Belgian Grand Prix: Hamilton resists F1 title rival Vettel for win

Lewis Hamilton defeated Formula 1 title rival Sebastian Vettel in the Belgian Grand Prix to close the gap in the championship to seven points

Belgian Grand Prix: Hamilton resists F1 title rival Vettel for win

Mercedes driver Hamilton managed a late safety car and a tyre disadvantage to fend off Vettel with relative ease, as Daniel Ricciardo claimed a surprise third for Red Bull.

Hamilton made a good start from pole position and built a 1.7-seconds lead before stopping for new soft tyres on lap 12 of 44.

Vettel ran two laps longer in the opening stint and rejoined two seconds behind Hamilton, who cleared the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen the lap before Vettel pitted.

A great first full flying lap for Vettel took 1.2s out of Hamilton's lead and thrust the Ferrari into DRS range, but Hamilton responded immediately.

He built his advantage up to two seconds, before a safety car changed the complexion of the race entirely.

Force India duo Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez had clashed on the run to Eau Rouge on the opening lap, then came together in more dramatic fashion on lap 29.

Fighting over a net seventh, Ocon cut back on his team-mate exiting La Source, only for Perez to edge across and break Ocon's front wing with his right-rear tyre.

That caused Perez's tyre to deflate entering Eau Rouge and the pair littered the track with debris.

The field swapped tyres under the caution, with Hamilton taking softs to Vettel's ultra-softs and then complaining over the radio as the safety car remained on track for three laps.

Vettel was tucked up underneath the Mercedes' rear wing through Eau Rouge and Raidillon at the restart and pulled alongside as Hamilton defended on the run to Les Combes.

Somehow Hamilton hung on, and found enough pace on the slower tyre to bump Vettel out of DRS range and gradually extend his lead until the end to win by 2.3s.

Ricciardo started the race sixth but made his way to the podium, at a track not suited to the Renault-powered Red Bull, with a blend of fortune and opportunism.

Max Verstappen suffered a mechanical problem early on and stopped at the side of the track exiting Eau Rouge, which handed Ricciardo fifth - and ultimately fourth as well.

Kimi Raikkonen failed to slow sufficiently under the yellow flags that were thrown while Verstappen's car was recovered and had to serve a 10s stop-go penalty.

That meant Ricciardo ran fourth under the late safety car, and used a slipstream and ultra-soft tyres at the restart to nail Valtteri Bottas's soft-shod Mercedes into Les Combes.

Raikkonen dived inside Bottas at the same time to recover to fourth, as Bottas finished a muted fifth having run comfortably in third before the caution.

Nico Hulkenberg finished best of the rest for Renault with a quiet but excellent drive, while Romain Grosjean and Felipe Massa took advantage of the messy race to claim seventh and eighth.

Ocon, who labelled Perez a "fucking idiot" over the radio, recovered to ninth as Perez eventually retired, while Carlos Sainz Jr took the final point.

Fernando Alonso ran as high as seventh but gradually fell back down the order and eventually retired with an engine problem in his McLaren-Honda.

Race result

Pos Driver Car Laps Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 44 1h24m42.820s
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 44 2.358s
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 44 10.791s
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 44 14.471s
5 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 44 16.456s
6 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 44 28.087s
7 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 44 31.553s
8 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 44 36.649s
9 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 44 38.154s
10 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Renault 44 39.447s
11 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 44 48.999s
12 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Renault 44 49.940s
13 Jolyon Palmer Renault 44 53.239s
14 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 44 57.078s
15 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 44 1m07.262s
16 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 44 1m09.711s
17 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 42 Accident
- Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 25 Engine
- Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 7 Engine
- Pascal Wehrlein Sauber/Ferrari 2 Suspension

Drivers' standings

Pos Driver Points
1 Sebastian Vettel 220
2 Lewis Hamilton 213
3 Valtteri Bottas 179
4 Daniel Ricciardo 132
5 Kimi Raikkonen 128
6 Max Verstappen 67
7 Sergio Perez 56
8 Esteban Ocon 47
9 Carlos Sainz Jr. 36
10 Nico Hulkenberg 34
11 Felipe Massa 27
12 Romain Grosjean 24
13 Lance Stroll 18
14 Kevin Magnussen 11
15 Fernando Alonso 10
16 Pascal Wehrlein 5
17 Daniil Kvyat 4
18 Stoffel Vandoorne 1
19 Jolyon Palmer 0
20 Marcus Ericsson 0
21 Antonio Giovinazzi 0

Constructors' standings

Pos Constructor Points
1 Mercedes 392
2 Ferrari 348
3 Red Bull/Renault 199
4 Force India/Mercedes 103
5 Williams/Mercedes 45
6 Toro Rosso/Renault 40
7 Haas/Ferrari 35
8 Renault 34
9 McLaren/Honda 11
10 Sauber/Ferrari 5


shares
comments
Mick Schumacher 'amazed' by father Michael's 1994 F1 Benetton
Previous article

Mick Schumacher 'amazed' by father Michael's 1994 F1 Benetton

Next article

Force India to stop Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon racing after Spa

Force India to stop Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon racing after Spa
Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals Plus

Why Sainz is key to Ferrari achieving its chairman's F1 goals

Although Ferrari's chances of title glory in 2022 have evaporated, chairman John Elkann expects the team to have chalked up both championships by 2026. Both require drivers to play the team game and, having now become more comfortable with the F1-75, Carlos Sainz may be Ferrari's key to title glory

How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes Plus

How F1 has tried to avoid repeating its 2014 engine rules mistakes

With Formula 1’s future engine regulations now agreed, MARK GALLAGHER wonders if they will provide a more competitive field than past attempts actually managed

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2022
How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era Plus

How its faltering first turbo car advanced a Williams-Honda glory era

STUART CODLING charts the development of the Williams FW09, the ugly duckling that heralded the start of the title-winning Williams-Honda partnership

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2022
The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared Plus

The Moss-Ferrari farce that current F1 drivers are thankfully spared

Recent moves within the driver market have reminded MAURICE HAMILTON of a time when contracts weren’t worth the paper they weren’t written on…

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2022
Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing Plus

Audi’s innovative first assault on grand prix racing

It has been a long time coming but Audi’s arrival in Formula 1 is finally on the horizon for 2026. But it won’t be its first foray into grand prix racing, as the German manufacturer giant has a history both long and enthralling

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination Plus

The seven factors powering Verstappen's 2022 F1 domination

After a tooth and nail and, at times, toxic Formula 1 world championship scrap last year, Max Verstappen's march to a second consecutive title has been the exact opposite. But has he really changed in 2022? Here's a dive into what factors have played a crucial role, both inside the Verstappen camp and elsewhere, in the Dutch driver's domination

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2022
Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward Plus

Why Hamilton is still the man to keep driving Mercedes forward

Lewis Hamilton’s words in a recent Vanity Fair interview define both his world-view and his approach to this season: one of perpetual struggle against adversity. As GP RACING explains, that’s what Lewis feeds off – and why, far from being down and nearly out, he’s using his unique skillset to spearhead Mercedes’ revival…

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022
The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight Plus

The time lag of ideas that offers intrigue over F1's future fight

The pecking order in 2022's Formula 1 season may look pretty static as the season draws to a close, but the unique nature of the cost cap means that preparation for next season takes precedence. New developments are being pushed back to 2023 - which could mask the technical development war ongoing...

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2022