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”

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  1. Nico looking hungrier. Lewis better take focus off his earrings and tattoos if he wants this one.

    1. Nico won’t last log if he carries on… Lauda will eat him.

      1. Actually, Nico showing hunger (and not asking for retirement when there are still chances for points) is what Lauda should value. At least if he doesn’t want to be a hypocrite.

        1. Why would you want to retire when you’re in the lead with only a slightly damaged front wing? Plus an extra engine in comparison to your team-mate?

          1. I was referring to Hamilton throwing in the towel when a Rosberg would still race full-tilt to selvage something. Hamilton showed his weakness today.. and it’s got nothing to do with his racing ability. He needs to work on his mentality, it plays a huge role in winning you the championship.

    2. those earings look terrible,

  2. Mercedes AMG F1 2014 reminds me of McLaren 2007. The drivers are going to clash to their own detriment and let a dark horse sneak up and snatch the title.

    1. Not a dark horse but obviously Daniel Ricciardo !!!!!!

    2. I like the sound of that

  3. Kimi’s first time ahead of Alonso this year. He had amazing pace on the softs. Sadly not enough for podium.

    Whatever happened to Massa? Did he have issues with the car? Him finishing P13 whilst his teammate is on the podium is quite ugly and not great at all for Williams’ championship points.

    1. Massa picked up debris from Hamilton’s puncture which damaged his car.

    2. @markf1

      I don’t know the detail, but apparently there was debris stuck in crucial parts of the car.
      Once they managed to remove it, the time damage had already been done, and he couldn’t recover.

  4. Great result from where I’m sitting!

    Ric wins!
    Vet does well!
    Kimi does great!
    Ham whines like a baby and destroys his car in a fit of rage!
    Bottas gets podium again!

    I really couldn’t ask for more. Loved hearing Ham whining and asking to be retired. I could listen to that all race.

    1. This really sums up what F1 is all about. Loved this race.

    2. What a sad life you have…
      I think you need a treatment

      1. he sounds like an honest sports fan to me, you like one team, and dislike the other, or like certain drivers and dislike others. I too found it humorous hearing Hamilton giving up with so much of the race left – he doesn’t have the brain of a champion that is for sure, he should have nursed his car to pits on lap one – he still could have finished high, even won if a safety car came out.

        1. Keep grinding that axe.

      2. He is just saying something out loud what SOME of the Hamilton fans can only express through booing, pointing fingers and being hypocrites. Hating the ‘German’ seems to be their thing.

    3. I think you’ve had a little tooooo much caffeine…

  5. To be honest I don’t really think either driver deserves to be slammed, booed or anything.

    It was a pure racing incident, Nico saw an opportunity to pass Lewis & he went for it & it didn’t pay off.
    Its called racing & sometimes in racing stuff like that will happen.

    Its also not as if Lewis hasn’t made similar misjudgements in the past.

    1. Yes I agree and we’ve also seen many such accidents in the past where the person losing the wing ended up worse off. Nico made a mistake, yes, but he didn’t do it on purpose to take Hamilton out. Booing him for it is incredibly unfair.

      Hamilton was also extremely unlucky to get a puncture out of that contact. Alonso hit Vettel a lot worse in the last lap and Vettels tires survived.

  6. Back when Schumacher retired in 2006, my interest in F1 took a major nosedive because there were no other drivers I felt really good towards. I rated Alonso and Raikkonen highly, but wouldn’t call myself a fan back then. As I slumped from 2006 to 2009, I came back to F1 full time when Schumacher returned. Kimi and Alonso did become my favorite drivers, but when Schumacher retired again, I thought I’d have a hard time like 2006-2009, but races like today are really reeling me towards some of the younger drivers.

    Hulkenberg has won me over many times over the years, but this year has really opened my eyes to Ricciardo and Bottas. With drivers like them, I’m sure I’ll be able to enjoy F1 for many years.

    If only we keep on having more races like this one!

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      24th August 2014, 15:17

      I’m the same, really, after Schumacher left I wasn’t enjoying 2013 that much. But now we have Hülkenberg, Bottas, and Ricciardo! A new chapter is beginning.

    2. I really enjoyed Kubica. I still enjoy Alonsos driving talent, and loved Vettel in past 3 seasons, he was pure speed and talent. I also always enjoyed Webber, and now im a big fan of Ricciardo – 3 wins in 6 races for him.

  7. will Mercedes get a penalty for pitting Hamilton to retire? it is obvious they did it to preserve an engine, but are they allowed to do this if the car is still safely driving with no mechanical fault? they put on a dodgy message to Hamilton to pit because they were worried about the floor damage, but if they were worried about the floor damage, they would have pulled him in on lap 3.

  8. ResultantAsteroid
    24th August 2014, 15:22


    1. ResultantAsteroid
      24th August 2014, 15:27

      Sorry that was intended for another comment (feeling embarrased now).

      1. happens often, dont sweat it,

  9. Michael Brown (@)
    24th August 2014, 15:30

    As for Magnussen pushing Alonso and Button off, I don’t think he’ll get a penalty for that. As much as I dislike it, when you’re ahead of another driver in a corner, you’re allowed to squeeze them off simply because you have the racing line.

    1. No you’re not. You are certainly not permitted to force another car off track – you must leave at least a car width, after only having moved once to defend your position.

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        24th August 2014, 18:34

        I was referring to what he did in Rivage, not what he did on the straight.

  10. On an entirely different note, I thought Vettel’s swerve towards Magnussen on the start straight on the final lap was very silly.

    1. he was doing one of two things, 1- letting Magnussen know he wasnt happy with his driving, or 2 (more likely) trying to force Magnussen to the wall so he would be left with less angle to turn in to next turn. it wasnt dangerous.

      1. I’m of the opinion that lunging towards another driver strongly enough that the other has to react is indeed dangerous and quite foolish. I don’t believe that trying to make another driver move while on a straight should be a legitimate tactic.

    2. That was extremely smart driving from Vettel. There was heaps of space on the right for Magnussen, so it wasn’t like what Shumi did to Barichello in Hungary 2010. It was purely to psych Magnussen and it worked. Great driving and I wan’t to see more of it.

  11. People calling it an accident but surely the booing was because those fans thought it was deliberate?

    People who gave Rosberg the benefit of the doubt in Monaco may be thinking a driver of his experience would know exactly where Lewis’ rear tyre was going to be. And know, like all of us, what happens when a FW endplate touches a sidewall.

    I think that’s what the booing is about. People are suspicious. Fans don’t boo accidents.

    1. Brits are suspicious, and yes, fans boo at anything they don’t like….the stupid ones.

  12. The marshalls gave MAG a 20 sec penalty but didn´t even talk about the ROS-HAM incident? How´s that???

  13. So what’s Massa’s excuse for his terrible performance today? I shouldn’t be too surprised, he’s been quite poor all year.

  14. Rosberg is an utter klutz.

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