Yesterday, we saw Nico Rosberg take Pole Position ahead of Lewis Hamilton for the Belgian Grand Prix.
Before the start of the race, the stewards announce that they will be investigating Fernando Alonso who it is believed had team personnel on the track after the 15 second signal.
The F1 world is watching and waiting to see if the 2014 Belgian Grand Prix will live up to expectations and who will be the winner? Here we go… 22 drivers are lined up on their grid positions, five red lights and its GO!!!!!!!!
Rosberg leads the field as he heads into Turn 1.Hamilton has had a very good start and is able to pass his team mate for the lead of the Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel is then able to pass Rosberg too for second place. Rosberg tries to repass Vettel but cannot do so.
As we head into Turn 2, there is contact between Jules Bianchi and Romain Grosjean which leaves Bianchi suffering damage to his right rear tyre and has to limp back to the pits. Nico Hulkenberg has a blistering start and is up to 12th place. A few corners later, Vettel outbrakes himself and runs off the circuit and loses another place on the track after trying to get past Hamilton.
Lap 2 sees Hamilton leading Rosberg by 0.5 seconds. In the first third of the lap, Hamilton and Rosberg are battling each other on the track and both of them touch. Hamilton comes off worse and gains a puncture where as Rosberg suffers damage to his front wing. But this leaves Hamilton limping back to the pit lane. At the end of the lap, Hamilton pits.
The next lap sees Andre Lotterer officially retiring from the race after stopping on the entrance of the pit lane. Lap 4 sees Ricciardo passing Alonso for third place on the track. By Lap 6, Rosberg leads Ricciardo by a second exactly. Vettel and Alonso are battling each other on the track for third place.
Two laps later, Bottas passes Alonso for fourth place. At the end of the lap, Rosberg pits and rejoins the race in 15th place. Also, Raikkonen pits and rejoins the race in 14th place. Lap 9 sees Ricciardo leading Vettel by 1.9 seconds. At the end of the lap, Massa pits and rejoins the race in 17th place.
The next lap sees Rosberg pick up the debris off Hamilton’s wheel from the second lap. Rosberg tries to get rid of it but cannot do so. At the end of the lap, Vettel, Hulkenberg and Kvyat pit. On Lap 11, Ricciardo leads Bottas. Vettel passes Vergne for 7th place. The stewards announce that Alonso will receive a 5 second stop and go penalty for his team not leaving the grid on the 15 second signal before the start of the race. At the end of the lap, Ricciardo pits.
On Lap 12, Bottas leads Alonso. Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Vettel, Rosberg and Vergne are battling for fourth place. At the end of the lap, Alonso and Bottas pits. The next lap sees Button leads Ricciardo. On track, Perez passes Alonso. Alonso then tries to pass Perez but cannot do so. Magnussen is then able to take 7th place ahead of Vergne. At the end of the lap, Button pits.
Lap 14, Ricciardo leads Raikkonen. Vettel, Rosberg and Bottas are battling each other for 3rd place. Two laps later, Rosberg tries to pass Vettel but cannot do so. The next lap sees Bottas passing Rosberg for third place. At the end of the lap, Hamilton pits.
By Lap 21, Ricciardo leads the race by 7.6 seconds. Magnussen passes Alonso for 5th place. At the end of the lap, Raikkonen pits with a stop time of 2.7 seconds and rejoins the race in eighth place. The next lap sees Alonso trying to repass Magnussen but cannot do so. At the end of the lap, Vettel pits.
Lap 23 sees Ricciardo leading Bottas. Button passes Rosberg on the track. At the end of the lap, Magnussen pits. The next lap sees Rosberg trying to pass Button, but cannot do so. A few corners later, Rosberg passes Button and then Raikkonen is then able to pass Button also.
Lap 25 sees Ricciardo leading by 14.4 seconds. Vettel is then able to pass Button. At the end of the lap, Alonso pits and rejoins the race in 9th place. Two laps later sees Hulkenberg and Magnussen battling for 7th place. Magnussen is able to pass Hulkenberg. At the end of the lap, Ricciardo pits and rejoins the race in 2nd place.
Lap 28 sees Bottas leading the race ahead of Ricciardo, but that doesn’t last long as he pits at the end of the lap and hands the lead back to Ricciardo. At the end of the next lap, Button pits. Two laps later, Bottas passes Vettel for fourth place. At the end of the lap, Hamilton pits. Lap 32 sees Ricciardo leading by 3 seconds. On track, Button passes Perez for position. Lap 34 sees Grosjean officially retire his car from the race.
Three laps later sees Ricciardo having a 21.1 second lead to Raikkonen in second place. Raikkonen and Bottas are battling each other for third place. Bottas is then able to pass Rosberg for fourth place. Then Rosberg is able to pass Bottas for fourth place. The next lap sees Rosberg passing Raikkonen on track.
Lap 41 and Ricciardo leads the race by 10.8 seconds. Bianchi retires his Marussia officially from the race. The next lap sees plenty of action with the positions of the drivers involved changing all the time between Magnussen, Alonso, Button and Vettel. Button tries Alonso and passes him. Alonso then tries Button but Button defends well. Button is now gaining on Magnussen. Vettel is then able to pass Button for position.
The next lap sees Vettel able to pass Alonso. Meanwhile, Magnussen and Alonso are battling each other wheel to wheel. The final lap of the race sees Ricciardo leading Rosberg by 4.3 seconds. Vettel is then able to pass Magnussen, but Magnussen is able to gain the position. Vettel once again passes Magnussen while Button is able to pass Alonso. The stewards will investigate the incident between Alonso and Magnussen after the race.
Ricciardo completes the final lap of the race and he wins the Belgian Grand Prix for the first time in his career and takes his third win in Formula One. This is Ricciardo’s first back to back victories in the sport.
Rosberg is second 3.3 seconds behind Ricciardo, Bottas finishes a brilliant third 28 seconds behind Ricciardo, Raikkonen is a credible fourth 36.8 seconds behind Ricciardo, Vettel finished a credible fifth 52.1 seconds behind Ricciardo, Magnussen was sixth 54.2 seconds behind Ricciardo, Button finishes seventh 54.5 seconds behind Ricciardo, Alonso was eighth 1.01.1 seconds behind Ricciardo, Perez finished 1.04.2 seconds behind Ricciardo and Kvyat picked up the final point in tenth 1.05.347 seconds behind Ricciardo.
Nico Rosberg leads the Driver’s championship with 220 points, Hamilton is second with 191 points, Ricciardo is third with 156 points, Alonso is fourth with 119 points, Bottas is fifth with 110 points, Vettel is sixth with 98 points, Hulkenberg is seventh with 70 points, Button is eighth with 66 points, Magnussen is ninth with 45 points and Massa is tenth with 40 points.
Mercedes leads the Constructor’s championship with 411 points, Red Bull is second with 254 points, Ferrari is third with 158 points, Williams is fourth with 150 points, McLaren is fifth with 111 points, Force India is sixth with 101 points, Toro Rosso are seventh with 18 points, Lotus are eighth with 8 points and Marussia are ninth with 2 points.
However, it was announced after the race that due to the incident between Magnussen and Alonso on the final few laps, Magnussen has been handed a 20 second time penalty and two penalty points on his licence which now promotes the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg to tenth place and finishes the race in twelfth place.
I feel that McLaren have had a good race today after showing a small improvement in their performance throughout the weekend. Even though Button had a mixed qualifying yesterday with tenth place, throughout the race tried to show what little pace the car had, he did a great job to get seventh after battling with team mate, Alonso and Vettel. Button should be happy to gain some points and this result will only help him to try and secure his future with the McLaren team for next season.
Also, Magnussen had a good weekend. He has shown yet again that he is without question a potential talent of the future and had a reasonable weekend that saw him outperform his team mate and brought home some much needed points for the McLaren team, which sees them move up a place in the Constructors Championship.
This weekend has shown that McLaren have had a small step with their performance and pace with the car but the McLaren team have a lot of work to do in order to try and extract performance from their car that they need in order to get back to competitive ways once again. They need to bring updates to the car as quickly as possible in order to try and get back to fighting for strong points finishes as Formula One continues into the European leg of the season.
The biggest surprise this weekend for me was Bottas claiming his fourth podium in Formula One in 2014 with third place today. I do feel that Bottas drove a superb race to gain third today and it is very well deserved. He did a brilliant and strong job yesterday and has shown that despite not achieving as much as he would have liked in the first 11 races of the season so far, he has shown that if he has the opportunity and the car underneath him, he can deliver and deliver well.
Alonso, Raikkonen, Vettel and Kvyat do deserve mentions. Alonso has all weekend with the car been able to extract a little bit more pace and performance. As I have already stated before, I believe that Alonso managed to extract some performance from the car and was rewarded with points for his efforts. But I believe that Ferrari was very lucky to secure with the good points they have scored this weekend even though they need to work on their race pace throughout the season. But all credit to Alonso for a superb performance today.
Also Raikkonen did extremely well to gain fourth place today. Raikkonen this weekend has managed to extract pace and performance from the car, has looked comfortable despite all the problems he suffered in practice on Friday especially. And I feel that the results that Alonso achieved today will only spur on Ferrari, Alonso and even Raikkonen (who finished in fourth place) to try and keep this momentum going further into the season.
Vettel did a credible job to finish fifth today. But I do feel that he did struggle with aspects of the car and was only able to finish in that position. Throughout the race, Vettel showed that he can race and race well if provided with the opportunity to do so but I am sure that he will only use this to push himself further to perform throughout the season ahead.
This weekend has saw Kvyat picking up some points once again but has not had a strong weekend as many thought that he would do. He didn’t perform very well in Qualifying but he drove a strong race to bring home some much needed point for the team despite struggling with the car today. I believe that Kvyat this year has been amazing these past few races and is working harder than ever to keep the form he has showed so far going and trying to get some much needed points for Toro Rosso in 2014. I really believe that Kvyat is a high quality driver and very talented and I was happy to him get some points today after a great drive.
Also Perez did extremely well to gain ninth place today. Force India appeared to struggle all weekend to extract pace from the car but were able to extract enough when it mattered today to gain two points for the team. But it is clear that Force India have a lot of work to do in order to try and regain the position they have lost to McLaren today.
Rosberg despite starting from Pole Position had a good race to get second place. Even though there will be controversy surrounding the incident between himself and Hamilton, the main thing is that he scored points and extended his lead for the Championship today. And as for the booing on the podium, I understand many people would be angry with him but it is disrespectful to boo someone like that and if you have an opinion on the matter, discuss it civilly and with respect.
All that is left to say about this race is that Ricciardo deserved to win today. His driving was brilliant and controlled throughout the race. Red Bull has built on the results that they have gained so far this season with Ricciardo. Ricciardo for me now needs to make sure that he keeps being consistent and reliable, while it seems he has once again proven this.
There is no denying that Rosberg has done a great job this weekend and has been rewarded for his efforts with the win. He has shown once again that he cannot be discounted for battling for the win if Mercedes cannot do so.
We are left wondering what will happen within the world of Formula One leading up to the next race in Italy in two weeks time? Will the rivalry between Hamilton and Rosberg die down within the media? Will Red Bull, Williams, McLaren, Ferrari and Force India build upon a solid foundation achieved from today? Can McLaren and Ferrari extract more pace from their cars?
But the most important question; will Mercedes be able to keep their advantage and their performance in Italy in a few weeks time? We wait with anticipation, bring on Monza!
Also, please listen and join in to my #JonesonF1 Promotional Partner Pit Stop Radio tomorrow at 8pm BST for their Belgian Grand Prix Race Review. You can join in the chat by visiting www.pitstopradio.blogspot.com. If you need any further information, you can follow Pit Stop Radio on Twitter @PitStopRadio.