Formula 1 News

Belgian Grand Prix: driver by driver review

We take a look at how the Belgian Grand Prix went for each driver.
Monday, August 25, 2014

August 25th, 2014 (F1Plus / Rosie Baillie) - Formula One is well and truly back after it's summer break and the Belgian Grand Prix did not disappoint. 


Daniel Ricciardo's brilliant win at Spa-Francorchamps has been largely overshadowed by the controversy at Mercedes after Lewis Hamilton claimed Nico Rosberg had hit him deliberately on the second lap of the race. 


As well as controversy there were a few exciting battles going on, so let's take a look at how the race went for each driver. 


1) Daniel Ricciardo - Red Bull Racing-Renault - 25 points

The Australian driver was very competitive around a circuit which shouldn't suit Red Bull due to the long straight. For the third time this year Ricciardo was ready and waiting to take advantage of a mistake by Mercedes to take another win.  


Ricciardo passed teammate Sebastian Vettel early on to take second place after Vettel had a wobble at Pouhon. 


It is mathematically possible and not entirely out of the question to think that Ricciardo may find himself in with a shot of winning the drivers' title at the season finale in Abu Dhabi. 


2) Nico Rosberg - Mercedes - 18 points

During the second lap of the Belgian Grand Prix Rosberg made contact with Hamilton which resulted in a puncture for the latter. Rosberg had to change his nose at his first pit stop but didn't really suffer the same way Hamilton did. 


The championship leader was unable to chase down Ricciardo until the end of the race when he was on fresher tyres but there weren't enough laps left for Rosberg to get the job done. 


Post-race Hamilton alleged that Rosberg told him he hit him on purpose. Rosberg released a short video on Monday disagreeing with Hamilton's comments and saying his version of events were different. 


3) Valtteri Bottas - Williams-Mercedes - 15 points

Not for the first time this season Bottas was the faster Williams. Throughout this year he's proven his talent and has been more competitive than teammate Felipe Massa and the Belgian Grand Prix was no exception. 


A wet qualifying session meant Bottas started sixth on the grid but on a dry track on Sunday he was able to move forward, passing Kimi Raikkonen on lap 40 to snatch the final place on the podium. 


4) Kimi Raikkonen - Ferrari - 12 points

The Ferrari driver just seems to get Spa-Francorchamps. He's won here four times before and was strong during the 44 lap race, out-performing teammate Fernando Alonso for the first time this year.


Raikkonen looked set for a podium finish but was passed by Bottas a few laps before the end of the race. 


2014 has been a difficult season for Raikkonen who has struggled to feel comfortable in the F14 T so it was nice to finally see him show what he's capable of again. 


5) Sebastian Vettel - Red Bull Racing-Renault - 10 points

The reigning world champion had a strong start and moved up to second and began challenging Hamilton for the lead and impressively looked stronger than Hamilton at the end of the straight. 


Vettel ran wide when attempting a pass and dropped back to third place. After that Vettel seemed to struggle with the pace and was unable to challenge for a podium finish, let alone challenge his teammate for the win.  


6) Jenson Button - McLaren-Mercedes - 8 points

In the closing laps of the race Button and Alonso fought hard and traded places a couple of times. In the end Button passed Alonso to finish seventh. A penalty for teammate Kevin Magnussen meant Button was promoted to sixth place. 


Button is eighth in the drivers' title, just two points behind Nico Hulkenberg. 


The Briton's haul of eight points means that McLaren have moved ahead of Force India in the constructors' championship to take fifth place. 


7) Fernando Alonso - Ferrari - 6 points 

Seconds before the warm-up lap Alonso's car was still up on the jacks as his team worked to fix a battery issue. 


Alonso received a five second stop-go penalty for having team personnel on the grid at the 15 second mark. 


Towards the end of the race Alonso was involved in a few tight battles. Magnussen and Alonso's fight resulted in a post-race drive-through penalty for Magnussen for forcing the Ferrari driver off track. 


8) Sergio Perez - Force India-Mercedes - 4 points

During his second stint Perez said he took too much out of his tyres while passing the McLaren duo. 


In the last few laps Toro Rosso's Daniil Kvyat began hunting him down but wasn't able to pull off the move, so Perez retained ninth place. Again, due to Magnussen's penalty he gained a position.


9) Daniil Kvyat - Toro Rosso-Renault - 2 points

The Russian rookie finished in the points for the fifth time this season after holding off a charging Nico Hulkenberg in the dying laps of the race. 


Initially Kvyat picked up the final point but gained another one when Magnussen was handed a penalty. 


10) Nico Hulkenberg - Force India-Mercedes - 1 point

The German driver failed to make it through to Q2 on Saturday and started the Belgian Grand Prix 18th. 


Hulkenberg was stuck in traffic for most of the race which made it hard for him to move forward. 


Due to Magnussen's penalty Hulkenberg was promoted to tenth place, meaning he picked up the final point. 


The German driver has scored points at all but one race this year. 


11) Jean-Eric Vergne - Toro Rosso-Renault 

The Frenchman didn't get away well off the line and dropped a couple of positions. He found himself stuck in traffic which made it hard for him to try and move forward. 


He crossed the line 12th but Magnussen's penalty moved Vergne up to 11th.


12) Kevin Magnussen - McLaren-Mercedes

The Dane crossed the line in sixth place but a post-race penalty meant he dropped out of the points and in to 12th place. 


In the closing laps of the race Magnussen and Alonso were fighting hard and the stewards deemed that the McLaren driver had forced Alonso off the road. 


Magnussen was handed a post-race drive through penalty which amounts to a 20 second time penalty and two penalty points. Magnussen now has four penalty points.


Had he not picked up a penalty, Magnussen could have helped McLaren extend their points lead over Force India in the constructors' championship. 


13) Felipe Massa - Williams-Mercedes

Massa has had very few chances to show his pace in the Williams so far this year. Yet again Bottas showed that the Williams is competitive but Massa's chance at a podium were lost when debris from Hamilton's tyre got lodged in his floor. 


The debris wasn't removed until Massa's second pit stop and by that point it was too late for him to mount a strong comeback.


In the first 10 laps of the race Massa was at least one second slower than teammate Bottas, at times he was two seconds slower which shows how much time the debris cost him. 


14) Adrian Sutil - Sauber-Ferrari

The Sauber driver spent most of the race looking at the back of Massa's Williams. Post-race Sutil said he was faster than Massa he was unable to get past him to take 13th place. 


15) Esteban Gutierrez - Sauber-Ferrari

The medium Pirelli tyres proved tricky to manage for the Sauber driver who crossed the line fifteenth. 


Gutierrez has suffered number of retirements throughout the season so far and after having a number of issues throughout the Belgian Grand Prix weekend it was good to see him reach the chequered flag. 


16) Max Chilton - Marussia-Ferrari

On Thursday it was announced that Chilton would not take part in the race and would be replaced by Alexander Rossi for this weekend only. 


The decision was reversed on Thursday night and he was back in the car from FP2 onwards. 


Chilton passed Marcus Ericsson in the Caterham towards two laps before the end of the 44 lap race to finish 16th. 


17) Marcus Ericsson - Caterham-Renault 

For most of the race Ericsson was ahead of Chilton but towards the end of the race but struggled with tyre wear and was unable to hold him off at the end of the race. 


DNF - Jules Bianchi - Marussia-Ferrari

Bianchi had a tough Belgian Grand Prix. It got off to a bad start when Romain Grosjean hit him on the opening lap, forcing him to pit for a new tyre. 


Then a gearbox issue hit a few laps before the end of the race and forced him to retire the car. 


DNF - Lewis Hamilton - Mercedes

The Mercedes driver had a strong start and jumped teammate Rosberg for first place. On the second lap Rosberg made contact with his car which resulted in a punctured tyre.


He spent most of the Belgian Grand Prix running at the back of the field and was repeatedly heard on team radio asking the team to retire the car and save the engine. 


On lap 40 Mercedes took the decision to retire the car.


Post-race Hamilton claimed that Rosberg had told him that he had hit his car on purpose


DNF - Romain Grosjean - Lotus-Renault

Grosjean made contact with Bianchi going into the first corner and had to make an early stop which pushed him down the field. 


Later in the race he obtained damage and told the team that the car felt dangerous. They took the decision to retire the car, making it Lotus' third double retirement of the year.


DNF - Pastor Maldonado - Lotus-Renault

The Belgian Grand Prix had barely got started with Maldonado was forced to retire with a suspected exhaust issue.


DNF - Andre Lotterer - Caterham-Renault

The three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner was racing in the CT05 in place of Kamui Kobayashi in Spa. 


His F1 debut did not go to plan at all and he retired after losing drive after completing just one lap.






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