Is Mercedes’ dominance over?

Rate the race and Driver of the Weekend – Round 13 – Belgian GP, Spa Francochamps 2018

Rate the Race reader score 5.22

Well, you really didn’t think much of this race at all it was far lower than the 7.28 of 2016, 6.28 of 2017 or even the 6.32 of 2015, and was rated 9th out of the 13 races this season.

The first half lap was dramatic, as Bottas had a mini lock up and hit the back of Sirotkin. A couple of seconds later, Hulkennberg had a huge lock up and rammed Alonso, sending him flying over the top of Leclerc, smashing into Leclerc’s halo en route and taking off Ricciardo’s rear wing.

Raikkonen picked up a puncture from Ricciardo and by lap nine we were down to 16 drivers. Red Bull deemed Ricciardo’s car fixable and sent him back out to race a couple of laps late only to retire on lap 28 anyway. Vettel took the lead from Hamilton just before the safety car was deployed, stayed at the front on the restart and led the race until the chequered flag, reducing Hamilton’s lead in WDC from 24 to 17 points and increasing the number of his career victories to 52.

There was some to-ing and fro-ing between Ericsson and Hartley, Bottas made a daring overtake around the outside of Eau Rouge, making his way through the field from P17 to P4, Perez took P3 from Ocon early on, Verstappen made his way from P7 to P3, the newly formed Racing Point  Force India scored 18 points on their ‘debut’ race putting them in P9 in the WCC, one point behind Sauber, and that was pretty much it.

Driver of the weekend: Joint first position with 26.19% of the reader vote, was Vettel and Verstappen.

As far as I’m aware this is the first time we’ve had a tie at the top of our poll, with Verstappen and Vettel each taking 26.19% of the reader vote.

Max qualified and started in P7 and finished third on the podium, while Vettel qualified and started in P2 and comfortably won the race, with the Ferraris having having the edge in all three (dry) free practice sessions. The rain did not favour Ferrari, and Vettel ran out of battery power on the final qualifying lap, hence the P2 in qualifying.

Well done Max and Sebastian!!

So, is Mercedes period of domination finally over? Will Ferrari take WCC? Will Hamilton or Vettel be first to make it to WDC5? Comments below, please!

@F1TheaJ

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