F1 – Belgian GP – Race
Round 13 of the 2018 FIA F1 World Championship took place at the stunningly beautiful Spa-Francorchamps circuit; one of the most legendary circuits on the modern calendar.
Lewis Hamilton lined up on pole position alongside title protagonist, Sebastian Vettel. On row two were the highly impressive Racing Point Force India team on their debut in F1 (sort of).
As the race got underway, the real action was towards the back of the grid. Fernando Alonso had a flashback to 2012 as his car flew through the air into La Source. This time it was caused by Nico Hulkenberg seemingly decided not to brake for the first corner. The German slammed into the back of the Spaniard, punting him into the air, and over the top of the innocent Charles Leclerc. In the carnage, Daniel Ricciardo made contact with Kimi Raikkonen – effectively ending both their chance of points this weekend. Meanwhile, Valtteri Bottas made minor contact with Sergey Sirotkin. Absolute bedlam, but thankfully, all drivers walked away uninjured.
We saw an incredible moment further round the opening lap when both Force India’s gained a huge slipstream down the Kemmel straight and went four wide with Vettel and Hamilton. I don’t recall ever seeing a four wide situation in F1 before. Esteban Ocon was on the inside of the other cars, but decided to back out early into Les Combe. If he were more aggressive, the Frenchman would have either taken the lead of the race, or taken out the top four drivers! Caution was probably the correct decision here.
The rest of the race was relatively quiet with the only real action coming when Max Verstappen got past the two Force India’s, and also with Valtteri Bottas recovering up to 4th place in a mature drive.
Sebastian Vettel takes the 25 points today with Hamilton finishing 2nd. Max Verstappen completes the podium followed by Valtteri Bottas. The Force India’s were 5th & 6th; moving them up to 9th in the championship, ahead of Williams, despite taking part in 12 less races (again, sort of). The two Haas drivers were 7th & 8th as Gasly picked up two points for Toro Rosso in 9th. Swedish driver Marcus Ericsson completed the top ten to score his 6th point of the season.
The gap at the top of the championship is now down to 17 points. Will Vettel continue to close this gap at the next race in Italy? What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.