F1 2015 Belgian Grand Prix Spa result: Hamilton wins from Rosberg

PUBLISHED: 14:39 23 August 2015 | UPDATED: 19:32 23 August 2015

Lewis Hamilton won the 2015 Belgian Grand Prix [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]

Lewis Hamilton won the 2015 Belgian Grand Prix [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]

Mercedes-Benz

Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton won the 2015 Belgian Grand Prix at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps from pole position.

The 30-year-old Mercedes driver from Hertfordshire took the chequered flag at Spa today (Sunday) for the 39th victory of his F1 career.

Hamilton crossed the finish line 2.1 seconds ahead of Silver Arrows colleague Nico Rosberg as Mercedes claimed another podium one-two.

Sebastian Vettel looked on course for third place for Ferrari until his rear right tyre went on the Kemmel straight on the penultimate lap. Vettel had made just one stop at that stage.

Vettel’s misfortune elevated Romain Grosjean into third place for a rare Lotus podium, the Frenchman finishing 35.4 seconds behind Hamilton. Vettel, meanwhile, finished outside the points in 12th place.

Daniil Kvyat crossed the line fourth for Red Bull ahead of Sergio Perez’s Force India.

Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the 2015 Belgian Grand Prix [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]Lewis Hamilton celebrates winning the 2015 Belgian Grand Prix [Picture: Mercedes-Benz]

Felipe Massa, Kimi Raikkonen, Max Verstappen, Valtteri Bottas and Marcus Ericsson completed the top 10.

An 80th career F1 podium for race winner Hamilton saw him move level with Ayrton Senna in P4 in the all-time standings.

Stevenage-born Hamilton said: “I’m really happy with that one. I had great pace in the car and the balance felt fantastic.

“If anything it got better through the race and I never felt under pressure.

“After the stops I took it a bit easy on the out laps and Nico closed up but I always had a comfortable gap.”

He added: “A massive thank you to everyone here and back at the factories for all their hard work.

“The car was awesome all weekend and the crew did a great job.

“The weather has been great here too which makes this circuit even more fun to drive and what a great crowd.

“Loads of noise and plenty of British flags out there too, which I really appreciate, so thanks to all of you for your support and hope to see you again at Monza.”

After an aborted start due to a power issue with Nico Hulkenberg’s stalled Force India on the grid, Hamilton had to lead the field around for a second formation lap, reducing the race distance to 43 laps.

When the race did get underway, Hamilton made a clean start and it was his Silver Arrows team-mate Rosberg who lost ground, dropping down to fifth after a slow getaway.

The German Silver Arrows star reclaimed a place at the final corner of the opening lap, overtaking Valtteri Bottas’ Williams for fourth place.

Force India driver Sergio Perez slipped into second place behind race leader Hamilton off the line, with Daniel Ricciardo third for Red Bull after five laps.

A series of fastest laps saw Hamilton pull six seconds clear at the front.

With Ricciardo and Perez both pitting for new tyres after eight laps, Rosberg climbed into second place, eight seconds behind team-mate Hamilton, with Sebastian Vettel third for Ferrari.

Rosberg was the first of the Mercedes men to box on lap 12 and he just managed to fend off Perez’s challenge as he exited the pits.

Hamilton pitted a lap later from the lead, switching from the softer Options to the harder Primes in a super-quick 2.4-second stop, with Vettel – still on his first set of tyres – now leading the race.

However, when Vettel pitted for fresh rubber, Hamilton reclaimed first place in the race standings with Rosberg, Perez and Ricciardo behind him.

After the first round of stops, Hamilton was 3.4 seconds ahead of Rosberg with Perez a further 6.5 seconds behind.

The Virtual Safety Car was deployed when Ricciardo, last year’s Belgian Grand Prix winner, stopped out on track near Turns 18/19 after 20 laps.

Hamilton set a new personal best time of 1m 54.315s on lap 25 to extend his advantage over Rosberg to more than five seconds.

“The balance is good,” said Hamilton over the team radio.

Hamilton pitted again from pole on lap 30 for another set of soft Option tyres, dropping down to second behind Rosberg, who stopped a lap later for fresh rubber.

Lewis’ lead after 32 laps was a healthy 5.9 seconds.

A fastest lap from Rosberg cut the deficit to five seconds with 10 laps to go.

2015 Belgian Grand Prix Spa result

1 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)

2 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes)

3 Romain Grosjean (Lotus)

4 Daniil Kvyat (Red Bull)

5 Sergio Perez (Force India)

6 Felipe Massa (Williams)

7 Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)

8 Max Verstappen (Toro Rosso)

9 Valtteri Bottas (Williams)

10 Marcus Ericsson (Sauber)

11 Felipe Nasr (Sauber)

12 Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari)

Hamilton beat Rosberg’s previous fastest lap with a 1m 52.504s, then Rosberg went faster with a 1m 52.416s, with the gap standing at 4.9s.

That was cut further in the closing laps, but Hamilton controlled the race from the front to take his sixth victory of the season to increase his 2015 Drivers’ Championship lead over Rosberg to 28 points.

Rosberg completed a seventh Silver Arrows 1-2 of the season with his 36th career F1 podium finish.

Nico said: Unfortunately I messed up the start. Maybe the extra warm up lap had an influence on that – we need to find out what exactly happened but, in any case, I definitely have to improve that for Monza.

“Because of this I had to play catch up, which worked out well to a point.

F1 2015 World Drivers’ Championship

Standings after Belgian Grand Prix:

1 Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 227 points

2 Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) 199

3 Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 160

4 Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 82

5 Felipe Massa (Williams) 82

6 Valtteri Bottas (Williams) 79

7 Daniil Kvyat (Red Bull) 57

8 Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull) 51

9 Romain Grosjean (Lotus) 38

10 Max Verstappen (Toro Rosso) 26

“I managed to be second again and also was able to close the gap to Lewis a bit – but I didn’t get a chance to come within overtaking distance.

“He deserved the win today and it was also a great result for the team.

“The car they gave us was awesome here, so thank you to them for that.

“Hopefully we can have the same level of performance in the next races. I’ll be pushing as hard as ever for sure.”

After today’s result, Mercedes now lead Ferrari by 184 points in the Constructors’ Championship.

Toto Wolff, head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport, said: “I’m very proud of the team after today’s result – and especially to get a 1-2 finish at Spa, which is such a difficult and demanding circuit to master.

“Lewis did a perfect job – he got off the line well, defended cleanly his position from Perez up the hill and then drove a beautifully controlled race.

“He had the pace when he needed it, coped comfortably with all the challenges during the afternoon and scored a really impressive win.

“Nico obviously was hampered after his start, which we need to analyse, but then worked his way calmly back through the field.

“He kept Lewis honest all the way but couldn’t quite close the gap.

“Congratulations to our boys, too, on four clean and impressive stops.

“They’re doing a stunning job in the pits this year and we aim to continue that way for the remaining races.

“We will savour this win but need to keep our heads down and carry on working hard for Monza.”

Paddy Lowe, Mercedes’ executive director (technical), was also “very happy” with the Silver Arrows’ “fantastic performance” in Belgium.

He said: “It’s always great to win at one of the legendary circuits on the Formula One calendar and this was one which Mercedes hadn’t conquered in the modern Silver Arrows era, so it’s good to be able to tick it off the list.

“It was a quite amazing weekend from Lewis – from an incredible pair of laps in qualifying to a controlled drive to victory in the race.

“Nico, too, had a very strong weekend. Of course, I’m sure he’ll be disappointed to finish second – but he was in touching distance throughout.

“Congratulations also to Lotus. It’s extremely pleasing to have an all-Mercedes-powered podium and no doubt a big boost for a team who have not had the easiest of times recently, so well done to them.”

The F1 season continues next month with the 2015 Italian Grand Prix from the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza on Sunday, September 6.


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