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!