2014 Formula One Belgian Grand PrixEnlarge Photo
With both Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton starting on the front row of the 2014 Formula One Belgian Grand Prix, many thought the race would end up being just another battle between the two Mercedes AMG drivers. But it wasn’t to be.
On the first lap, pole-sitter Rosberg got away slowly and was quickly passed by his teammate Hamilton as well as Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel. Rosberg was able to fight his way past Vettel, but on the next lap he came into contact with Hamilton, with his front wing endplate slashing into a tire of Hamilton’s car, causing the Briton to pit. Hamilton raced on but eventually retired on lap 33 because of concerns of further damage to the engine. The stewards noted it as a racing incident so no penalty was given.
Though the incident ended Hamilton’s chances of winning the race—and possibly the championship—Rosberg didn’t take the top spot in the end. That honor went to Red Bull’s other driver Daniel Ricciardo, who drove brilliantly to secure his third win of the season. He’s now the first Australian to win an F1 race at Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps circuit since Jack Brabham’s win in the 1960 Belgian Grand Prix.
Second place went to Rosberg while Williams’ Valtteri Bottas took the final podium spot. In a surprise return to form, Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen took fourth place, while reigning world champion Vettel fought his way to fifth place, winning a titanic battle in the closing stages as he passed McLaren's Jenson Button, Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and the second McLaren of Kevin Magnussen in the final three laps.
Unfortunately for Alonso, a problem with his car before the start of the race meant his mechanics stayed on the grid too long and the Spaniard was given a stop-go penalty. Trouble was also suffered by Lotus driver Romain Grosjean and Marussia’s Jules Bianchi, with the two also coming into contact in the opening lap. Just like Hamilton, Bianchi suffered a cut tire and eventually retired due to gearbox problems.
Grosjean was also forced to retire as was second Lotus driver Pastor Maldonado, both because of car trouble. Finally, Andre Lotterer, who replaced Kamui Kobayashi at Caterham for this single race, didn’t have much luck, with his power unit failing on the first lap. Note, Marussia backflipped on its decision to allow Alexander Rossi to drive instead of Max Chilton over the weekend, so the American youngster will have to wait for another chance for his F1 debut.
In the 2014 Drivers’ Championship, Nico Rosberg moves up the ladder to 220 points, with Lewis Hamilton stuck on 191 points and Daniel Ricciardo now just 35 behind on 156 points. In the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes AMG sits on 411 points versus the 254 points of Red Bull Racing and 160 points of Ferrari. The next race is the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in two weeks.
Below are top ten results of the 2014 Formula One Belgian Grand Prix:
1) Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing
2) Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG
3) Valtteri Bottas, Williams
4) Kimi Räikkönen, Ferrari
5) Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull Racing
6) Jenson Button, McLaren
7) Fernando Alonso, Ferrari
8) Sergio Perez, Force India
9) Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso
10) Nico Hulkenberg, Force India
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