Spa serves up another race to remember

2014 Belgian Grand Prix Rate the Race result

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The 2014 Belgian Grand Prix had all the ingredients to be another cracking race like so many others we have enjoyed this season. But the race was overshadowed by one incident which provided the main talking point of the weekend.

The lap two collision between Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton quickly attained notoriety – and it left the door open for Daniel Ricciardo to take another win, cementing his position as ‘best of the rest’.

The race had a lot of scraps for position all the way down the field culminating in a fantastic battle in the dying laps between rookie Kevin Magnussen and multiple world champions on his rear wing.

Robbed of the possible excitement of a head to head battle between Rosberg and Hamilton, the race perhaps did not get quite as high a score as it might have from F1 Fanatic readers, but as usual the mighty Spa-Franorchamps served up a race to remember. Here’s what you had to say about it.

View from the track

I was at the track, and witnessed the incident. Having seen (like all F1 Fanatics I’m sure) the incident in question replayed countless times, in my opinion Rosberg blundering around off the racing line and taking a double-swipe at the back of Hamilton’s car was reckless at best.

Surely if it wasn’t a teammate-hitting-teammate issue the stewards would have come down heavily on this?

Very disappointing for me as a spectator, and while I wasn’t one of them, I totally understand those who booed Rosberg on the podium. His actions robbed us of the chance to witness the great fight we had anticipated for the past several months and paid through the nose to see!

Hamilton versus Rosberg

There are many different opinions on the incident between the Mercedes drivers. However everyone could agree the race would have been a lot better had there been a good fair fight throughout the race between them.

Very interesting race. Would have loved a battle between Hamilton and Rosberg, but Ricciardo did very well.

Good race, but I felt really disappointed, because I believe we could have had a titanic battle between Hamilton and Rosberg for 44 laps. But unfortunately, this battle didn’t last very long. In the end, we just had a good normal race: good battles on the track and with the pit stops, but, as soon as Nico had to pit to change his wing, for me it was clear Ricciardo would win it.

Was disappointed to see the Mercedes not battle it out for more than a lap and a corner but we had an excellent race nonetheless, and a rookie holding off seven world champions. Excellent!

Boring other than the scrap for fifth or whatever it was at the end. Denied a real race by Rosberg’s idiocy. Waste of time watching it. Rosberg taking out Hamilton was an anti-climax rather than adding anything to the race and between Rosberg having some debris flapping about in his face and that scrap at the end there wasn’t much to salivate over. It wasn’t the epic that some people have built it up to be.

This is racing

It is nice to see so many positive comments about F1 this year. Here are a couple of the comments from happy fans.

We’ve really been spoilt this year, haven’t we? Yet another great race, and the sort of championship rivalry that comes along once in a generation. Whatever side you come down in the Nico/Lewis drama, this is undeniably a classic season.

I couldn’t find anything negative with this race! We even had backmarkers fighting while four front-runners were battling just in front of them, and the variety of strategies made many overtakes possible.

Was DRS too powerful?

Do DRS zones add to or detract from circuits like Spa? Some felt it made overtaking too easy?

Although we saw some impressive passes on other parts of the track, the general consensus was that DRS was too strong at Spa. After drivers were purposefully giving up position in the first corner last year to gain the DRS advantage, it’s strange that the DRS zone hasn’t been sufficiently shortened since.

Lots of drama on a proper track and another opportunity seized by Ricciardo, but not completely satisfying. Too many passes were set up by DRS or timing of stops or showbiz tyres, James Hunt’s comments about TV directors still apply, and it was at the mercy of the race engineers whether we got to see a race or not.

Really good race. The McLarens-Vettel-Alonso fight gave the race a good taste in the end. However it was a bit boring but tense at the middle. And again, too much DRS effect.
I’m also tired about all drama for Hamilton. It’s getting pathetic at this point.

Dumb. Racing. Solution. Ruined this race.

I just find nothing interesting, exciting or even remotely enjoyable about any DRS pass, especially when it makes things stupidly and boringly easy.

Great race. Lots of drama, great drive by Daniel Ricciardo, and lots of good fights throughout the track. The best part was that DRS passes were not the major source of passes; at least that’s what I saw on TV.

TV coverage

There were mixed opinions on the directors choice of cameras, but I think most F1 Fanatics would agree that lap three is usually much more exciting than seven replays of the start.

TV director was poor today. We missed some live overtakes such as Ricciardo on Vettel at the beginning of the race and Lotterer and Maldonado retirements. We don’t need to see five replays of the start when the race is at its peak – just after the start.

While the racing itself was quite good, the whole Lewis/Nico thing left a bad taste in my mouth (I’m not a fan of either) and left me feeling disappointed that none of the coverage seemed to be more bothered about the contact between the two, then the race. I didn’t find that entertaining and it just left me more annoyed then entertained. Maybe that was more the fault of the BBC coverage then the racing itself, and I’m being harsh with the rating? I don’t know, just how I felt.

Agreed I think the race direction has been poor on many occasions this season. There is time when the initial laps have settled down to replay the start.

I thought the broadcast was fine. Lots of the overtaking was shown. Lots of the good racing was shown and nothing was missed.

Lotterer pulled over and stopped in the pit entry and Maldonado pulled off also, nothing really worth showing given how there were no spins or accidents.

Agreed, credit to director for cutting straight back to the racing after Ricciardo crossed finish, boo for such things as watching Lotterer walk down pit lane while so much racing was taking place on track, like Ricciardo passing Vettel.

Magnussen splits opinion

Did Magnussen deserve his post-race penalty which dropped him out of the points?

There were comments for and against the rookie but the stewards were against him and he received a penalty dropping him down to twelfth position.

Magnussen deserved a penalty and a harsh one at that.

If his racing today deserved a hard penalty then F1 will just be all about penalty and legal procedures. If Magnussen should have a tough penalty then Vettel and Alonso, who are both fantastic drivers, should have had more penalties in the recent races due to pushing the limits in position battles.

For me I lost all respect for Magnussen, he ruined a good race for Alonso and to his team mate.

Absolute nonsense. He was defending well and within the rules – it doesn’t matter who was trying to get past.

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2014 Belgian Grand Prix

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Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei

46 comments on “Spa serves up another race to remember”

  1. It’s gonna be really interesting come season’s end to see how many races in 2014 compared to 2013 were ranked 7/10 or higher!

  2. Formula Indonesia (@)
    1st September 2014, 12:13

    I hope we could get another 9 and then mid 8

  3. Just 2 points from me on why I didn’t vote this time.

    1. I was there, and this was my first trip to a GP. I enjoyed the whole experience thoroughly, and cannot easily separate that from the rave itself. I would have given it more than 10/10 if allowed Lol.

    2. When I do try to separate the race from the experience, it is overshadowed by the Ham/Ros incident.

    Overall, there was no way for me to even pretend to be objective.

    1. tgu (@thegrapeunwashed)
      2nd September 2014, 11:16

      @drmouse I also didn’t vote on the race because of the incident: I spent most of it waiting to see if Rosberg would get his comeuppance, so I found it interesting rather than enjoyable. It’s hard to quantify how ‘good’ the race was, but it was certainly another captivating weekend. This season has been thrilling.

  4. It was a great race in my view. I didn’t really care about the coming together between two Merc drivers as the race itself was very entertaining.
    There is no bad race at Spa for me. The scenery the feel and the emotions of many great corners. On top of that we had great races all over the place and very exciting finish.
    Quite a low score in my view but I guess it’s as expected thanks to the Hamilton/Rosberg clash.

    1. @toxic 2007 was boring.

      1. I prefer boring Spa than exciting Double Dhabi :)

        1. I think that exciting Abu Double would be really bad for the sport. I hope that it will be a boring, processional race with one crucial unlucky DNF which will flip the championship on it’s head. I hope I’ll hate that race and everybody else will too. I also hope for low attendance at the event itself. Maybe then the idea of super-bonus-double-points-season-finale-bonanza will be abandoned forever.

  5. I’m a bit surprised a comment questioning Magnussen’s penalty was quoted.

    Remember, even in a touring car race – which is kind of a ‘contact sport’ – there was such a penalty this year, even in a non-points event (Melbourne), even for the main star of the Australian V8s, Jamie Whincup, no else…

    If that’s not a good precedence, then I don’t know what is…

    I adore what Magnussen did elsewhere, he was not to be awed by either Alonso, or Button or Vettel, he raced them hard, but fair and square during the remaining situations of the 44 laps, and he was awesome, but with the move he got the penalty for, he crossed a line for me.

    1. @atticus-2 What I also didn’t get about the argument was that he was comparing that to Vettel and Alonso’s fight in Silverstone. Neither Vettel nor Alonso pushed a rival at absolutely 4-wheel-off-the-track-at-210mph

      1. @mashiat Yeah, absolutely.

      2. He may also be thinking of Alonso-Vettel at Monza where they’ve both had a go at pushing each other off track at the super fast and indeed curved ‘Curva Grande’.

        No penalties there, same move.

        1. @psynrg Vettel got a penalty for his incident so if Vettel got a penalty for that, I see no reason as to why Magnussen shouldn’t

          1. @mashlat Oh that’s my mistake then! I couldn’t recall either getting a penalty for what were indeed similar moves.

            I still believe Alonso put himself in that situation as Magnussen had made his defensive line clear. Going up the right of Magnussen, audacious and aggressive as it was from Alonso, was always going to be borderline. The penalty doesn’t seem to take this into account…

  6. “The 2014 Belgian Grand Prix had all the ingredients to be another cracking race like so many others we have enjoyed this season.” So far there are only three races this year that this sentence applies to, and all three of those were the ones won by Ricciardo. I wish people would stop making this season seem so incredible when it hasn’t.

    1. I’ll edit it for you:

      In my opinion there are only three races this year that this sentence applies to…

      I wish people would stop making this season seem so incredible when I don’t think it has been

      Everything is subjective. I happen to think this has been a fantastic season, but I appreciate not everyone will agree with that. Such is life.

      Consider is what you are reading is opinion or fact next time. Thinking before posting would be appreciated….

      1. I did think about it before posting. The fact is that the majority of people on this site are probably British, therefore seeing Hamilton on winning team is clouding peoples judgement. I personally do not find it fun watching a race to see who will finish third… I understand that some people enjoy watching two drivers like Hamilton and Rosberg fight it out at every race but for me having it be the same two all the time is not entertaining. It is like watching a really good movie once and then watching it repeatedly day after day. Each time you watch it just gets less and less impressive.

        1. @irejag, So HAM and ROS fighting to win all the races except when they don’t is not as good as seeing Vet win all the races, and that makes us all ulta-nationalists. And about the movies, the most successful series, Die Hard, Pirates otC, American Pie, etc. allways have the same Star(s) and usually the same result with only slight variations in the plot, just like almost any race series.

          1. Bertelsmann may have won a lot, but it has already been established that Red Bulls dominance was not nearly as dominant as the Mercs this year.

        2. Here’s a phrase. If you don’t like it, lump it.

          Basically, if someone continually visits this site & berates what the articles say then they should quite simply not come back, simple as that. If that means it is to the detriment of the site, then I guess it is the editors fault and eventually there will be no one commenting or reading, and eventually no revenue. for them.

          However, I imagine that is highly unlikely to happen.

          Also, so what if the majority are British readers? It is a domain after all. Come to a British based site, expect the British drivers to be popular with both the readers and the editors/writers.

    2. If you compare the F1fanatic ratings to previous years, you would see that the season has generally scored very well and if you read all the rate the race comments then you do get the impression that most people have enjoyed many of the races this season. I’m sorry you are not among them but the results speak for themselves.

    3. This season is good as far as races go, even those won by the Mercs tend to have good racing behind them. When was the last time we saw wheel-to-wheel-fights lasting several laps nearly every race?
      However, it´s no coincidence the best races are those which were not won by the Mercs (I suspect Hungary would have the same high rating had Alonso made it to victory), and Ham and Ros coming together did not at all damage the race-experience overall, but rather added to it. Having both scamper of in front would have meant the only places to care for would be P3 onwards.

    4. Quite obviously, I am not British and, without an American driver/team yet, I have no real rooting interest in any particular driver. That said, I thought Spa was a great race. Loved the team mate drama; loved seeing the New Guy at Red Bull win; loved seeing Williams continue to fight back to greatness; and I LOVED the battle for 5th. For me, that was the best part of the race: the rookie with three WDCs around him battling for points and Vettel’s excellent racecraft in gaining the position. Silverstone was similar; good on Hamilton for winning, but the best part, by far, for me was the Alonso/Vettel 14 lap fight; stellar stuff! Personally I find Hamilton, while a great driver, waaay too moody to be likeable. Rosberg is merely a good driver, but not on par with Hamilton and he knows it…hence he seems to be resorting to, shall we say, less than admirable tactics. Thus, the enjoyment for me is watching the truly great drivers battling for position. One does not have to be British to appreciate great, wheel-to-wheel racing, and Spa delivered that.

  7. I am shocked at how little discussion there has been of the lenient penalty on Alonso. It seems to have been completely overshaddowed by the Mercedes drama.

    The way I see it Ferrari fail to get all of their people off the grid before the 15 second warning, then compound the offence by having more crew come back on the grid to get Alonso moving (while cars weave around them). It was super dangerous and worse still it was a deliberate breach of the rules in order to gain Alonso an advantage. Had Ferrari not broken the rules by going onto the grid to get Alonso moving, Alonso would’ve had to start from the back of the pack or the pits, rather than regaining his position on the grid. At the very least, the penalty should wipe out the advantage gained through the deliberate breach with a little extra pain on top to discourage deliberate and dangerous non-compliance with the rules. That 5 second stop and go penalty was such a slap on the wrist, so disproportionate to the severity of the of the offence. I wonder if the penalty would’ve been so lenient for a Caterham, Marussia, Toro Rosso or anyone else bar Ferrari.

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      1st September 2014, 14:37

      Considering that they violated the 15 second rule, I think a drive through penalty would be sufficient.

    2. I have to agree it seems lenient. I can’t be certain, but I have always thought that the stewards were generally harsher on incidents which put people’s safety at risk.

      This should have brought a harsher penalty than, say, speeding in the pit lane or going too fast under yellow flags/safety car, but seems to be little more than a telling off (not even a slap on the wrist).

      Unfortunately, I had all but forgotten about it.

    3. I agree. I was also surprised that Alonso was allowed to overtake (many!) cars on the formation lap as they apparently managed to get him going before the last car passed him.

    4. @yapapi I commented on it before. I was majorly surprised by the fact that the stewards awarded the smallest “penalty” there was, invented for this year, so the back-markers who are a bit clumsy with getting out of the way for front runners can officially receive some sort of “punishment” but not really.

      If we compare the official stance on unsafe releases, if we recall how Ricardo and RBR suffered from and in Malaysia for example. I definitely agree with the harshness of it.

      But this blatant violation by Ferrari was at least 5 times more dangerous, preventable, absurd and intentional breach of very important safety rules.

      Nothing short of a black flag and a huge fine would have been enough! Arguably more should have been done.

      But when the decision came on screen, I was lost for words… I recalled “Ferrari International Assistance…”

      And it’s not just about being massively unfair, it’s the fact that with this, FIA has set a precedent, that it is not just okay for multiple people to run out on the road, in the path of other cars, but it’s more than worth it..! Unless someone gets killed… But it’s not like that has happened before in this exact same way…

      I was critical of the officials in American racing that allowed the culture of angry drivers running on the track to prosper, that inevitably led to the recent death.
      Well, what FIA are allowing now, is much, much, much worse, and already has caused deaths before.

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        2nd September 2014, 16:09

        Ferrari International Assistance…

        I hated to think of it that way, but it always seems to be the case. Alonso gets a small penalty for a breach of safety, and Raikkonen gets no penalty for causing a careless crash at the beginning of the British GP.

      2. don’t forget the marshals running across the track to rescue Nico, or Nico deliberately steering in to his teammate and no penalties. No Penalty for gaining a position in Canada after running through the chicane.

        It seems there are different rule books for different drivers. The rules are quite clear, and the Stewards have been very poor in their observations this year.

  8. Hi Keith,
    thanks for another great entertaining week, helps make the time go while waiting for the next race.
    would be interesting to know how many Vote on a race,
    compared to how many write a reply to the thread it applies to,
    i get the feeling comments are a minority compared to the Voters,
    the reason is partly due to some quotes not adding up to the score they managed to receive…
    thanks in advance,

  9. What I have noticed is that what ever is discussed,what ever the transgression there is 50 percent of the people that feel it is perfectly fine to …run someone off of the track…cut a tire of an opponent…exceed track limits…
    It doesn’t matter what it is,its OK. This is Wrong.

  10. I’m going to say it: I like DRS. There, I’ve said it.

    Let me explain myself: I agree that it is artificial and incorrectly placed zones can lead to motorway style passing. But recently, I’ve been watching “classic” races. Yes, those wonderful classics. Where, actually no overtaking happened. The number of times I’ve thought “if only he had DRS, then he wouldn’t be stuck in dirty air with no hope of passing” when an obviously faster car cruises up to 2 secs behind the car in front and then has no hope of actually overtaking.

    Ok, the tyres and the aerodynamics all add into the mix as well… Well, I said it. (Waiting to be shouted down)!

    1. I don’t like it as it is but not because it facilitates easy passes, but because it makes many drivers not even try to make passes elsewhere. So in my opinion it should only be available after you are within one second for two or three laps in a row so that drivers have the incentive to pass elsewhere not to lose more time.

      1. I don’t think I’ve heard that suggestion before – seems like there might be some merit at first glance.

        I don’t like DRS much, mostly because it’s an artificial solution to an artificially created problem. If development in F1 hadn’t been so constrained to aerodynamic areas – which have the smallest applicability outside F1 – we wouldn’t have a situation where special mechanisms are needed to assist overtaking because of dirty air.

    2. i fully agree with you MattB,
      i can remember so many old race’s where if the drive could have passed we could have seen a much better race,
      if we ever loose DRS the racing will become so boring again i will not watch it anymore.

  11. Can’t believe the 2008 Belgian GP is ranked so low, amazing finish in that one.

    1. Yes, but apart from the first few laps and the last few laps, all I remember from the rest 40 are Räikkönen gradually building a 5s lead from a 1s lead in front of Hamilton.

      On the other hand, those few laps are absolutely eternal.

      How Räikkönen stayed alive during the two wild twitch on the outside of La Source.
      How he got past Massa on lap 1.
      How he pounced when Hamilton spun on lap 2.
      How Hamilton got back up to him when the rain came.
      How the Briton passed controversially.
      How both ran wide on the slicks in Pouhon on lap 43.
      How Hamilton slid wide on the entry to Fagnes.
      How Räikkönen threaded the needle between him and a lapped car to take the lead.
      How the Finn spun on the exit of Fagnes.
      How the Ferrari crashed in Blanchimont on lap 43.

      And last, but certainly not least, how Alonso made light work of half a dozen cars on the last lap after switching to wets.

      Wow, I was not expecting the list to be that long. :P

      1. @atticus-2 I understand your point, the middle was not the best, but of the ’08 season that race was right up there for me. If you ask me to remember a few high points of that season. I’m going to remember that race.

    2. That´s probably because it received very low votes from some after the inevitable penalty for Hamilton was published hours after the race.

      1. ?????????????????????????

      2. I know, that’s a very good possibility…. just thought people would see through it.

    3. This is in fact still a British site and back in 2008 it was probably more British that it is now :) So basically all the rankings are slightly biased if any British driver doesn’t do well. In 2008 Spa it went horribly wrong for Hamilton so no surprise here. For me it was a cracker!

  12. Look a photo of what a world champion does when he realises he’s overtake is going to work!
    Re the first review second paragraph. I also don’t understand the stewarding logic of not investigating team mate issues. All drivers should be respecting all other drivers. Respective teams should have nothing to do with influenceing if an investigation should happen or its outcome. All drivers race under the same rules but they don’t seem to be applied when it’s within a team.
    Are investigations only promoted by a complaint from one team about another. Why should any driver have protection from every other f1 driver except their team mate?

  13. I dont get the very high rating.
    The two leaders crashed on lap 2 robbing us of a great race long battle. this immediately put a dampener on the whole race. vettel makes a mistake which lets RIC through> goes on to win from there.
    cant remember much else apart from a decent battle at the end.

    But not an 8 or 9. 7 maybe.

  14. Regarding DRS, Here’s an OnBoard shot from Bottas with the telemetry showing the speed with & without DRS (315kph, 338kph), Hard to defend against that sort of speed gain & it was just as big with other cars:

    And from the rotating camera on Hulkenberg’s car you can just about see the contact between Maldonado & Bianchi which gave Jules a puncture:
    And there was a lot of debate about Kevin Magnussen’s penalty for putting Alonso on the grass, OnBoard from Alonso’s car:
    Kevin’s in the middle of the track & there is a car widths cap which Alonso puts his car in:

    He’s just about half way alongside when Kevin then makes a secondary defensive move which puts Alonso on the grass:

    Penalty for Kevin was fair in my view.

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