Sebastian Vettel scored an important win over Lewis Hamilton after passing his championship rival on the first lap of the Belgian Grand Prix.Max Verstappen.
While the championships leaders were swapping positions on the first lap, carnage broke out further behind them. Nico Hulkenberg cannoned into the back of Fernando Alonso approaching La Source, firing the McLaren into Charles Leclerc’s Sauber. Alonso spectacularly flipped over Leclerc’s car, but once the debris had settled all three drivers were mercifully unhurt.
Meanwhile Daniel Ricciardo made contact with the rear of Kimi Raikkonen’s car. The Red Bull driver was also hit from behind, leaving the pair with damage which ended both their races.
Bottas also picked up damage on the first lap. But after pitting for a new front wing he swiftly made his way through the field, easily passing Sergio Perez for fourth place with DRS four laps from hom. He finished behind Max Verstappen, who spent much of the race on his own after passing the Force Indias.
Perez led Esteban Ocon home having passed his team mate at the start. Ocon had briefly looked at diving down the inside of Vettel and Hamilton approaching Les Combes, wisely backed out of the move, but couldn’t stop his team mate from getting by a well.
The Haas pair came in seventh and eighth ahead of Pierre Gasly and the sole remaining Sauber of Marcus Ericsson.
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2018 Belgian Grand Prix reaction
- Ferrari had a “double whammy” advantage at Spa – Wolff
- Too soon to say if Halo saved Leclerc from serious injury – Whiting
- Ferrari’s car “tricks” are not illegal – Hamilton
- Hulkenberg given 10-place grid penalty for Italian GP after causing crash
- Leclerc says his Halo “probably helped” in Belgian GP crash
- Hulkenberg accepts blame for first-lap crash as Alonso calls for “harder”penalties
- Alonso points finger at Hulkenberg for missing braking point after huge start crash