Start, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014

Spa serves up another race to remember

2014 Belgian Grand Prix Rate the Race resultPosted on Author Stefan Kelly

Start, Spa-Francorchamps, 2014The 2014 Belgian Grand Prix had all the ingredients to be another cracking race like so many others we have enjoyed this season. But the race was overshadowed by one incident which provided the main talking point of the weekend.

The lap two collision between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton quickly attained notoriety – and it left the door open for Daniel Ricciardo to take another win, cementing his position as ‘best of the rest’.

The race had a lot of scraps for position all the way down the field culminating in a fantastic battle in the dying laps between rookie Kevin Magnussen and multiple world champions on his rear wing.

Robbed of the possible excitement of a head to head battle between Rosberg and Hamilton, the race perhaps did not get quite as high a score as it might have from F1 Fanatic readers, but as usual the mighty Spa-Franorchamps served up a race to remember. Here’s what you had to say about it.

View from the track

I was at the track, and witnessed the incident. Having seen (like all F1 Fanatics I’m sure) the incident in question replayed countless times, in my opinion Rosberg blundering around off the racing line and taking a double-swipe at the back of Hamilton’s car was reckless at best.

Surely if it wasn’t a teammate-hitting-teammate issue the stewards would have come down heavily on this?

Very disappointing for me as a spectator, and while I wasn’t one of them, I totally understand those who booed Rosberg on the podium. His actions robbed us of the chance to witness the great fight we had anticipated for the past several months and paid through the nose to see!

Hamilton versus Rosberg

There are many different opinions on the incident between the Mercedes drivers. However everyone could agree the race would have been a lot better had there been a good fair fight throughout the race between them.

Very interesting race. Would have loved a battle between Hamilton and Rosberg, but Ricciardo did very well.

Good race, but I felt really disappointed, because I believe we could have had a titanic battle between Hamilton and Rosberg for 44 laps. But unfortunately, this battle didn’t last very long. In the end, we just had a good normal race: good battles on the track and with the pit stops, but, as soon as Nico had to pit to change his wing, for me it was clear Ricciardo would win it.

Was disappointed to see the Mercedes not battle it out for more than a lap and a corner but we had an excellent race nonetheless, and a rookie holding off seven world champions. Excellent!

Boring other than the scrap for fifth or whatever it was at the end. Denied a real race by Rosberg’s idiocy. Waste of time watching it. Rosberg taking out Hamilton was an anti-climax rather than adding anything to the race and between Rosberg having some debris flapping about in his face and that scrap at the end there wasn’t much to salivate over. It wasn’t the epic that some people have built it up to be.

This is racing

It is nice to see so many positive comments about F1 this year. Here are a couple of the comments from happy fans.

We’ve really been spoilt this year, haven’t we? Yet another great race, and the sort of championship rivalry that comes along once in a generation. Whatever side you come down in the Nico/Lewis drama, this is undeniably a classic season.

I couldn’t find anything negative with this race! We even had backmarkers fighting while four front-runners were battling just in front of them, and the variety of strategies made many overtakes possible.

Was DRS too powerful?

Do DRS zones add to or detract from circuits like Spa? Some felt it made overtaking too easy?

Although we saw some impressive passes on other parts of the track, the general consensus was that DRS was too strong at Spa. After drivers were purposefully giving up position in the first corner last year to gain the DRS advantage, it’s strange that the DRS zone hasn’t been sufficiently shortened since.

Lots of drama on a proper track and another opportunity seized by Ricciardo, but not completely satisfying. Too many passes were set up by DRS or timing of stops or showbiz tyres, James Hunt’s comments about TV directors still apply, and it was at the mercy of the race engineers whether we got to see a race or not.

Really good race. The McLarens-Vettel-Alonso fight gave the race a good taste in the end. However it was a bit boring but tense at the middle. And again, too much DRS effect.
I’m also tired about all drama for Hamilton. It’s getting pathetic at this point.

Dumb. Racing. Solution. Ruined this race.

I just find nothing interesting, exciting or even remotely enjoyable about any DRS pass, especially when it makes things stupidly and boringly easy.

Great race. Lots of drama, great drive by Daniel Ricciardo, and lots of good fights throughout the track. The best part was that DRS passes were not the major source of passes; at least that’s what I saw on TV.

TV coverage

There were mixed opinions on the directors choice of cameras, but I think most F1 Fanatics would agree that lap three is usually much more exciting than seven replays of the start.

TV director was poor today. We missed some live overtakes such as Ricciardo on Vettel at the beginning of the race and Lotterer and Maldonado retirements. We don’t need to see five replays of the start when the race is at its peak – just after the start.

While the racing itself was quite good, the whole Lewis/Nico thing left a bad taste in my mouth (I’m not a fan of either) and left me feeling disappointed that none of the coverage seemed to be more bothered about the contact between the two, then the race. I didn’t find that entertaining and it just left me more annoyed then entertained. Maybe that was more the fault of the BBC coverage then the racing itself, and I’m being harsh with the rating? I don’t know, just how I felt.

Agreed I think the race direction has been poor on many occasions this season. There is time when the initial laps have settled down to replay the start.

I thought the broadcast was fine. Lots of the overtaking was shown. Lots of the good racing was shown and nothing was missed.

Lotterer pulled over and stopped in the pit entry and Maldonado pulled off also, nothing really worth showing given how there were no spins or accidents.

Agreed, credit to director for cutting straight back to the racing after Ricciardo crossed finish, boo for such things as watching Lotterer walk down pit lane while so much racing was taking place on track, like Ricciardo passing Vettel.

Magnussen splits opinion

Did Magnussen deserve his post-race penalty which dropped him out of the points?

There were comments for and against the rookie but the stewards were against him and he received a penalty dropping him down to twelfth position.

Magnussen deserved a penalty and a harsh one at that.

If his racing today deserved a hard penalty then F1 will just be all about penalty and legal procedures. If Magnussen should have a tough penalty then Vettel and Alonso, who are both fantastic drivers, should have had more penalties in the recent races due to pushing the limits in position battles.

For me I lost all respect for Magnussen, he ruined a good race for Alonso and to his team mate.

Absolute nonsense. He was defending well and within the rules – it doesn’t matter who was trying to get past.

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