GP of Belgium

Ricciardo to the power of 3

Daniel Ricciardo has carried off his third victory in Formula 1, the second in a row in this 2014 season for the Red Bull driver, who controlled his race to perfection in Belgium, much as he did in Canada and Hungary, to be welcomed by the chequered flag, ahead of Nico Rosberg and Valteri Bottas.






The facts

At the start, on a dry track, following qualifiers under pouring rain, Rosberg (Mercedes), on pole, immediately lost his advantage to the benefit of Lewis Hamilton, who moved into the lead ahead of Sebastian Vettel, who veered off the track a few yards further on, leaving the W05s in front at the end of the first lap.

Perhaps upset at having had a poor start, Rosberg then tried to overtake on the outside and clipped his team mate, who suffered a puncture. This ruined the race for Hamilton, who was obliged to stop for fresh rubber. The German, too, made a stop a few laps later in the Mercedes garage, for a new front wing.

Meanwhile, Ricciardo, this season’s revelation, was building his third two-stop victory. Having taken the lead before mid-race, the Australian managed his tyres and romped home the victor. Vettel finished fifth.

The figure

50 – Ricciardo’s win was the 50th for Red Bull in Formula One. Vettel had won the first in China in 2009, the tenth (European GP 2010 in Valencia), 20th (Monaco 2011) and 40th (Italy 2013). The 30th was chalked by Mark Webber (Great Britian 2012).

The quote

“We were at the exit to La Source, with Jules (Bianchi) and Nico (Hülkenberg). My aerofoil was damaged and that prevented me from fighting for the last points with the Force Indias and the Toro Rossos.” Romain Grosjean, speaking after he retired his Lotus before the end of the race. In the other Lotus, Pastor Maldonado dropped out shortly after the race began.

The anecdote

The Ice Bucket Challenge, which involves pouring a filled bucket (or having it poured) over oneself, launched on the social networks, swept through Spa this weekend. Ricciardo was the first to rise to the challenge, on Friday evening, before inviting the team’s management (Christian Horner and Adrian Newey) to meet it, which they did in a good-humoured spirit of fun.

Next up

Italy (Monza, 5th-7th September).

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