Sidepodcast // All for F1 and F1 for all

F1 encyclopedia

Belgian Grand Prix

Formula 1 season 2014

Circuit information
CircuitCircuit de Spa-Francorchamps
LocationSpa
CountryBelgium
TimezoneGMT +01:00
Race debut1950
Laps44
Length7.004 km
Distance308.052 km
Line offset0.124 km

The Belgian Grand Prix brought Formula One back from its summer break with the traditional combination of changeable conditions and fantastic racing. Thrown into the mix in 2014 was the real breakdown of relations at Mercedes, something that had been brewing for a long time. With Rosberg effectively taking Hamilton out on the second lap, the rest of the race was wide open for another driver to win.

Event overview

Caterham and Marussia were busy swapping drivers before the weekend got going. Kamui Kobayashi was forced to sit out the weekend in favour of endurance racer André Lotterer, whilst Max Chilton had almost relinquished his seat to Alexander Rossi but his contractual issues were resolved in time. Regardless, both Lotterer and Chilton managed to drop out in the first session of qualifying.

Half an hour before the action had begun, a downpour dampened the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, but it was situation normal for those at the back. Hamilton and Rosberg were battling up front through each of the three sessions, with Rosberg getting the edge as the final session was completed. Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso were next in line, with the Williams duo further back in the top ten.

The rain held off on race day, allowing the dry grid to clear for the formation lap. Fernando Alonso’s mechanics were late leaving the track, and the Ferrari driver was slow away to rejoin the formation lap itself. He was later given a 5 second stop/go penalty for having personnel on the grid when it should already have been cleared.

When the lights went out, Lewis Hamilton surged forward to snatch the lead from his teammate. On the second lap, Rosberg was battling to try and get the position back and decided not to back out of an overtaking move. The pair collided, with Rosberg sustaining slight front wing damage after his car made contact with the rear tyre of Hamilton. Lewis came off worse, picking up a puncture and having to slow right down to get the flailing tyre back to the pit lane. The Brit did make it back for fresh tyres but had damaged the suspension on his travels.

Rosberg moved into the lead but was causing a train due to his own aerodynamic disadvantage. Daniel Ricciardo quickly moved into second place, overtaking his teammate and Fernando Alonso without fuss. When the first round of pit stops was completed, Ricciardo was in the lead and had the race under control. Rosberg was down in fourth and attempted a wild move on Vettel but fell back, which in turn allowed Valtteri Bottas to get ahead.

Hamilton’s second stop of the afternoon highlighted how much damage had been done to the car. He spent the rest of the race asking his crew if he could come in and retire the car. They weren’t keen, hoping to capitalise on any potential safety car situations that arose. It wasn’t until five laps before the end that they finally gave in and retired the car.

There was some great scrapping for position as the second round of pit stops were completed. Rosberg had been in second, but took a third stop that dropped him down the order. On fresh tyres, he started to make his way through the field once more. Bottas managed to overtake Räikkönen to secure third place, but behind them a four-way battle was starting. Both McLaren drivers, as well as Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso were fighting for position and trying to get past backmarkers as well.

The initial result of the frantic action was that Vettel overtook Button. Alonso had been pushed wide by Magnussen, which allowed Vettel to take another position. The McLaren driver was hit with a post-race time penalty for the move, which drastically altered his finishing position. From sixth across the line, he was out of the top ten and ended up with no points.

Meanwhile, the scrabbling for position continued until the end of the race, with Daniel Ricciardo crossing the line with just three seconds over Rosberg. The Australian took the win, joined on the podium by Nico and Valtteri Bottas. Rosberg found himself booed on the podium, as the fans didn’t take kindly to his overtake-gone-wrong. During post-race debriefs, Hamilton announced that Nico said he did it on purpose, and from there, the relationship between the two drivers went drastically downhill.

Session timetable
DateDaySessionTimeLocal time
22 AugFridayFree Practice 109:00
GMT +01:00
10:00
GMT +02:00
Free Practice 213:00
GMT +01:00
14:00
GMT +02:00
23 AugSaturdayFree Practice 310:00
GMT +01:00
11:00
GMT +02:00
Qualifying13:00
GMT +01:00
14:00
GMT +02:00
24 AugSundayGrand Prix13:00
GMT +01:00
14:00
GMT +02:00

All content in the series Belgium 2014