Sebastian Vettel took a routine victory for Red Bull in a totally dry Belgian Grand Prix.
Fernando Alonso was able to tiger through from ninth on the grid to second ahead of polesitter Lewis Hamilton, but fellow title contender Kimi Raikkonen’s long finishing streak ended with a brake problem.
- Visor tear-off caused Raikkonen problem – Lotus suspects that a blocked brake cooling duct caused by a loose visor tear-off led to Kimi Raikkonen’s retirement from the Belgian Grand Prix. Raikkonen suffered from an overheating left front brake duct shortly after the start of the race at Spa-Francorchamps. At the first pitstop, the team discovered the visor tear-off lodged in the cooling channels of the brake duct. Although Lotus was able to remove it, the brake disc was already too hot and could not be cooled enough. Eventually it failed completely. Investigations by the team after the race discovered no other explanation for the brake issues, which led it to believe that the visor strip was the cause.
Classified: Pos Driver Team Time/Gap 1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1h23m42.196s 2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari +16.869s 3. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +27.734s 4. Nico Rosberg Mercedes +29.872s 5. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault +33.845s 6. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes +40.794s 7. Felipe Massa Ferrari +53.922s 8. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault +55.846s 9. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes +1m09.547s 10. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1m13.470s 11. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes +1m21.936s 12. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari +1m26.740s 13. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari +1m28.258s 14. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari +1m40.436s 15. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault +1m47.456s 16. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault +1 lap 17. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault +1 lap 18. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth +1 lap 19. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth +2 laps Fastest lap: Vettel, 1m50.756 Not classified/retirements: Driver Team On lap Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 26 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 25 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 8 World Championship standings, round 11: Drivers: Constructors: 1. Vettel 197 1. Red Bull-Renault 312 2. Alonso 151 2. Mercedes 235 3. Hamilton 139 3. Ferrari 218 4. Raikkonen 134 4. Lotus-Renault 187 5. Webber 115 5. McLaren-Mercedes 65 6. Rosberg 96 6. Force India-Mercedes 61 7. Massa 67 7. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 25 8. Grosjean 53 8. Sauber-Ferrari 7 9. Button 47 9. Williams-Renault 1 10. Di Resta 36 11. Sutil 25 12. Perez 18 13. Vergne 13 14. Ricciardo 12 15. Hulkenberg 7 16. Maldonado 1
Videos: Kimi’s brake failure, Kimi post-race interview with SkySports
Kimi Raikkonen – DNF: “I had a brake failure so there was really no point in trying to continue. We both got good starts off the line but there wasn’t enough space into the first corner where I went over the kerb and lost some time, but after that I was pushing as hard as I could. There were some brake issues at the beginning of the race but we were managing them and it was going okay until we had to retire. We’ve finished a lot of races and had some good reliability; one day your luck has to run out and today was that day.”
Romain Grosjean – 8th: “We had a difficult first lap where we lost a few positions and then dropped back a couple more places in the incident with Sergio [Perez]. We decided on a one stop strategy today and with the new tyres I felt that the grip was much higher than before but I knew that it would be difficult to get the time back. We tried something different and you never know; had it rained in the middle of the race we could have been well-placed to take advantage. It is good to finish the race without any mistakes, even if eighth place isn’t what we were hoping for this weekend; it’s also a shame that Kimi didn’t finish the race, but we go to Monza hopeful of better things.”
Eric Boullier, team principal: “It was a disappointing weekend, with qualifying not as good as we had expected and then a difficult first lap in the race. Kimi suffered from a brake failure which, of course, is a concern. We already believe we know why it happened and we will investigate this in detail to prevent the situation arising again. Romain finished eighth which clearly isn’t the sort of position we hope for at the end of a race weekend. Today we lost some pace and part of that might be due to the low temperatures. We must now look ahead, learn from this weekend and make sure that next year we can deliver on a medium downforce track.”
Alan Permane, trackside operations director: “It was a difficult race for us. We didn’t have the pace in qualifying yesterday and didn’t seem to have the pace today. We had a difficult first lap where we lost a few places and found ourselves sat behind slower cars. After that it was difficult to make up any ground. Unfortunately Kimi retired from the race with a front brake failure which we are now investigating. Romain was on a one stop strategy which was the right thing to do today. We look forward to starting again in Monza where we will bring new developments to the car can hopefully have a better weekend.”