Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Spa-Francorchamps, 2018

Vettel outruns Hamilton for commanding win at Spa after first-lap crash

2018 Belgian Grand Prix summary

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Sebastian Vettel scored an important win over Lewis Hamilton after passing his championship rival on the first lap of the Belgian Grand Prix.

Vettel cruised past Hamilton on the run towards Les Combes and was never seriously threatened by his rival for the rest of the afternoon. Hamilton put on a brief charge when he pitted a lap before the Ferrari, setting a string of fastest sector times. But a clean Ferrari pit stop saw Vettel retain his lead, while Hamilton was momentarily delayed behind 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

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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107 comments on “Vettel outruns Hamilton for commanding win at Spa after first-lap crash”

  1. Panagiotis Papatheodorou (@panagiotism-papatheodorou)
    26th August 2018, 15:50

    Great drive from Seb! Perfectly managed. Very good drives from both FI drivers, Bottas and honorable mention to Grosjean, Gasly and Ericsson. Really felt for Vandoorne. He came last in his home GP. Halo probably saved Leclerc from some injury.

    1. Very good drives from (…) Bottas

      What? Hitting a Williams at the start; all overtakes courtesy of DRS; and not a lot faster than Ricciardo behind him on slower tyres.
      A forgettable race for Bottas; deservedly last in Formula 1A.

      1. @coldfly
        He couldn’t have finished better than 4th though, could he?

        1. Nick (@theawesomefish)
          26th August 2018, 17:24

          Bottas started right toward the back end of the grid, made an extra pit stop compared to everyone else, and still managed to overtake the entire midfield.

          That sounds impressive on the face of it, but with the ludicrous gap between the top three teams and the rest of the grid, it really isn’t. Not with 14 out of 20 cars willingly diving out of the way and giving up the fight before it even begins, the second they see one of the MER/FER/RBR cars in their mirrors. Every bit as appalling to me as Hamilton’s so-called “recovery” drive at Silverstone. What a joke.

          1. Bottad did make one impressive overtake – the rest of the passing seemed to be more of the hugely effective DRS as well as the gap between the top teams and the rest playing out.

            Then again, Bottas did execute the job he had well

        2. With that car in Spa he should have finished 3rd (with Raikkonen retiring).

          1. 3rd was a distant dream considering the fact that Verstappen didn’t put a foot wrong throughout the race.

    2. What makes it worse is Hamilton pulling out the “they have some tricks” comment and shooting from the hip. Utterly disgraceful when he loses.

      1. And where does this differ from that “party mode” thing that NOBODY talks about anymore?

        1. Party mode was a qualifying setup they were all envious of. No-one questioned its legality… they simply went to work so they could do the same thing.

          Now that the boot is on the other foot Mercedes seem to spend most of their time complaining and putting in challenges rather than improving their car.

          1. No-one questioned its legality

            @textuality I can’t help but think that’s what HAM wound up doing – using a term that might come off as somewhat envious and derogatory (a la “Party Mode”), but as far as I can hear not in a way that questions legality. And I didn’t say that because HAM explicitly asked people to take that interpretation (unsurprising as it was that he did)

        2. The term Party Mode came from Mercedes, not its rivals.

      2. @thedoctor03 Why do people take exception to hearing the truth nowadays? Ferrari obviously do have some engine tricks. Whether those are legitimate – as FIA have ruled – or not – maybe they missed something, who knows. But they’re clearly doing something to get that extra power boost. Hamilton is just saying what the rest of the paddock is thinking.

        1. @david-br

          But they’re clearly doing something to get that extra power boost.

          It is usually called they are doing a better job, but you instead speculate that “they are doing some tricks ..that FIA may have missed”.

      3. Hammy thinks it’s his God-given right to have a 1.5 second advantage on the field as he did 2014-16.

        1. Yeah. His body language after this race says he knows his Sunday-drives and stat-padding days are over. Now we’ll see his mental fortitude (or lack thereof).

          1. He’s already been showing it. The fact he has a 17 point lead at this stage of the season, given the advantage Ferrari has had for a while, is a pretty good return. The idea he isn’t up for a close fight is a myth.

        2. Lewis is more talented than whatever guy you favor. Truth in advertising.

          1. uh you’re not making sense.

        3. He’s shown us before he relishes a challenge, since his karting days. Lots of bitter people have predicted from their armchairs that he was going to ‘choke’, time and time again, and they have usually been disappointed.

          He will struggle to overcome the car deficit on this level, but he will give it his best shot and I think we are still in for some drama this season. I suspect Seb will win the WDC, unless Merc can find a dramatic improvement.

          I am looking forward to seeing how it pans out, and I hope that some of the folks here can stop hating their ‘villain’ driver and just try to appreciate the talent on display and enjoy it.

      4. What gets me is, if this was hamilton who won by this margin it’d be “it’s all the car not lewis”

        Yet when seb does it.. its a “commanding drive”

        Go figure.

  2. Crazy start, boring rest of the race.
    Unfortunately looked like a rear brake failure for Hulkenberg meant he went straight into Alonso. Crazy damage to his car, and the halo really showing its worth with Leclerc. Luckily everyone involved seems to be okay.
    Vettel got a good tow up the Kemmel Straight, at a point it looked like he may have gone too early though as Hamilton and the Force India’s were alongside him into Les Combes, but he was in the best position to get into 1st, and from then, nothing really happened. Hamilton got semi-close with the undercut but not within DRS range. Bottas made a good comeback through the field. Raikkonen and Ricciardo very unlucky. Everyone seemed to drive a decent enough race.

    1. Abiteboul says it wasn’t any problem with the Hulk’s brakes.

  3. Lewis and mercedese should be afraid,very afraid…i hope they can pull something out of the bag though.

    1. I agree. The Ferrari is blindingly fast on the straights and there was nothing Mercedes would be able to do to keep them behind on this race weekend. If Seb didn’t get by on lap 1, he’d pull the overtake on any lap in the second stint.

      It’s incredible how they’re the car to beat on slow and twisty circuits as well as circuits with long straights. The only circuits Mercedes seem to be a match are high downforce circuits with fast corners.

      Mercedes should be very afraid. Unless they pull out a quality trick or two with their updates, it’s game over for them. The only circuits where I think they have a shot at beating Ferrari are Japan, Brazil and the USA.

      Italy, Singapore, Russia, Mexico and Abu Dhabi are clear advantage Ferrari circuits.

      Hamilton better pray to the weather gods on every race weekend.

      1. Michael Brown (@)
        26th August 2018, 17:22

        Not only that, Ferrari were usually faster in sector 2 as well. Though at the end of the first stint Hamilton was able to set purple sector 2s.

        1. Watched the sector times for most of the race between the top two, and the Ferrari’s biggest advantage was consistently in sector 2. When Hamilton was pushing toward the end of stint 1, Seb wasn’t on it (whether his tyres were gone, or he was just not pushing, I don’t know). When they both had softs on, Seb pulled a second per lap for the first two laps, and then he seemed to turn the engine down, as from that point onward, Hamilton was as fast, or half a tenth or so faster, in sectors 1 and 3, more often than not. The surprise was sector 2, where Seb kept consistently putting in times around half a second faster than Lewis. I figured Seb must have spent about half the race with his engine turned down, because he was genuinely slower on the straights for most of the race.

          I think when they all look at the data, Mercedes are going to start to really worry, because they’ll realise how slow Seb was cruising on the straights, and where Mercedes expected to claw back time, they were actually consistently losing a significant amount.

    2. Ferrari took 4 years to achieve this monster car. It would take Mercedes another 4 years to beat Ferrari again. Remember the Schumacher-Alonso-Vettel-Hamiltom domination era? Each have its own cycle before competitor catch up….

      1. @oldie

        This isn’t anything like the previous eras of domination you mentioned because the regulations haven’t changed, which makes the Ferrari achievement to not only catch up but to overtake Mercedes even more impressive.

        Those previous world championship dominant cars were all under 1 set of regulations and the rest just couldnt catch up until drastic changes came into effect.

        1. @red5ive

          2017 is when the latest era started. They still have the same PUs from the 2014 era but chassis regulations were overhauled. Similar to 2009, when Red bull era began, where they used the same engines from 2006 but aero was massively different.

          They have made tremendous progress on the engine side though..

  4. Lewis lost this race. He should have waited at the restart. This was not the smart Lewis from last year and I would have actually preferred to have Valterri behind Seb since he is better at managing tyres than Lewis.

    1. Have to disagree strongly. Even if Lewis got past at the restart, he was going to be repassed sooner or later. That Ferrari just simply had the legs on the Merc today. Might have forced a mistake from VET if he did get past but who knows. But when HAM got pole yesterday, I was very concerned about the kemmel straight. And so it proved to be, Ferrari just plain quicker today.

      1. I mean, last year the Ferrari looked quicker as well but couldn’t get close enough due to the dirty air.

        1. I was about to say the same thing. Vettel had the 1 chance (maybe 2 if he was behind Hamilton at he restart – Hamilton in turn had 1 opportunity at the restart, but messed it) and this time he didn’t screw it, so credit to him.

        2. Last year Ferrari looked quicker but not by this sort of margin.

      2. Yeah, 3sec advantage over 22laps is… plain quicker… indeed! 3sec might very well mean the driver behind the wheel of the Mercedes is not doing the best job OR that the driver behind the wheel of the Ferrari is doing a better job.

        1. So you think Merc had the fastest car today? Really?

          1. No. Never said or even implied that. It’s just that I fail to see that big performance Ferrari suddenly has over Mercedes that some keep mentioning. I think that overall they’re kinda matched now, the difference being made by the track, tyres used and track position. I give it to you that Ferrari seemed to have the upper hand this race, but it was like 0.15sec at best, and that’s a relative advantage.

          2. It’s not a “big performance”. But it’s certainly a clear gap. Merc aren’t that far behind, but they are behind nonetheless. That’s not taking anything away from Seb, he delivered given the hand he was dealt. The way I look at it is, IMO, chassis wise the W09 and the SF71H are probably even stevens but engine wise the Ferrari is definitely ahead. Also, you have to consider that Kimi looked the quicker Ferrari driver this weekend and had it not been bad fortune, this may well have been Kimi’s weekend and Ferrari could have been even further ahead. I don’t know what wizardry the Maranello have come up with, but all this talk about the battery etc seems to paying huge dividends.

        2. it’s a big thing because this was supposed to be a Mercedes track.
          Ferrari will be quicker on tracks like Singapore anyway, but nobody would expect them to blow Mercedes out of the water like this.
          So this IS a big thing.

          If Vettel plays his cards right, and better than how he’d played until now, it’s his WDC to lose.

        3. 3 second advantage over 7 laps actually. Maybe you need some math lessons?

          1. Please, stop talking half truths. The gap never went beyond +5sec in the 1st stint, after 22 laps the gap was down to +3sec. HAM kept lapping faster than VET since lap 15 or something like that. Then, thanks to pitting 1 lap earlier than VET, HAM managed to cut another 2sec from VET advantage, VET coming out of the pits with like 1.5sec advantage.

      3. You would rather have zero chance or at least a chance? Based on last year, clear air is extremely critical for race wins. Ferrari have just realized that and done the best job to make it work.

    2. Even if Lewis has got past Seb would have flown past him on the Kemmel straight, unlike 2017 year the Ferrari had just enough extra over the Mercedes.

      1. And the Force India had just enough extra over the Ferrari! Come on, where do you get all these ideas?! It was all about slipstream. Had HAM managed to keep it ahead after 1st lap, suddenly Ferrari would have lost all of its “legs”.

        1. And did the Force India manage to get by with the slipstream?

        2. @mg1982 Interestingly the Force India never manage to do what you described.

          1. Did you watch the 2018 race?!?! Those Force Indias came from behind VET and entered the corner almost side by side. Had to brake to avoid the collision. Especially Perez, who was 4th, caught completely HAM… who was 1st! How do you explain that Perez almost got side by side to HAM although there were another 2 cars between them? Superior power?! Hardly believe FI has a better engine than Mercedes. Same thing that helped FI helped VET too get ahead of HAM.

        3. @mg1982 I got the idea from watching the race! It seemed pretty bl**dy obvious that the Ferrari had just enough of an edge this year vs 2017 where it was marginal.

  5. Ferrari has made progress on the power side. Both Vettel and Hamilton had fresh units. With long straights and slow speed corners, it is looking red at Monza. Well unless it rains..

    1. You never know. Ferrari have a bad habit of hurting themselves in races they “should” win!

      Nevertheless, I do hope it rains in the race @ Monza….. staying up late to watch a race with so little tension at Spa…. isn’t a great use of time.

  6. Well done to Ferrari and Seb, flawless today.

    I really hope that as long as we have DRS, F1 will stop using it on the Kemmel straight…its a farce.

  7. I love Spa, but that was very dull. The Ferrari has a clear advantage now, and let’s be honest it’s only because of Hamilton’s outrageous wet-weather skills that we have a fight on for the title. I suspect that unless mechanical failure or further wet weather intervenes, Seb should be able to stroll to his 5th WDC from here, although I hope there are a few more twists and turns yet!

    1. Well, we are about to find out whether Ferrari’s power or Hamilton’s power will be stronger at Monza since that is clearly a track that he has done exceptionally well in the past.

      1. @krichelle Has he though?

        2007, 2010, 2011 and 2013 he was clearly outclassed by his teammates. He really hasn’t had too many exceptional races in Monza. Of his three wins in Monza, one was because of Rosberg cracking under pressure, one was because of Rosberg falling behind Vettel at the start (would still have won anyway), and the other was when the only person who looked like being competition to him (Alonso) had a problem in Q3, and he ended up like 4 seconds ahead of Perez in the race. I would argue that it really isn’t one of his stronger tracks. Certainly not more so than Canada, Budapest, Melbourne, Singapore and Silverstone, and probably some more.

        1. Forgot about 2017 though. But that was more down to his exceptional ability in the wet.

        2. What on earth are you are talking about. Monza is lewis best track. He dominated there since 2014. No one could touch him in qualifying. Spa is weak track for lewis so not a surprise. Lewis will dominate Vettel next week. Lewis will math record of wins if he wins next time. Not so bad hey? He will equal schumacher record of wins in 2 weeks time. You also are wrong. In 2010 lewis was taken out in the first laps so we dont know what may happen after and in 2011 lewis was running in high downforce. In 2007 lewis nearly took alonso the 2 time champ in qualifying. Not bad for a rookie. Thats why he was struggling against michael and button there. In 2013 merc pitted lewis too earlier and that ended up his race to beat rosberg. But that proved in 2014. Nico chocked because he knew he is NO match for lewis at monza. Lewis dominated 2014, 2015, would in 2016 if not for that terrible bad start but dominated in qualify and in 2017. This year he will dominate too. Monza is his better tracks than hungary. Lewis was never good in hungary since joined mercs.

          1. Monza isn’t his best track. Hungary, Canada, USA and Britain are better tracks for him.

            In 2008, hischanxeswere ended in qualifying where he was 15th, way off teammate Kovalainen who was 2nd. 2010, he outbraked himself and damaged his suspension on Massa. 2011 he failed to overtake Schumacher who was in a slower car.

            He won 2014, 2015 and 2017 when Mercedes had by far the best engine and car for this track. Rosberg likewise in 2016.

            If Ferrari have the engine, then Vettel will win his fourth Italian GP, having done so for two teams already.

          2. Monza isn’t Hamilton’s best track. Hungary, Canada, USA and Britain are better tracks for him.

            In 2008, his chances were ended in qualifying where he was 15th, way off teammate Kovalainen who was 2nd. 2010, he outbraked himself and damaged his suspension on Massa. 2011 he failed to overtake Schumacher who was in a slower car.

            He won 2014, 2015 and 2017 when Mercedes had by far the best engine and car for this track. Rosberg likewise in 2016.

            If Ferrari have the engine, then Vettel will win his fourth Italian GP, having done so for two other teams already.

          3. “Dominated there since 2014”

            Can you name another team that even had a chance of beating the Mercedes there since 2014? Excluding last year

        3. Wanted to add. Just like in 2011 lewis run a high downforce made button pass him easily and struggle to overtake michael. That is easily the case today. Merc run high downforce and force india same merc had no problem passing ham but is a chicken cos he braked to earlier. Not a champ material… Next weekend merc will run low downforce and vettel will pee in his pants…

          1. Great. Just great.

  8. Congrats to VET and Ferrari winning Spa for the 1st time in 10 years. I couldn’t believe how easily VET blasted past on the kemmel straight, but in the end he deserved the victory. Ferrari easily had the legs on Merc today. So Italy and Singapore are most probably going to be Ferrari bloodbaths, but Japan States and Abu Dhabi who knows.

    1. Weird you didn’t see how easy those Force Indias closed on that “fast Ferrari” and almost got it!

      1. *almost* being the keyword. Thank you for making my argument for me. The slipstream can *almost* get you by, but once you pull out of the slipstream and you face drag, you need grunt to get the job done. Hence VET blasting past and the Force Indias not getting past.

        1. Did you watch the 2018 race?!?! Those Force Indias came from behind VET and entered the corner almost side by side. Had to brake to avoid the collision. Especially Perez, who was 4th, caught completely HAM… who was 1st! How do you explain that Perez almost got side by side to HAM although there were another 2 cars between them? Superior power?! Hardly believe FI has a better engine than Mercedes. Same thing that helped FI helped VET too get ahead of HAM.

          1. @ Blazzz: the comment above is not for you.

            This one is….

            No. I’m still right. You forgot about the distance between cars. Perez almost got side by side to HAM, although he was 4th after the 1st corner. So, he had VET and OCO between him and HAM. A lot of space! How do you explain that he caught HAM given that kind of space between them after the 1st corner? More power?! Obviously not. The distance was too big to make a pass too, that’s why it was just almost.

          2. Seeing as you are talking about the distance between the cars, how do you explain VET pulling out of the slipstream just after Eau rouge, and outdragging Hamilton to Les combes?

            How do you explain that he caught HAM given that kind of space between them after the 1st corner?

            Well if you’re talking about Perez, he had 3 cars in front of him punching a hole in the air and still couldn’t get past.

            Look. Consensus in the paddock, among team principals and “pundits” is that Ferrari have more power. Further evidence is to be found in the midfield, with the Ferrari powered cars recently having a good run vs the Merc customer teams also suggesting as much. But, @mg1982, still suggests otherwise, and thinks Merc still have the strongest engine. Yeah right.

            So in your view, it’s all down to Sebastian Vettel is it?

          3. It`s down to Seb converting is, as it was with Lewis in the Mercedes-dominant years.

            The driver is important, it is a tough job, and mistakes happen.
            But mostly, when Lewis wins, he does it because of the car and not in spite of it. Same goes for Seb.

  9. incredible-slipstreams
    26th August 2018, 16:15

    Interesting start, boring race. Ferrari is better than the Mercedes. Lewis deserves to be on the top though, Vettel is more error-proof and this IS Seb’s championship to lose.
    Side note : Kimi is testing a STILO helmet (Bottas also uses STILO) for this GP. Not his usual BELL helmet.

  10. Similarities to both 2012 (La Source crash on lap one), and 2013 (Vettel overtaking Hamilton into Les Combes on lap one) editions.

  11. Ferrari has been faster for last few races but rain has helped Merc. New engines for Merc and Ferrari and seems Ferrari are stretching the gap. Hoping for dry races here on in with no silly incidents and Ferrari should win both titles, hopefully last 2 races were there rough patch and Merc suffer some issues as Ferrari should be and deserve to be well in front by now.

  12. Good results for VET, VER and both force india drivers, bad luck for RIC and RAI. Forgettable performance from both Mercedes drivers.

  13. I’m actually impressed by how well the Hondas managed to fare. If they keep this development up, Red Bull will be a team to watch next season.

    1. Michael Brown (@)
      26th August 2018, 17:26

      A real shame for McLaren who have really fallen. Slowest of the Renault cars.

    2. Yes, Honda will need to pull some more tricks out of the bag before the start of next season.

  14. Probably the most boring F1 race I’ve seen so far…

  15. The ferrari fans that have constantly been banging the drum of “oh mercedes have the best engine etc that’s why Ferrari aren’t leading the championship” are still somehow trying to say that after today? Lol really? Vettel passed Lewis like he had DRS open I think it was pretty evident Vettel was managing the gap, if Lewis had gotten anywhere near him he would have easily blasted him away on the straights.

  16. Another impeccable race of Vettel, with a car that is reaching an excellent state of development. Very bad luck again for Raikonen and Ricciardo.
    One of the best circuits in the world to watch formula 1 races has been boycotted by the use of DSR. It’s time to eliminate that nonsense definitely.

  17. Lewis was playing smart, take the points and live to fight another day.
    Kudos to Seb, he was flying today.

    1. Agreed.

      Hammy quit after the first pit stop. Didn’t have the fight in him tonight. Vettel broke his spirit in a way.

      Still he rises.

      1. Looks more like he tried to fight after the pit stop, but gave it up on lap 34 when he wasn’t making any ground. That is when their lap times start to diverge at a greater rate. Look at the lap-by-lap analysis post.

  18. Well done Seb Vettel. Flawless drive and a truly deserved win. In this game where fractions of seconds make a difference, Ferrari have at last produced a car that is more than a match for the Merc.

    Vettel’s handling for the car and the race itself had a eerie similarity to the start of the second half of the season in 2013. In that Belgian GP, Vettel went in with 4 previous race wins; lost qualifying to Hamilton but shared the front row with him; overtook Hamilton on the Kemmel Straight in the first lap and went on to win the race………

    1. @loup-garou – nice recall, although I wouldn’t want this season to go the way of 2013, with Vettel winning all the remaining races on a trot. Let’s have a tight few races and a good showdown at Brazil (and let Abu Dhabi be a dead rubber for the limp circuit that it is).

  19. Hammy overplaying the Ferrari straight line advantage. The Force India nearly passed the Mercedes as well at the start. Hammy was as fast as the Ferrari out of the slipstream.

    Vettel managed the DRS buffer superbly in those opening laps after the restart. That was the key.

    Hammy dropped his lip (as he’s apt to do) after the pit stop and settled for second.

    Hammy got lucky twice. The first time when he got uncomfortably close to Vettel at the start. Secondly when he chopped Perez going into Les Combes. Very lucky not to lose 25 points.

    I think Vettel is going to be tough to stop now assuming no errors, no mechanical problems, no dirty tricks like Bottas in Hungary. Looking eerily similar to the second half of 2013.

    1. Looking eerily similar to the second half of 2013.

      Except that it’s much closer now than it was that time around. Hamilton still has a great chance, especially since he seems to be on better form than Vettel,at least in the run up to the summer break. But having now a better (the best?) platform surely tilts the scale in favor of Vettel.

      1. For sure much closer and Vettel has a deficit this time.

        He really needs Kimi to deliver now by locking out the front row.

        Can really do some damage in Singapore if Red Bull is second fastest to Ferrari.

        Vettel looks full of confidence and drove like it today.

        Hamilton looks like the weight of the world is on his shoulders.

        1. Any clever predictions again, anon, for next weekend?

          Hamilton to waltz past Vettel around the outside of Curve Grande?

      2. Vettel has been in great form. Small mistakes (sometimes with large consequences) don’t mean you are out of form. He has had great pace in most races, actually more often than Lewis. But when Lewis shines, he does shine brighter, no doubt about it.

    2. Yeah Lewis was always going to be eaten alive at the start. Not sure why the Force Indias weren’t a little more aggressive after the Kemmel straight though. They could of had Vettel and Hamilton

    3. Agree, but Ferrari doesn’t seem almost at all as superior as RBR in the 2nd half of 2013. If Ferrari will take the pole position and win at Monza by at least 20sec margin over the fastest Mercedes… maybe I’ll start believing that. At the moment, a 5sec (it was 11sec in the end because HAM didn’t push anymore) gap between VET and HAM means things are still very relative, that Ferrari’s car is marginally better and actually track/free air position might change things completely. Hungary for example, then I have big doubts VET would have managed to win in the end if it wasn’t for the 1st lap successful overtaking maneouver.

      1. RBR “dominance” was much less than Mercedes dominance from 2014 to 2017. Just saying.

  20. This was the hardest blow on Mercedes in a long time. On a power track, passing by as if Hamilton was using a Honda, then vanishing into the distance, managing the pace.
    Canada was just like this too, but there it didn’t look as bad cuz nobody trusts Bottas for anything anyway, but today it was Hamilton on a perfect form, unable to do anything to counter.

    He has enough of a vantage to still lead after another 2 results like this, but it doesn’t look like it’s going their way this time.

  21. Why people don’t like Hamilton: Can’t behave like a gentleman after loosing.

    1. *Losing.

      Most winners are not happy after losing. That’s why they are winners.

      He’s not said anything inappropriate. He congratulated Seb for the win.

    2. Michael Brown (@)
      27th August 2018, 5:39

      If I lost I definitely wouldn’t be happy. Have you competed in anything before?

  22. Solid performance by Vettel. But Monza will be Hamilton’s 2nd match point. Vettel must win again, otherwise he’s done. And then, Singapore.

    All this crying about the advantage Ferrari has is unbearable. I wonder how flooded Race Fans would be if Hamilton was driving the SF70H last year.

    The WDC is on. Vettel slightly has the upper hand right now. But Hamilton is the one who has the championship in his pocket.

    Let’s not forget, Lewis is at a better form than Seb, currently. Let’s see how that unfolds.

    1. Agreed. I think this is a level headed appraisal of the situation.

      1. @niefer Lewis in better form?

        This is my view: Lewis’ highs are quite higher than Seb’s.
        But in terms of pace and consistency, I do think Seb has had a slighlty better season, or better form, than Lewis.
        I wouldn’t count small mistakes (those which have put Lewis in the lead of the championship) as bad form. In general, Seb has been very consistent on Sundays, pace-wise. That’s how I would define form – pace, not errors.

        Lewis highs are higher, and he has made less mistakes. Two reasons why he deserves to lead the championship. But I do think Seb has been on at least the same level in terms of maximizing pace, and a little more consistent than Lewis at that.

        Without the small mistake with huge consequences at his home GP, Seb would be leading the championship by 15 points in a season where the cars pretty much are equal, overall. Mercedes was stronger at the beginning, Ferrari has been stronger the last 3 races.

        1. @magon4 Fair comment. I meant the form as momentum. Hamilton is making a better championship, responding better the mishaps than Vettel. Pace-wise, they’re evenly matched, maybe Vettel is a little better. But the momentum is Hamilton’s.

          small mistake with huge consequences at his home GP

          I agree with that. As a matter of fact, his blunder at Baku was far worse than Germany’s. But the problem is that he’s racking up those small incidents, while Hamilton profits everytime.

    2. @niefer Agree, this race felt crucial to keep the championship alive and next race must also go Vettel’s way or he will get desperate and do silly mistakes again.

      Interesting comment from Horner some races ago is how good Vettel normally is after the summer breaks. He also said he’s good at leading races and the comment was made before the race in Germany which he famously dropped it from the lead, but hey.. ;)

  23. Shocking race. But wow that Ferrari looked the goods thats for sure. Mercedes rein is over…for now

  24. Can’t believe Kimi’s luck.

  25. Excellent & well controlled race by Seb – why stretch it out to 20 sec gap when the engine has to last?
    Seb & Lewis are well matched, both brilliant drivers and both thankfully with their flaws that manage thus far to keep it close.
    I think most people expected engines to converge after all this time, but werent expecting engine dominance to shift; hence the questions. But to be honest, well done ferrari for changing it around. Mercedes have had the last throw of the dice with this new engine, i dont see anything they can do before the end of the season engine wise and maybe the ferrari is a bit more aero efficient too…..skinny wings ala RBR for mercedes for the rest of the season maybe, but singapore will again be the turning point unless unreliability creeps in somewhere else for seb/lewis because throwing it away again by seb will be a big loss, and if merc can only finish behind ferraris and RBRs then its as good as over….. hope monza is a bit more interesting than Spa, rarely do i find a race boring but this certainly wasnt a classic

    1. Brilliant comment. Sums it up very nicely.

    2. @warfieldf1 Yes but with Ferrari’s constantly making tactical errors it’s likely going to be thrown away in this way which will be sad. This race they threw away a Raikkonen front start and him maybe for once taking points off Hamilton, and then they almost lost it with the pit stop waiting to react to Mercedes yet again, when everyone saw Hamilton was blistering and was bound to be in shortly.

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