas slowing making his way through the field, sitting in 10th just behind Ericsson and Gasly. Perez and Ocon are still holding their positions after being leapfrogged by a very quick Verstappen who now sits in third.
Lap 17 and Ricciardo still sits as the back of the pack struggling with pace. Bottas has overtaken Ericsson and both cars are looking to take overtake Gasly as soon as possible.
Lap 21, and they are almost halfway through the race. Looking closer at the tyres of Hamilton, they are blistering but he is heard over the radio saying that they “are fine”. Hamilton however, is the first to pit, and put on the mid-range soft tyre at lap 22. He returns back to the race just behind Verstappen.
Vettel is next to pit on lap 22, and comes out just ahead of Verstappen and Hamilton. Hamilton soon overtakes Verstappen, and back into 2nd place behind Vettel.
Bottas continues to work his way through the field, past Gasly and Magnussen up into 7th just behind Grosjean. Ocon pits at lap 25, and comes back into the race in 8th. This is soon followed up by the second Force India of Perez as well as Gasly, Verstappen, Ericsson and Magnussen.
Lap 27, and Vettel leads Hamilton by 3 seconds. Verstappen sits in 3rd, with a quick-driving Bottas sitting in 4th place.
Lap 33, and the only change on the grid is the retirement of Daniel Ricciardo. He was fighting an uphill battle and unfortunately, he was never going to be competitive as he was a whole lap behind Vandoorne.
Lap 36 and Vettel had increased his lead over Hamilton to over 5 seconds. Perez still sitting in fourth ahead of Bottas.
The rest of the race was uneventful with no real action taking place, apart from Bottas improving, and moving into fourth.
Here is how the race finished.
#1: Sebastian Vettel - Ferrari - 25 points
#2: Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes - 18 points
#3: Max Verstappen - Red Bull/Renault - 15 points
#4: Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes - 12 points
#5: Sergio Perez - Force India/Mercedes - 10 points
#6: Esteban Ocon - Force India/Mercedes - 8 points
#7: Romain Grosjean - Haas/Ferrari - 6 points
#8: Kevin Magnussen - Haas/Ferrari - 4 points
#9: Pierre Gasly - Toro Rosso/Honda - 2 points
#10: Marcus Ericsson - Sauber/Ferrari - 1 point
#11: Carlos Sainz - Renault - 0 points
#12: Sergey Sirotkin - Williams/Mercedes - 0 points
#13: Lance Stroll - Williams/Mercedes - 0 points
#14: Brendon Hartley - Toro Rosso/Honda - 0 points
#15: Stoffel Vandoorne - McLaren/Renault - 0 points
#16: Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull/Renault - DNF
#17: Kimi Raikkonen - Ferrari - DNF
#18: Charles Leclerc - Sauber/Ferrari - DNF
#19: Fernando Alonso - McLaren/Renault - DNF
#20: Nico Hulkenberg - Renault - DNF
Let’s see what next weekend has to offer, as we head to the Italian grand prix!