The 2015 Belgian Grand Prix was an exceptionally represenative race of the new turbo era of Formula 1: There was never once a question of who would win or finish second, but the battle for the final spot on the podium was electric, wide open to what seemed like half a dozen entrants and not decided until the final lap. Today’s Grand Prix takes place from Spa-Francorchamps and has a start time of 8 a.m. ET, and can be watched online through free live stream via the link below. Not only that, but they were first and second fastest respectively, during their second run on the medium compound.
Bottas started third but also messed up his start and then had a drive-thru penalty when his team put the wrong tire on one of the wheels.
Sebastian Vettel may well have clung on for that position had his tyre not blown out in the penultimate lap, but equally Grosjean had driven so well that he might well have forced the Ferrari into an error before the chequered flag.
Despite thrashing Rosberg 10-1 in qualifying this year, Hamilton remains a mere 21 points ahead in the standings and revealed his target for the rest of the year was replicating his Saturday form on race days.
When the race did get underway, Hamilton made a clean start and it was his Silver Arrows team-mate Rosberg who lost ground, dropping down to fifth after a slow getaway.
Hamilton is looking to increase his 21-point lead over Rosberg in the drivers standings and take his sixth victory of the season. I was playing catch up from there. Romain Grosjean was fourth in his Lotus but will be dropped five places for a gear box change.
Hamilton pitted again from pole on lap 30 for another set of soft Option tyres, dropping down to second behind Rosberg, who stopped a lap later for fresh rubber.
Vettel, in his 150th race, was the only driver to attempt a one-strop strategy after starting from ninth – but it backfired in spectacular fashion and he finished outside of the points.
Expectant father Rosberg could well do with a renewed sense of focus as he hunts down Hamilton for the world title when he returns to the next race in Italy on 6th September. Pirelli’s racing team boss Paul Hembery said: “The damage is consistent with an external source”.
Kimi Raikkonen, a four-time victor in Belgium, was eliminated in the second qualifying session when his Ferrari sputtered to a stop.
Kvyat collected his second reprimand of the season, and Red Bull was fined €10,000 after an unsafe release from the pit garage during practice on Friday. “I’m really happy with the performance of the vehicle”. For Rosberg, it meant an initial slip into sixth place.
On a weekend in which they racked up a record 105-place combined grid penalty, McLaren at least got both of their cars to the finish – but Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button finished well outside the points and a lap down in 13th and 14th respectively. It’s always great to win at one of the legendary circuits on the Formula One calendar and this was one which Mercedes hadn’t conquered in the modern Silver Arrows era, so it’s good to be able to tick it off the list.