2018 Belgian Grand Prix, Alonso's flying start, dailycarblog.com
Belgain Grand Prix Fails To Spark Despite Alonso’s Flying Start
Formula One

It was the best of times it was the worst of times most certainly for Fernando Alonso who was an innocent victim in the first corner melee at the start of the Belgian Grand Prix. As Alonso approached the tight turn 1 hairpin bend, with caution, behind him was the Renault of Nico Hulkenberg hurtling forward like a meteor. Hulkenberg obviously doesn’t do caution.

Hulkenberg’s last-minute braking from high speed had inevitable consequences, as all four tires smoked from the exertion of having to stop the Renault in time to prevent a collision. The German driver ran out of time, distance and seemingly spacial awareness before he ran out the latter two. 2018 Belgian Grand Prix, Hulkenberg crashes out dailycarblog.com The Renault plowed into the back of Alonso’s mid-field placed McLaren whereupon he was launched into the air and over the Sauber of Charles Leclerc. Formula One cars are not meant to be flown but Alonso had no choice in the matter. 2018 Belgian Grand Prix, Alonso's flying start, dailycarblog.com As Alonso flew over the Sauber, a wheel impacted the Halo, the much-derided driver protection saving Leclerc from injury, before the McLaren flip-landed sideways smashed and battered, the left side ripped open like a butchered animal. All of this happened within a 2-3second period. 2018 Belgian Grand Prix, Alonso, innocent victim, dailycarblog.com Alonso’s race was over, as was Leclerc’s’ but Hulkneburgs misadventure also pin-balled others into retirement, notably Kimi Raikkonen and eventually Daniel Ricciardo. At the front, the race for the lead was between Ferrari and Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. Ferrari has a power and car advantage, particularly evident at high-speed circuits like Spa Francorchamps. 2018 Belgian Grand Prix, Vettel takes the leaddailycarblog.com On Saturday Hamilton was able to use his innate abilities to drag the Mercedes impressively to pole-position in mixed conditions. Had qualifying ran in dry conditions Hamilton would have been happy with 3rd. 2018 Belgian Grand Prix, lonely Hamilton, dailycarblog.com Though the differences in speed are equated to around 1-3 tenths over a qualifying lap, over a race distance 1-3 tenths per lap can prove to be advantageous. And so it was for Vettel at the Belgian Grand Prix, the Ferrari driver took the lead with the race no more than 2 corners old. 2018 Belgian Grand Prix, Vettel clinches victory, dailycarblog.com Despite the safety car being called out to clear up the first lap/corner incident, Vettel seemed to have a clear advantage in dry conditions and he eventually eked out a small but clear margin over Hamilton. The 2018 Belgian Grand Prix wasn’t a classic race by any means, while the mid-field provides a bulk of the action the battle for the lead was more like watching a stalemate. Eventually, presumably with nothing more to offer Hamilton decided to back off and settle for 2nd. 2018 Belgian Grand Prix, Vettel celebrates podium success, dailycarblog.com Behind the top two, Max Verstappen drove a spirited race into 3rd position, benefitting from Valtteri Bottas’ back of the field start, the latter still finished 4th. Behind Bottas the Force Indias showed some actual force after staring down the barrel of bankruptcy. The Italian Grand Prix is next, another power circuit, another race surely at the mercy of Ferrari. You can be sure they (Ferrari) will be in no mood to show mercy. 2018 Belgian Grand Prix Results, Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
Pos No Driver Laps Time/Retired Pts
1 5 Vettel 44 1:23:34.476 25
2 44 Hamilton 44 +11.061s 18
3 33 Verstappen 44 +31.372s 15
4 77 Bottas 44 +68.605s 12
5 11 Perez 44 +71.023s 10
6 31 Ocon 44 +79.520s 8
7 8 Grosjean 44 +85.953s 6
8 20 Magnussen 44 +87.639s 4
9 10 Gasly 44 +105.892s 2
10 9 Ericsson 43 +1 lap 1
11 55 Sainz 43 +1 lap 0
12 35 Sirotkin 43 +1 lap 0
13 18 Stroll 43 +1 lap 0
14 28 Hartley 43 +1 lap 0
15 2 Vandoorne 43 +1 lap 0
NC 3 Ricciardo 28 DNF 0
NC 7 Räikkönen 8 DNF 0
NC 16 Leclerc 0 DNF 0
NC 14 Alonso 0 DNF 0
NC 27 Hulkenberg 0 DNF 0

Note – Bottas received a 5-second time penalty for causing a collision with Sirotkin

2018 Belgian Grand Prix, Alonso's flying start, dailycarblog.com
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