If you read the press since last weekends race at Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps all you would think happened was that Nico Rosberg rammed Lewis Hamilton, who then went on to moan about it for 43 laps before going on to whine to the press for the next 6 days. In fact what has come of all this noise is a distraction from what actually happened on the day. A race.
We have all heard about the first two laps. Where Hamilton took advantage over Rosberg at the start and where an incident involving the two Mercedes drivers cases Hamilton to have a blow out on his left rear tyre and Rosberg to need a front wing change.
Mean while being the Mercedes the, mostly ignored by the press, star of the race Daniel Ricciardo made a fantastic start quickly capitalising on the Red Bulls lower downforce, that had both cars struggling in qualifying, to take out first Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari and then his own team mate, Sebastian Vettel, in superb overtaking fashion.
This early advance put Ricciardo exactly where he needed to be to capitalise on the Mercedes drivers error in judgement where he soon found himself leading the race and only really being challenged toward the end as Nico Rosberg began to catch up. Though some management of the gap in the last few laps ensured his third victory this year ahead of Rosberg who came home in a very disappointing second and Valtteri Bottas. Bottas too had a stellar race making his way up from sixth on the grid, utilising the Mercedes power in his Williams and Finnish nerves of steal to make his way past two multi World Champions to take home third.
Action continued down the pack with McLaren rookie Kevin Magnussen pushing everyone who tried passing him through turn four off the track including Fernando Alonso, who should have known better having watched it happen twice before him. Marussia and Caterham were also wheel to wheel over last place n the closing laps ensuring that fans had plenty to watch right to the end.
1. Daniel Ricciardo Australia Red Bull-Renault 44 laps 1hr 24m 36.556s
2. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes +00m 03.3s
3. Valtteri Bottas Finland Williams-Mercedes +00m 28.0s
4. Kimi Raikkonen Finland Ferrari-Ferrari +00m 36.8s
5. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault +00m 52.1s
6. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes +00m 54.5s
7. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari +01m 01.1s
8. Sergio Perez Mexico Force India-Mercedes +01m 04.2s
9. Daniil Kvyat Russia Toro Rosso-Renault +01m 05.3s
10. Nico Hulkenberg Germany Force India-Mercedes +01m 05.6s
11. Jean-Eric Vergne France Toro Rosso-Renault +01m 11.9s
12. Kevin Magnussen Denmark McLaren-Mercedes +01m 14.2s*
13. Felipe Massa Brazil Williams-Mercedes +01m 15.9s
14. Adrian Sutil Germany Sauber-Ferrari +01m 22.4s
15. Esteban Gutierrez Mexico Sauber-Ferrari +01m 30.8s
16. Max Chilton Britain Marussia-Ferrari +1 lap
17, Marcus Ericsson Sweden Caterham-Renault +1 lap
Rtd Jules Bianchi France Marussia-Ferrari 39 laps completed
Rtd Lewis Hamilton Britain Mercedes-Mercedes 38 laps completed
Rtd Romain Grosjean France Lotus-Renault 33 laps completed
Rtd Andre Lotterer Germany Caterham-Renault 1 lap completed
Rtd Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Lotus-Renault 1 lap completed
* denotes time including 20secs post-race penalty
Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 50.511s lap 35
all results unofficial
Sundays result may have given Nico a boost in points, albeit not as big a boost as he would have hoped for, but the success of Ricciardo showed that this drivers championship is still Mercedes to loose with the gap still manageable enough to close from nothing more than a failure or another error in judgement between the two Mercedes drivers. This years Championships is still, unbelievable wide open and Ricciardo has proven that both himself and Red Bull are there to take it if they are given the opportunity. Next up this weekend, Monza.
|Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team|
|Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team|
|Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing|
|Fernando Alonso||Scuderia Ferrari|
|Valtteri Bottas||Williams F1 Team|
|Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing|
|Nico Hülkenberg||Sahara Force India F1 Team|
|Jenson Button||Vodafone McLaren Mercedes|
|Felipe Massa||Williams F1 Team|
|Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari|
|Kevin Magnussen||Vodafone McLaren Mercedes|
|Sergio Pérez||Sahara Force India F1 Team|
|Jean-Éric Vergne||Scuderia Toro Rosso|
|Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Team|
|Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso|
|Jules Bianchi||Marussia F1 Team|
|Adrian Sutil||Sauber F1 Team|
|Esteban Gutiérrez||Sauber F1 Team|
|Max Chilton||Marussia F1 Team|
|Pastor Maldonado||Lotus F1 Team|
|Marcus Ericsson||Caterham F1 Team|
|Kamui Kobayashi||Caterham F1 Team|
Will Red Bull and Daniel Ricciardo be the fly in Mercedes ointment at Monza? Or do you think Mercedes have the reigns on their drivers managed to avoid another tangle? Let us know in the Comments and continue the conversation the our Forums.
Images and results via: Crash.net
Roger Baillie (Twitter: @Rojn8r)