It was a one-two finish for Mercedes AMG at yesterday’s 2015 Formula One Belgian Grand Prix, and in particular it was a near perfect race for star driver Lewis Hamilton. The Briton came out on top for the sixth time this season and the 39th time in his F1 career.
Fellow Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg crossed the finish line just over 2.0 seconds behind Hamilton. Rosberg started alongside his teammate on the front row but fell victim to the new starting procedure introduced in the Belgian race. Essentially, drivers are no longer provided with information on clutch bite points in the build-up to the start so that they alone are responsible for preparing for race starts.
Williams drivers Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa also suffered from poor starts, allowing other drivers to get ahead. Both Ferrari men Kimi Räikkönen and Sebastian Vettel had good starts, and Vettel, with a single pit stop only, managed to move up to third. However, Ferrari’s gamble with the single pit stop didn’t pay off as one of Vettel’s tires let go two laps before the end of the race.
This allowed Lotus’ Romain Grosjean to move into third and make the podium. He crossed the line almost 38 seconds behind the winner though it was still reason to celebrate as it was the first time since late 2013 that a Lotus driver has been in the top three. In fourth was Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Daniil Kvyat who ran an impressive race from start to finish. Sadly for his teammate Daniel Ricciardo, car trouble ended the Australian's race early.
Fifth place went to Force India’s Sergio Perez and sixth went to Massa. Unlike his teammate, Räikkönen pitted twice during the race and managed to finish seventh after a great climb up the order. Remember, the Finn had to start at 14th on the grid due to car trouble in qualifying. Eighth, meanwhile, went to Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen.
An error at the first round of pit stops for Valtteri resulted in him being awarded a drive-through penalty and the rest of the race was damage limitation. Nevertheless, the Finn still made it into the points with a ninth-place finish. Rounding out the top ten was Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson.
In the 2015 Drivers’ Championship, Hamilton’s tally now grows to 227 points. Rosberg is second with 199 and Vettel third with 160. In the Constructors’ Championship, Mercedes leads with 426 points followed by Ferrari with 242 points and Williams with 161 points. The next race is the Italian Grand Prix at Monza in a fortnight’s time.
Below are the full results for the 2015 Formula One Belgian Grand Prix:
1) Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes AMG
2) Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG
3) Romain Grosjean, Lotus
4) Daniil Kvyat, Infiniti Red Bull Racing
5) Sergio Perez, Force India
6) Felipe Massa, Williams
7) Kimi Räikkönen, Ferrari
8) Max Verstappen, Toro Rosso
9) Valtteri Bottas, Williams
10) Marcus Ericsson, Sauber
11) Felipe Nasr, Sauber
Ret) Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari
13) Fernando Alonso, McLaren
14) Jenson Button, McLaren
15) Roberto Merhi, Marussia
16) Will Stevens, Marussia
Ret) Carlos Sainz, Toro Rosso
Ret) Daniel Ricciardo, Infiniti Red Bull Racing
Ret) Pastor Maldonado, Lotus
DNS) Nico Hulkenberg, Force India