Red Bull Run Rampant in the Forest
Sebastian Vettel converted Red Bull’s clear pace into a dominant display at the mighty Spa-Francorchamps circuit to further extend his lead at the head of the drivers championship.
After the challenge of Mercedes in qualifying, Vettel swept Hamilton aside on the first lap and pulled away as the rain held off to cruise to a second victory in Belgium, out of reach of the pole sitter or Alonso as he carved through the field in pursuit. The victory extended the lead at the head of both championships to maintain a stranglehold on the competition in an uncharacteristically dry, uneventful Belgian Grand Prix.
Into the Weekend
Following a summer break of four weeks, Formula 1 arrived at quite possibly everyone’s favourite circuit, Spa-Francorchamps. Following the tight and twisty Hungarian Grand Prix, the contrast couldn’t be much starker when presented with the long, high-speed, flowing nature of Belgium. An iconic circuit, it never fails to deliver an exciting race.
Following an excellent maiden win at the previous round, Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes were seeking to build on their rapidly improving form to take their momentum into the second half of the season, whilst eliminating their reliability issues that saw Rosberg fail to finish shortly before the end of the race. Lotus wanted to stay back in the hunt after another podium for Raikkonen in Hungary, amid swirling rumours of him joining Red Bull or Ferrari again for the 2014 season, while Grosjean sought to match his teammate and put his overtaking-related penalties behind him. Red Bull were out-performed in the former Soviet state, but kept a healthy grasp on the constructors with a third and fourth, and intended to keep their nose in front at Spa.
Ferrari were again lagging in Hungary, and hoping that work in the weeks between races will yield results at the classic Spa circuit. After a strong Hungarian race, that saw McLaren put both cars in the points on a day when rivals Force India fell away with reliability issues, the British team were hoping to show well at Spa, where Jenson dominated last year. Force India were seeking to use their clean car and strong engine to get back into solid points to stretch their gap to McLaren after it was slashed to just two points. Torro Rosso showed some good pace in Hungary but were unable to get into the points on race day, so were seeking a return to the top ten at a track that should suit their car.
Maldonado gave Williams some good news as they turned over Sauber to take tenth place and a crucial point, showing some progress for the famous team. Bottas retired however, and this weekend Williams were aiming to be in touch for the points again. Sauber meanwhile were looking to be more competitive at a circuit that should demand less of the technical aspects their car lacks. After putting Marussia to the sword in Hungary, Caterham were intending to stay ahead of their back-row rivals and get in touch with the midfield ahead, while Marussia aimed to get back into the tough battles with Caterham they enjoyed at the start of the season.
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