2018 Belgian Grand Prix – Sunday
Hi, Bob Aldons, The Car Guy, reporting on the 2018 Belgium Grand Prix from The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. And whilst this may be a Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport press release, undoubtedly the highlight of the race was the significant accident on the first corner.
Nico Hulkenberg allegedly started the chain reaction which took out Le Clerc, Alonso, Raikkonen and Ricciardo. A pretty good effort by Nico to eliminate 4 well-placed cars.
Nonetheless, Hulkenberg’s effort undoubtedly caused the race to be over even before it started, with Vettel overtaking Lewis Hamilton on Eau Rouge and never being headed. Valtteri Bottas, after starting in 17th grid position, finished a creditable 4th.
Hamilton still leads the Drivers Championship by 17 points with Bottas in 4th.
Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport bring home 30 points from the 2018 Belgian Grand Prix
• Lewis came home in P2, securing the 10th podium place in Formula One for Mercedes in Belgium
• After starting from P17, Valtteri stormed through the field to finish P4 and set the fastest lap of the race
• Today’s result marks the 25th podium in Belgium for Mercedes-Benz power
• Lewis (231 points) leads the Drivers’ Championship by 17 points from Sebastian Vettel (214 points) with Valtteri (144 points) in P4
• Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport (375 points) leads Ferrari (360 points) by 15 points in the Constructors’ Championship
We gave it everything today but Ferrari just outperformed us and it was hard to match their times. I think we lost the race in the first lap and at the Safety Car restart. After that, it was done. They were just faster on the straights and there was nothing we could do.
We came here with an upgrade, but unfortunately, Ferrari was able to match us and even go faster. We’ve got to find more performance and improve on the areas where they’re currently stronger than us. But the battle continues and for the sport, this is really exciting. We will keep pushing.
Our goal for today was damage limitation and we’ve had a good recovery drive. I was hoping to maybe get the chance to be on the podium, but I had a collision going into Turn 1 which damaged my front wing. After that P4 was the maximum we could get and it’s not a bad result given the fact that we started from P17.
I actually quite enjoyed the drive today, as I got to overtake a lot of cars. My favourite moment was probably the pass in Eau Rouge – that was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, we couldn’t win the race today, but we scored more points than Ferrari, so that’s one positive.
They looked really strong this weekend, both in qualifying and in the race. We made a step forward with our engine for this weekend, but the Ferraris are still quicker so we need to keep pushing.
Today was a little bit deflating after the drama of qualifying. Lewis was pretty powerless on lap one – he got swallowed up by Vettel on the straight, but then couldn’t return the favour when Sebastian managed to break the tow on the restart after the Safety Car period.
From then on, we were chasing a quicker car and didn’t quite have enough pace to challenge for the lead. On the strategy, we did the only thing we could – which was to try the undercut – and try to put some pressure on Ferrari, but they didn’t buckle. They were deserved winners today.
Valtteri put in a great drive from the back to claim P4, so the points total brings us a small advantage on the constructors’ side, while Lewis lost some ground in the drivers’ standings. But most of all, we need to stay humble and keep working hard to improve our performance at every race.
There’s no way of dressing it up today: we were well beaten by a quicker team, who were able to stretch away from us on both tyres throughout the stint. It was very disappointing after yesterday’s qualifying performance and what we believed our performance would be in the dry, to find today that we did not have the pace that we thought.
Both drivers delivered good performances but neither of them had the car under them to do more today; we have some work on our hands in order to take the fight to Ferrari in Monza and the remaining races this year.
Hi, Bob Aldons here, the owner and founder of The Car Guy, and Car Business, reviewing cars, reporting on car industry matters, car tech, Formula 1 and the world at large. I’ve spent the last forty years immersed in the automotive industry from salesman to the owner of a 7 brand multi-franchise dealership. I know cars.
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