Belgian Grand Prix highlights: Formula One live blog

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    Formula One is back and after its monthlong vacation, the championship itches to resume at the iconic Belgian Grand Prix. Join The Roar for a live blog of the race from 10pm AEST.

    Situated in the lush Ardennes Forest, Spa-Francorchamps is the longest circuit on the Formula One calendar, yielding 7km of undulating race-track.

    Corners such as the fearsome Eau Rouge, the rapid Raidillon and the spectacular Blanchimont, all comprise what is surmised as one of the best circuits in the world.

    With its vast layout, only 44-laps total the grand prix distance – with Safety Car intervention a strong probability, due to early chaos in the race.

    Just 14-points separate title protagonists Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton, with 33-points the gap between the leading Ferrari and Valtteri Bottas in third.

    As Hamilton achieves his 200th grand prix this weekend, his pole position for the Belgian Grand Prix sees him equal the all-time record for poles of 68, set by a driver who enjoyed many milestones at Spa himself in Michael Schumacher.

    Ferrari were able to string together an effort to see Vettel join Hamilton on the front-row, with the German utilising the slipstream from his teammate Kimi Räikkönen.

    Valtteri Bottas, as a result heads the second row of the grid, with his compatriot in Räikkönen as fourth on the grid.

    The Scuderia is said to have the superior race pace, from what was seen during their long-runs in the practice sessions – so the onus will come down to the start and who can survive the run to La Source.

    A large contingent of Dutch supporters have once again made the pilgrimage across the border, to watch their hero in Max Verstappen – who was best of the Red Bulls as fifth fastest.

    Renault have stunned too in qualifying, with both Nico Hulkenberg and Jolyon Palmer occupying positions in the top ten.

    Stoffel Vandoorne will mark his first home event from the rear of the grid, copping a 65-place grid penalty for multiple changes to his Honda power-unit.

    Both Hamilton and Vettel share two wins apiece at Spa, so who will be able to snare their third at the legendary circuit during the race?

    Can the driver regarded as the ‘King of Spa’ in Räikkönen break his drought of wins with a special fifth victory?

    Join The Roar for a live blog of the Belgian Grand Prix from 10pm AEST. as we get set to get racing underway again.

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    The Crowd Says (76)

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    • Roar Guru

      12:02am
      Jawad Yaqub said | 12:02am | ! Report

      Thanks very much for tuning into The Roar’s live blog coverage of the Belgian Grand Prix and we will return for the Italian Grand Prix next week.

      Ciao!

    • Roar Guru

      12:01am
      Jawad Yaqub said | 12:01am | ! Report

      Well, what a race! As the 2017 championship gets back underway.

      Many things to take away from this race, including the incident between the two Force India drivers. What recriminations await for Perez and Ocon?

      Just 7-points in it then between Vettel and Hamilton, going into the next race in just a week’s time at the home of Ferrari in Monza.

    • Roar Guru

      11:58pm
      Jawad Yaqub said | 11:58pm | ! Report

      ——– DRIVER’S ——–

      220 – Sebastian Vettel
      213 – Lewis Hamilton
      179 – Valtteri Bottas
      132 – Daniel Ricciardo
      128 – Kimi Räikkönen
      67 — Max Verstappen
      56 — Sergio Perez
      47 — Esteban Ocon
      36 — Carlos Sainz
      34 — Nico Hulkenberg
      27 — Felipe Massa
      24 — Romain Grosjean
      18 — Lance Stroll
      11 — Kevin Magnussen
      10 — Fernando Alonso
      5 — Pascal Wehrlein
      4 — Daniil Kvyat
      1 — Stoffel Vandoorne
      0 — Jolyon Palmer
      0 — Marcus Ericsson
      0 — Antonio Giovinazzi
      0 — Jenson Button

    • Roar Guru

      11:58pm
      Jawad Yaqub said | 11:58pm | ! Report

      —– CONSTRUCTOR’S —–

      392 – Mercedes AMG
      348 – Scuderia Ferrari
      199 – Red Bull Racing
      103 – Force India Mercedes
      45 — Williams Mercedes
      40 — Scuderia Toro Rosso
      35 — Haas Ferrari
      34 — Renault Sport
      11 — McLaren Honda
      2 — Sauber Ferrari

    • Roar Guru

      11:57pm
      Jawad Yaqub said | 11:57pm | ! Report

      RACE REPORT

      Lewis Hamilton celebrates his 200th grand prix with a victory at the Belgian Grand Prix, edging out a challenge from his championship rival Sebastian Vettel.

      The Briton was able to convert a record 68th pole position to a fifth win of 2017, in a race which saw late chaos when the two Force India teammates came to blows at Eau Rouge.

      Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon clashed at the famous corner, with the Mexican littering debris all over the circuit – causing the intervention of the Safety Car and triggering a flurry of late pit-stops, bringing Vettel back in the hunt.

      Mercedes AMG made the brave decision to utilise the soft tyres in the final stint on both their cars, having no more of the ultrasoft compound on hand. In the end, the decision proved to be fruitful for Hamilton, with the tyres holding off the challenge from Vettel on the ultrasofts.

      The restart saw Vettel all over Hamilton, though nothing was to materialise from it. Instead, Daniel Ricciardo capitalised with a lunge on Valtteri Bottas into Les Combes – earning the Red Bull driver a well-deserved podium.

      There were plenty of casualties too, with Max Verstappen out of the race early with yet another mechanical failure and Fernando Alonso’s miserable weekend compounding in another retirement in the maligned McLaren-Honda

      Kimi Räikkönen’s race was ruined by a 10-second stop/go penalty, which he received for failing to slow down under the yellow flags on the Kemmel Straight – which were on hand following Verstappen’s retirement.

      The Finn was able to recover to fourth however, diving down the inside of Bottas at Les Combes at the same time as Ricciardo.

      Nico Hulkenberg finished as the best of the mid-field for Renault, having converted his grid place of seventh, to a race finish of sixth. The same fortunes were not felt by his teammate however, with Jolyon Palmer’s race spoiled by a pre-race gearbox penalty.

      Staying out of trouble, earned Romain Grosjean and Felipe Massa top ten berths with seventh and eighth, whilst an angry Ocon recovered to ninth – having slammed Perez as a “f****** idiot,” over the team radio.

      Claiming the final point in tenth was Carlos Sainz, who too had a quiet race and stayed out of trouble.

      7-points separate the top two drivers now in the championship, with the next race to be held in seven days’ time at Monza.

    • Roar Guru

      11:43pm
      Jawad Yaqub said | 11:43pm | ! Report

      STANDBY FOR UPDATED STANDINGS AND RACE REPORT

    • Roar Guru

      11:43pm
      Jawad Yaqub said | 11:43pm | ! Report

      PODIUM INTERVIEWS – Hosted by Mark Webber

      HAMILTON – “Its been a strong weekend for myself and the team.”

      VETTEL – “It was good fun and really intense.” “Restart… That’s why I am not entirely happy.” “We had very good pace.”

      RICCIARDO – “Max dropped out early, Kimi had a penalty and we got into fourth.” “We had a good opportunity and we capitalised.”

    • Roar Guru

      11:31pm
      Jawad Yaqub said | 11:31pm | ! Report

      RESULTS FROM THE 44-LAP BELGIAN GRAND PRIX

      1 L. Hamilton
      2 S. Vettel
      3 D. Ricciardo
      4 K. Räikkönen
      5 V. Bottas
      6 N. Hulkenberg
      7 R. Grosjean
      8 F. Massa
      9 E. Ocon
      10 C. Sainz
      11 L. Stroll
      12 D. Kvyat
      13 J. Palmer
      14 S. Vandoorne
      15 K. Magnussen
      16 M. Ericsson
      RET S. Perez
      RET F. Alonso
      RET M. Verstappen
      RET P. Wehrlein

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