So, another race done and dusted. The heat and humidity of Singapore overcome for another year. After a dramatic qualifying session yesterday that saw Lewis Hamilton snatch pole by just 0.007 seconds, the chances were good that the battle would be a tight one between himself and title rival (and Mercedes teammate) Nico Rosberg.

The race produced late drama but not because of anything Rosberg did. His race was effectively over before it even began, an electrical problem with his steering wheel extending to problems with gear control and telemetry that saw him forced to start from the pit lane. His pace was off and an attempt to ‘reboot’ the car in the pits failed, leaving him unable to continue after just 14 laps.

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(Hamilton leads into the first few turns as Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso runs wide – picture via The Sunday Telegraph)

Hamilton’s win was not easy though. Whilst he peeled away from the pack quite easily at the start, and looked to be comfortably in control after the first round of pit stops, a safety car period (an ideal time for fresh tyres and with a mandatory pit stop still to come) was not exploited, and Lewis, although on the softer, faster tyre, needed to build up a lead of at least 27 seconds to be sure of getting into the pits and out again ahead of Vettel. In the end, with a handful of laps to go, Hamilton made his stop, and came out right behind the German.

On fresher tyres and in a better car, Hamilton swiftly got past Vettel’s Red Bull, and went on to win.

That win now sees Hamilton take a three-point lead in the title race, and leads for the first time since May. There is still some way to go, but Lewis has seven wins to Rosberg’s four, has won the last two, and looks to be getting some momentum. Will he be able to maintain it, or will Rosberg respond?

ItalianGP(Picture courtesy of the BBC)

So, two weeks after the hijinks of Belgium, Formula 1 has returned to our screens! This time, for once, Lewis Hamilton managed to have a good race (apart from a poor start), and it was Rosberg who made mistakes under pressure, twice running off the track at the first turn after getting his braking wrong.

Hamilton drove well, kept up the pace and, after clearing the Mclaren of Magnussen and the Williams of Massa, quickly bore down upon Rosberg. On a track that demands speed, Hamilton had it, outpacing Rosberg quite nicely. In the end, it was a deserved win – though the distance between the pair on points is still quite big.

Hamilton needs to win every race if Rosberg is second in every race – a tall order, especially given his mechanical luck this year – so realistically, he needs Rosberg to suffer a mechanical failure or two of his own, if he is to close the gap.

Daniel Riccardo once again displayed the traits of a future world champion, including (but not limited to) a bold overtaking move on his four-time world champion team mate Vettel, to claim fifth place. Massa took third (his first podium since Spain last year), and showed the progress of Williams. His team mate Bottas was also full of overtaking moves, prepared to be brave when it mattered.

Ferrari’s home grand prix wasn’t a memorable one for them. Alonso retired due to mechanical problems and Raikkonen could only manage tenth place – disappointing for them, and they will want to improve when F1 next gets together.

Can Lewis maintain his form? How will Rosberg respond? What sparks will fly next time out? I cannot wait!

So the 2014 Belgium Grand Prix has just finished, Daniel Riccardo of Red Bull has his third win of the year (and second in a row), Nico Rosberg has claimed second place, and Bottas has taken third. Poor old Lewis Hamilton, needing a good result today to boost his title chances, had his race ruined on the 2nd lap, but none other than… Nico Rosberg, his Mercedes teammate.

Rosberg made a clumsy move to overtake Hamilton on lap 2 as they reached the second sector of the lap, and the end result was a punctured tyre, damaged floorboard, and a ruined race for Lewis. Though Rosberg lost part of his front-wing, his race wasn’t compromised enough to cost him serious points.

I can only hope that Hamilton’s luck turns soon. He’s had two mechanical failures leading to retirements (compared to one retirement for Rosberg), two mechanical issues in qualifying (to Rosberg’s none), and now, once again through no fault of his own, a race that’s been ruined. The points lost through no fault of his own are far greater now than the points lost by Nico, and it’s going to be these incidents and failures, rather than actual racing, that end up deciding the title if this trend continues.

Credit to Daniel Riccardo and Red Bull – in qualifying the Mercedes were far faster than everyone, but Danny and RBR took advantage of circumstances in the race to maximise their chases and the end result was another solid drive by Riccardo and another good win. If the Mercs keep taking points off each other, he could yet sneak up on them.

He’s also outperforming his more experienced, four-time world champion teammate Sebastian Vettel. Much has been made in the Formula 1 community of Vettel’s apparent reliance on a good car to win titles, and a lot of people have been waiting for him to prove himself outside of his comfort zone. So far this year, he has not looked able to do that, and he has clearly not adapted as well to the new regulations and car designs as well as Riccardo.

So, seven races remain. Mclaren got both cars into the points, Kimi Raikkonen actually managed to squeeze his Ferrari into fourth (his best finish of the year and he beat teammate Fernando Alonso in the process) and some good wheel-to-wheel racing. Spa always produces and this year has been no difference. Roll on Italy and Monza next time!