Formula Racing

Belgian Grand Prix – Race Review

Vettel Blasts Through To Win Belgian GP
By Armaan Ebrahim


Sebastian Vettel made his victory at the Belgian GP look like a walk in the park as he demolished his rivals by finishing a massive 16 odd seconds ahead of his closest rival.

Starting from second on the grid, Vettel had a decent start but made the difference by getting a good exit out of the first corner which gave him a good run up through Eau Rouge and pass pole sitter Lewis Hamilton on the run to Les Combes. Once the Red Bull World Champion got past, there was no looking back as he opened up a 2.8 second gap even before the DRS was enabled. This win gives Vettel a 46 points lead in the title race and a fourth title looks almost certain!

In second was Fernando Alonso, who by far had the busiest race after starting in P9. As usual, the Spaniard got down to business as soon as the lights went off, by managing to get a good start and work his way up to fifth by the end of the first lap. Then, he just picked his rivals up one by one as the Ferrari showed really strong straight line speed. The team did their job in the pits as well by completing the second pit stop in 2.6 seconds. Fernando now moved up to second in the points table but the gap to Vettel was a bit too big.

After his brilliant lap in the wet that got him pole for Sunday, Lewis Hamilton could only manage a distant third. In the middle of the race he looked like even a spot on the podium would be doubtful but the Mercedes picked up pace once the cars were light on fuel and this saved both Lewis and team mate Nico from being overtaken by Mark Webber.

Nico Rosberg followed just behind his teammate and picked up some valuable points for the team. The Mercs seemed stretched and I doubt they would have hoped for a better result than this considering their pace. Mark Webber came in in fifth. The Aussie Grit had another poor start and ended up losing ground. This ruined any hope he had to fight for the win or even finish close to his team mate.

Jenson Button and Mclaren had their strongest race of the year finishing a competitive sixth. They might have closed the gap but the car's pace isn't close to the top three yet. Filipe Massa finished in seventh after struggling in the first half of the race where he was complaining of all sorts of problems. But he and the team managed to sort whatever was wrong during the first stop and the Brazilian was able to push hard to salvage a result.

Rounding up the top ten were Romain Grosjean, who just didn’t have the pace in his Lotus, followed by Adrian Sutil in the sole Force India, and Daniel Riccardo picking the last point after a late move on Sergio Perez.

Force India's weekend had a lot of positives and negatives. In the final session of qualifying the team made a bold move by anticipating rain and sent Paul Di Resta on intermediates when the others went of slicks. Sure enough it started raining almost immediately and Di Resta was on pole till the dying minutes only to be demoted to fifth. But that wasn't the same story on Sunday. The cars didn't have the same strong pace in the dry and both were running outside the top ten for most of the race. Towards the end it looked like the two of them were fighting back only bunch up and touch with Pastor Maldonado. Sutil just managed to escape but Di Resta was tagged, damaging his car and putting him into retirement. The saving grace was Sutil's tigerish drive to finish in ninth. The team seem to have lost time with the new spec tyres and I'm sure they will be working round the clock to solve the issues before Monza!

Germany GP

31st July 2016

  • Driver Team Time/Lag
  • Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:30:44.200
  • Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing + 6.996s
  • Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing + 13.413s
  • Nico Rosberg Mercedes + 15.845s
  • Sebastian Vettel Ferrari + 32.750s
  • Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari + 37.273s
  • Nico Hulkenberg Force India + 70.049
  • Jenson Button McLaren + 1 lap
  • Valtteri Bottas Williams + 1 lap
  • Sergio Perez Force India + 1 lap

Belgian GP

26th - 28thAug 2016

  • Practice 1 Fri 26th Aug 2016

  • Practice 2 Fri 26th Aug 2016

  • Practice 3 Sat 27th Aug 2016

  • Qualifying Sat 27th Aug 2016

  • Race Sun 28th Aug 2016

standings

Formula One World Championship 2016

  • Driver Points Team
  • Lewis Hamilton 217 Mercedes
  • Nico Rosberg 198 Mercedes
  • Daniel Ricciardo 133 Red Bull Racing
  • Kimi Räikkönen 122 Ferrari
  • Sebastian Vettel 120 Ferrari
  • Max Verstappen 115 Red Bull Racing
  • Valtteri Bottas 58 Williams Mercedes
  • Sergio Perez 48 Force India Mercedes
  • Felipe Massa 38 Williams Mercedes
  • Nico Hulkenberg 33 Force India Mercedes