Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014

Ricciardo wins, Hamilton retires as Mercedes rivals collide at Spa

2014 Belgian Grand Prix summaryPosted on Author Will Wood

Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014Daniel Ricciardo took his third win of the season at Spa after a dramatic Belgian Grand Prix which saw Lewis Hamilton retire after being struck by Nico Rosberg.

Rosberg recovered from a broken front wing to finish second and extend his championship lead to 29 points. Valtteri Bottas rounded out the podium in the Williams after a late scrap with Kimi Raikkonen.

There was drama before the race as when the formation lap began, Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari was still up on the jacks in fourth position. The team were able to get the car going before the entire field had passed, allowing Alonso to retake his fourth position, but with the Spaniard inevitably receiving a five second time penalty after the start.

At the start, Hamilton got the better start of the two championship rivals, cruising around Rosberg into the lead at La Source before Sebastian Vettel out-dragged the championship leader on the run to Eau Rouge. But when Vettel missed his braking into Les Combes attempting to take the lead from Hamilton, he ran through the escape road and allowed Rosberg back through into second.

Then came a moment that could possibly prove crucial in the battle of this year’s Drivers’ Title.

Rosberg immediately began to pressure Hamilton for the lead and tried a move around the outside of Les Combes on lap two, but as Hamilton moved across for the left-hander, Rosberg clipped his team mate’s left-rear tyre with his front wing, causing an immediate puncture to his rival and forcing Hamilton to cruise back almost five kilometres to the pits with a rapidly deflating tyre.

This left Rosberg in the lead, albeit with minor damage to his front wing, followed by Vettel and Alonso. Daniel Ricciardo passed Alonso for third on lap four, before passing his team mate for second when Vettel ran wide at Pouhon soon after. Valtteri Bottas passed Alonso for fourth in the DRS zone on lap eight.

On lap nine, Rosberg pitted from the lead, taking the opportunity to replace his broken front wing. As Rosberg rejoined behind Esteban Gutierrez’s Sauber, the Mercedes was struck by what appeared to be tyre debris which hooked around the car’s radio aerial and began flapping around right in front of Rosberg’s helmet.

Vettel pitted from the lead on lap 11, resuming behind Raikkonen’s Ferrari, before Bottas and Alonso pitted from the lead two laps later. After the first round of stops, Ricciardo had assumed the lead, followed by Raikkonen, Vettel, Bottas and Rosberg.

Rosberg attempted to pass Vettel into the Bus Stop on lap 16, but locked up and lost ground to the Red Bull. This allowed Bottas to slipstream the Mercedes out of La Source and cruise past Rosberg in the DRS zone.

With Rosberg complaining of a vibration and losing time to the Williams and Red Bull ahead, Mercedes opted to pit the championship leader on lap 20 for a new set of Medium tyres. At this stage, Hamilton was down in 17th. But while Hamilton questioned whether the team should think about saving his engine, his engineer Peter Bonnington informed him that he was the one of the quickest cars on track.

Clearly much happier with his new tyres, Rosberg immediately set about catching the leaders, passing Button and Alonso in quick succession Ricciardo pitted from the lead on lap 27, resuming just over a second ahead of Rosberg, with Bottas pitting one lap later.

With the front runners having pitted, Ricciardo was once again out front, around 3.5 seconds ahead of Rosberg with Raikkonen third. Vettel and Bottas were now scrapping for fourth behind, with the Williams driver pulling a beautiful move around the outside of the Red Bull at Les Combes to take the position.

As Hamilton struggled to make any serious progress, Rosberg pitted for a third time on lap 35 for a set of Soft tyres in a bid to try and challenge for the win at the end of the race. Rosberg was immediately passed by Bottas in the DRS zone, but was able to re-pass the Williams into Blanchimont and set about trying to catch Ricciardo out front.

With almost no chance of scoring points, Hamilton was called in to retire with just over five laps remaining. Meanwhile, his rival was now eating into Ricciardo’s lead by seconds a lap, but with the gap standing at 11 seconds with four laps to go, it looked increasingly likely that Ricciardo’s third win of the season would be secure.

Behind the leading duo, there was an almighty scrap over fifth between Kevin Magnussen, Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button. Despite the pressure from three world champions, Magnussen was able to aggressively fend off first Alonso, then Button before Sebastian Vettel was ultimately able to slide past.

On the final lap, Alonso struck the back of Vettel’s Red Bull at the apex of La Source, damaging his front wing and forcing him to cruise around to the chequered flag in eighth.

But out front, Ricciardo duly held on to take his second consecutive win and third victory of the season. Rosberg crossed the line in second with Valtteri Bottas holding on to third for Williams.

Kimi Raikkonen recorded his best finish of the season with fourth, ahead of the battling pack of Vettel, Magnussen, Button and Alonso. Sergio Perez scored two points for Force India in ninth, while Daniil Kvyat rounded out the top ten for Toro Rosso.

Unfortunately, Andre Lotterer’s debut Grand Prix for Caterham ended almost as soon as it began after being forced to retire on the first lap with an engine problem.

2014 Belgian Grand Prix

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188 comments on “Ricciardo wins, Hamilton retires as Mercedes rivals collide at Spa”

    1. Nobody. But we didn’t thought about Mercedes problems either. Otherwise, I don’t think RIC would have won anything. All his wins came when at least 1 of the Mercs had serious problems/DNF or SC periods occured.

    2. Interestingly, Red Bull looked closer in Spa then in the any of the other tracks this year. They were really fast down those straights and not too shabby in the corners. Adrian Newey should take a good think about this for the rest of the season.

    3. Rosberg’s lap 9 pit-stop required an additional
      5 seconds to replace the front wing. All things
      being equal, he would have caught Ricciardo on
      lap 43 or 44. Would he have had a enough time to
      to actually pass him? Hard to say.

    1. because you support Hamilton? the double points could make Hamilton win the championship in the last race, or lose it by 50 points, which will make the gap between the drivers more exaggerated.

  1. Oli commented on the post, Which Mercedes driver will lead at the summer break? 1 month ago
    Here’s a bold prediction: The next two races will not be won by a Mercedes (works) driver.

    Thank you, thank you ;)

    1. That took my breath away. Extremely fine driving, especially by Vettel! He was so calculated with all of the overtakes during that fight that he made Alonso look ordinary. I’m only mentioning him here because once again no-one else is, since he’s apparently so bad at overtaking (and according to the commentators Alonso was ‘unlucky’).

      1. this was one of the real rare races where Alonso did’t get to be a challenger for the drive of the weekend, but still showed some really good skills in the final laps battle with Jenson, Seb and MiniMag (he was far too agressive, but all in all, he didn’t pull a “maldonado” on any of those situations)

        1. That should have been a penalty. Absolutely no question. Whoever does that it should be penalised. If you go in for a battle at close quarters at mess up then their should be a punishment. Why none was given really is utter nonsense

        2. What a hypocrisy from Hamilton fans. Remember Germany? Hamilton made contact with two three times and was lucky to get away with it. But then, you were all about he’s right to be aggressive!
          I agree, it should not have happened. Just stop whining.
          Racing incident period.

          I don’t want to see any driver being hurt by incidents like this. There’s to much carbon fibre on tracks because of silly collisions like this. Solution to this is very easy: make front wings narrower.

          1. First, he wasn’t colliding with the leader…hitting someone in the 15th place is not the same as hitting some one in first. More importantly however, Hamilton came off worse from those collisions which is always considered a bit of a penalty.

          2. +1
            may have been Rosberg’s fault, and is more than Hamilton’s but doesn tgive fans a right to boo him on podium.
            And LH’s attitude wasnt inspiring either. Its almost becoming a McLaren 2007 repeat the Mercedes camp will be starting to get divided.

            @LB Lewis had hit Button not a backmarker. And hitting someonewho is leading or a backmarker is the same. Dont see your arguement there, mate.

          3. There is a difference with some minor contact during an overtake. Hamilton’s contacts were much less severe than what others did in that race.

            Sticking the front of the car into a gap that isn’t there is simply disgusting.

        3. rosberg lifted, it was such a slight contact, unfortunantly the ramifications were bigger. drivers often try to go around the outside, then at the last second pull back and in behind, usually with in a whisker of contact like happened today.

          1. Whiners and more whiners, it’s all good if if the skillful and wonderful Hamilton roughs someone up on the track but heaven forbid if someone else does it. Nico is finally done with being the nice guy it’s all cut throat from now on. Hamilton was always talking about Prost and Senna now he’s got it. Live with it.

        1. I agree there. If you want to blame someone, of course Rosberg was more guilty about it but it wasn’t such a crazy thing. He tried to overtake and put his nose then he tried to back out a little too slowly and a small touch caused a big problem.

          Despite that my idea of Rosberg after this race and the last has really fallen and not because he touched Hamilton but because he didn’t win. The guy has the faster car and his only loss was a 10 second pitstop after pitting from the lead. How did he end up having to chase RIC like that at the end? In Hungary he also managed to go backwards and it was not just the safety car because Alonso, Hamilton etc were still behind him after the safety car.
          I’m starting to think that he has speed but he isn’t much of a racer.

      1. Yes, go off the track. How many other drivers went off the track just in this race to avoid collisions? Vettel had just gone off the track to avoid hitting Hamilton.

      2. If only your front wing is in line with the other guy’s rear tyres, you back out of it. If a driver is sitting on somebody’s rear corner, then they haven’t earnt any space- it is incredibly difficult for the car in front to know if they’re going to stupidly poke there nose into the side of them, so the general approach is that the leader takes the corner while the trailing car falls in behind, so as to avoid ruining the race of both cars. Had Rosberg hung on around the outside better so as to be significantly alongside at the turn-in point for the left-hander, it would be a different story.

        1. Alonso did it to one of the cars, hang around rear quarter, and made a pass – I think on a force india or magnussen, and rosberg did realise the pass wasn’t on and pulled back, unfortunantly an inch too late but – and the touch was so slight, but unfortunantly sliced hamiltons tyre, there have been hundreds of incidents like this in f1 where both drivers keep driving. this will be blown out of proportion as the title might be decided with this small incident – people hear are talking like Rosberg made a HUGE mistake and crashed into Hamilton, which he did not.

          1. An admittedly small mistake which nevertheless took out his championship rival and team mate on only the second lap, and was a big part in costing Mercedes a win (the other part being when Rosberg locked up).

          1. I never said that it’s the only time, but it would be an example where I could understand it. Booing a racing accident is you not getting your way and being a baby.

      1. @lari “Unfair” is an overstatement. Nico’s filthy rich, just signed a new contract, lives in Monaco and drives F1 cars for a living. I’ll boo him for absolutely nothing, and it would be more than fair. Aww poor Nico Nico doesn’t deserve those 20secs of boos haha come off it. I’ll gladly be boo’d 20s every day for life if I had his millions and his job.

        As an aside, I think it’s completely fair for fans to boo. What is this, communist China? Boo if you feel aggrieved, express your feelings! Or does it have to be so politically correct that fans paying hundreds of pounds to watch their driver get shafter, are made to smile and clap? Puurlease.

        1. Fully agreed. Why people are whining about fans expressing themselves is nonsense. Same people complaining that PR and sponsors are ruining the sport and drivers are robots

          1. Because, as I’ve said in an earlier statement, it devalues the whole sport and paints the fans as spoiled children. “My driver didn’t get to win.. he got taken out..” BOOOO-HOOOO..

        2. I’m in two minds. People airing a reasonable grievance by booing doesn’t bother me much, but it does seem unsporting by fans to boo somebody just because you don’t like the result (like Vettel being booed for his success).

          1. @matt90 Right on. After an incident like today’s the boos are justified and acceptable. Vettel’s boos were a case of sad people just hating on someone with masses of success – awful behavious. But the former is a key component in sports – cheer when you win, boo when you’re shafted

          1. @lari You completely miss my point. Yes they’re all filthy rich.. so we can boo them all. That is my point. Of course my comment was only aimed at Rosberg because he was on the receiving end of the boos.. My core point remains unchanged. If you’re on 10s of million a year, driving an F1 car for a living, I do not think receiving boos can be classed as ‘unfair’. Only a mad man would. If you want unfair go to a third world country. Again, I would gladly be boo’d for 20secs a day for a quarter of Rosberg’s salary. “Unfair”, my rear.

          2. @timi and you completely miss my point, your salary doesn’t have anything to do with the right to get booed at. It’s same as being stupid, you can be stupid noone can force you to not be but it’s not a good thing.

          3. I beg to differ. Your salary and job have a massive effect on your right to be boo’d. These are sportsmen and public figures – they;re already a million times more likely to be boo’d than the layman. And again, the only reason people care that Nico was boo’d is because being boo’d is a negative thing. So I say again, 5-10 seconds of booing he received amounts to nothing when he flew first class back to his mansion in sunny monaco to sleep with his new bride. If however a bin man got boo’d doing his job, he might care a little, which is why I think if you’re going to put yourself out there in a sport watched by millions, “unfair” is the last word that should spring to mind when your engine breaks down, nevermind being boo’d for 5seconds. Just my two cents – it’s all relative. I know you’ll disagree, so I suggest we just leave it there @lari

      2. @lari:

        You don’t boo someone for racing incident, like Eddie said

        I think Eddie (Jordan) is under estimating fans knowledge/intelligence here. Fans witnessed exactly what happened, since they were present at the race. When you have someone going to F1 races he/she usually make their own judgement about racing incidences. In this case, they definitely thought Rosberg was to blame and shown their feelings. F1 fans are generally a highly knowledgeable bunch IMO.

    1. Was HAM booed in Silverstone 2010 for cutting VET’s rear tyre at the start? Of course not. HAM has a history of being agressive at the start – Valencia 2010 too where he almost pushed VET into the wall.

      “You harvest what you sow.”

    2. Rosberg booed. Deservedly so, sadly.

      How does having less bad luck in a racing incident result in “deserved to be booed”?
      If anything, Rosbergs race was uninteresting, mediocre. No need to either boo or applaud.

        1. But what did Hamilton do to deserve such lousy luck

          It goes with the definition of luck, both good and bad, that it comes undeserved. Otherwise it wouldn´t be luck.
          However, any time a Merc loses points, no matter which, we, the viewers, can consider us lucky. And this time even both lost, though one more as the other.

      1. Well, I am certain that he will win the championship, but I will dispute that this proves that he was the better driver of the two. I feel that the two are evenly matched personally.

        His comeuppance will come when his father speaks to him about this season.

        1. PARDON? I am for real, as it so happens, and I seriously could not have done could I not? I did see it, and that is my opinion, that, yes, it was unfortunate, obviously helped Rosberg but it was not his intention at all.

          As for Canada, that didn’t screw up Hamilton’s race at all, what screwed it up was a brake failure. Yes, it didn’t help it, but it didn’t have a major effect, it was one chicane and Hamilton was too far back anyway.

          1. The point was that he cut the chicane with no penalty.
            Makes a serious joke of the stewards at Monaco with no penalty
            Hits his team mate with no penalty.

            Can you seriously answer that if Hamilton did that nothing would happen?

          2. He got a warning, and if he did it again he would have got a penalty, I’m not prepared to go into the whole Monaco thing again but all I will say is that the evidence is clear that what happened in Monaco was not deserving of a penalty.

            Yes, I can seriously answer, as he got away with crashing into Kimi in Germany, and I believe 100% that the stewards have nothing strongly against Hamilton. As it so happens, we cannot prove either way, as that didn’t happen, so we have no choice but to trust the decisions made.

          3. “Yes, I can seriously answer, as he got away with crashing into Kimi in Germany”, exactly my feelings on that one! But Hamilton fans applaud that banzai move as a brilliant over take! What rubbish! If Kimi didn’t see him coming and pull out of it both their races would have been over right there! A definite DNF for Hamilton and all his fans would say “poor Lewis what bad luck he had!”

          4. I for one wasn’t happy that was allowed, as that too warranted a penalty not to mention the contact with Button. But the same is true in this circumstance clearly.

    1. Rosberg should be more careful, but if you ignore the collision and just look at what happened afterwards, Rosberg was not in a good position but still persevered. Lewis on the other hand sort of gave up. He was a true racer in Germany and Hungary, but today Lewis didn’t have a drive of a champion either. All in all terrible weekend for Mercedes. Lewis does deserves more wins.

      1. To be fair, he was right. After the incident his car had no pace- he couldn’t even catch the Saubers. So even in the event of a safety car the idea of him being able to take advantage seemed virtually impossible. Saving his engine might have been more sensible than continuing. I find it hard to believe that he wasn’t pushing as much as he could despite whining.

        On the other hand, of course Rosberg persevered- he was leading the race in a car which could have its pace restored easily enough.

        1. The same moment the first radio message came through where he wanted to retire the car, a new ‘Best Lap’ was displayed with Hamiltons name. Just shows the ‘no pace’ argument is rubbish.

          1. I believe that was based on how bad the car felt. Having slightly fresher tyres than everybody else with the race leaders all slowed by a damaged Rosberg was probably what allowed the fastest lap at that time. If he did indeed have to nurse the car after that to preserve the dodgy tyre he mentioned (I don’t know when the team told him he needed to go 15 laps, whether that was before or after setting the FL), and the leaders eventually were able to show a more representative pace, then it’s entirely reasonable that he had no pace- as shown by being unable to subsequently make a dent in the Saubers like I said.

          2. There’re awful lot of assumptions in your comment. I just believe that what separates winners from losers is that they always believe they can get something out of a race, they don’t give up. One safety car and you’re back in it, you never know. Hamilton threw in the towel at that moment and it does showcase something. Now, you can speculate on the reasons and if justified all day if you desire.

          3. Of course there are assumptions- that’s all you can do. Those assumptions do of course have justifications for why I think that (which I went through), rather than some notion that anything is possible if you believe hard enough. There’s just as much assumption by you thinking that the car was still capable of a good result.

      2. … or Lewis knew from being IN the car, that he wasn’t in a good position to make significant gain even with a Safety Car incident. As he said later he was not under pressure under the back, and was able to think about the long game, the fact that Nico is up one on engine supply after burning up an engine. People are hasty to shout “Lewis gave up” but not give him some credit for playing the long game…

  2. DOTW Ricciardo for me. How he drove that fast in the RB is a mystery. Vettel was nowhere near that pace all race long and was passed fair and legit for the position.

    Rosberg gaining some valuable points for the WDC. Lewis got to try harder than whining constantly.

    Alonso had a stinker but managed to end up in points. Kimi finally coming good. Hope this is the start of good times for him.

    Yet to see the incident. Will not comment on it until then.

    1. OK. Racing incident. Maybe Hamilton cut back too early, maybe Ros didn’t back off a lil bit more. Had a lot of space at the right to continue.

      Also could be Karma for hitting all the cars enroute to a podium in Germany :)

        1. Lauda always says stupid stuff, I don’t know why he is in the Mercedes team, I think it is to counter the stupid comments of Helmut Marko at Red Bull.

  3. Pretty good race. I still think that we shouldn’t put a blame solely on Rosberg simple because there more Hamilton fans. Booing in this case is totally unacceptable.
    Rosberg made the move to avoid contact (he turn left to correct his race line), but Ham closed the door too much. Racing incident. So I am sure this is to blame on Mercedes management.

  4. That was way unfair on Nico by the crowd. The boos were totally undeserved. It was just a racing incident . It could have gone either way. It could have been that Nico had a puncture and Lewis went on fine. It is a disgrace by the fans. What a cheap set of fans. Last year they were booing for Vettel this year for Rosberg. The fans are spoiling the image of Spa.

    1. Spoiling the image of spa? Its a race venue, not a dinner party. It isn’t polite to boo, granted. But the drivers are already muted in their responses why should the fans be too? You expect the paying fans not to express themselves? Perhaps you should tell the fans at Monza your suggestion

      1. Spa is my fav track. This was a great race. I am not going to debate anything here. The Spa fans had been disappointing for last couple of years. Everybody knows it is a straight forward racing incident but look at Lewis fans. The funny thing is Lewis’s fans are just like him. Master Whiners !!!!!

        1. Booing in F1 is only right in severe circumstances. Alain Prost being booed in Brazil, Vettel being booed at Malaysia are to me understandable. However booing for racing incidents or premeditated booing of one driver is not in line with the values of the sport. We should respect these men for risking everything for our entertainment.

          One thing I would say about the Spa crowd is that it will be full of one-off fans who understand Spa is the best venue on the calendar. Today, I imagine a lot of these fans were British and once one person started it was continued by the rest. I, personally, will never boo a driver unless he is robbing the fans of sporting fairness, see Austria 2002, not over contact between the race leaders.

      1. We’ll agree to disagree I’ll take the roaring passionate tifosi over quiet clapping any day. I want to see gladiators and chariots. Not drivers thanking their petrol sponsors on the podium

  5. 50% Rosberg misjudgement
    50% Hamilton trying to bully Rosberg out of the move by using his rear tire

    Result = Disappointment for Lewis and a bit less for Nico.

      1. Yes, but Nicos mistake could’ve cost him the race as much as it did Hamilton. We’ve seen this with the Alo/Vet accident in the last lap. Attacking Nico to this extent and booing him is just below the belt.

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