F1 2013 Belgian Grand Prix: Good team result for Mercedes at Spa
PUBLISHED: 21:15 25 August 2013 | UPDATED: 21:19 25 August 2013
THERE were mixed emotions for Mercedes officials at the 2013 Belgian Grand Prix after Formula 1 drivers Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg both finished in the top four at Spa.
2013 FIA F1 World Drivers’ Championship
Drivers’ championship standings after Belgian GP:
1 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) 197 points
2 Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) 151
3 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 139
4 Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) 134
5 Mark Webber (Red Bull) 115
6 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 96
7 Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 67
8 Romain Grosjean (Lotus) 53
Hertfordshire-born Hamilton, 28, and Rosberg secured a strong team result for Mercedes, taking third and fourth places respectively at the historic Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
However, after starting from pole position, Hamilton was unable to compete with the race pace of Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull and the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso.
Mercedes F1 team principal Ross Brawn was honest in his assessment of the weekend’s performance in Belgium.
“It is a measure of how far we have come in the past 12 months that a race which would have been our result of the season last year now feels slightly average,” said Brawn after Sunday’s grand prix.
"I got everything that I could out of the car today but we just weren’t as quick as Sebastian and Fernando."
“However, we must keep things in perspective: this was a good team result, we scored a good haul of points for both championships, but we were on average half a second off the pace we needed to fight for the win at this track, especially when the tyres were new.
“The performance of both cars was pretty respectable by the end of the race but we were not quick enough in the early stages.
“Both drivers delivered a fault-free performance and the team performed well at the pit stops, so we got the maximum out of the car this afternoon.”
Brawn added: “It’s a good foundation for the second half of our season and we now need to find a little more performance for the next races.”
F1 2013 Belgian Grand Prix result
The provisional Spa top 10:
1 Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
2 Fernando Alonso (Ferrari)
3 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
4 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)
5 Mark Webber (Red Bull)
6 Jenson Button (McLaren)
7 Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
8 Roman Grosjean (Lotus)
9 Adrian Sutil (Force India)
10 Daniel Ricciardo (Toro Rosso)
Mercedes team director Toto Wolff said: “We expected the race would be tougher for us in dry conditions compared to the mixed wet-dry weather we experienced yesterday [Saturday] in qualifying.
“Even so, we now have to analyse why we were lacking some performance relative to other teams when we debrief this evening and back at the factory next week.
“Third and fourth positions represent a very solid team result and good points for the Constructors’ Championship, so we can be happy with what we achieved this weekend.
“And we will keep working hard back at base for the next races.”
2013 World Constructors’ Championship
Standings after round 11 at Spa:
1 Red Bull 312 points
2 Mercedes 235
3 Ferrari 218
4 Lotus 187
5 McLaren 65
Hamilton’s podium finish still lifted him into third place in the 2013 FIA F1 World Drivers’ Championship and helped consolidate the Silver Arrows’ second place in the constructors’ standings.
Both Mercedes men ran two-stop strategies, running option/option/prime as the grand prix, somewhat surprisingly, stayed dry throughout.
Having now climbed above Lotus star Kimi Raikkonen in the title race, Hamilton said: “We have done a good job this weekend, but Spa and Monza [scene of the Italian Grand Prix] are always unique tracks because of the low-drag requirements and I expect we will be more competitive in Singapore again.
“It’s still a great team result to finish third with Nico right behind me in fourth, so we will take the positives from this afternoon into the next races.”
Rosberg added: “Fourth place was a reasonable result for me, and it’s great that we achieved a strong points finish for the team with Lewis’ third place as well.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us now and we need to look into why we weren’t as competitive as a couple of the other teams today [Sunday].”
The next race is the 2013 Italian Grand Prix at Monza next month.
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