Infiniti Red Bull Racing and Renault scored their third victory of the season in today’s Belgian Grand Prix.
Daniel Ricciardo finished ahead of Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit, the hardest track of the year for Power Units. The win gives Infiniti Red Bull Racing consecutive wins following Ricciardo’s victory in Hungary, and back to back wins at Spa in both the V8 and V6 turbo eras. Ricciardo also becomes the third driver to win at Spa with a Renault turbo engine, joining Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.
Last year’s race winner Sebastian Vettel used his Spa racecraft to finish fifth, overtaking three cars in the last two laps. Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat finished in tenth overall, putting three Renault-powered cars into the top ten.
Key race points:
Daniel Ricciardo won the Belgian Grand Prix by 3secs over Nico Rosberg. Ricciardo started from fifth on the grid and moved ahead of Alonso for third on lap four. He then forged ahead of Vettel on lap seven and took the lead on lap eight when Rosberg pitted. The Australian was then able to control the race from the front, easing out a 20sec gap at points over the chasing pack. Rosberg closed the gap at the end using newer tyres, but Ricciardo had enough of an advantage to guide the Renault-powered RB10 to its third win of the year and the 50th win for the Red Bull-Renault partnership.
Sebastian Vettel had a strong start and challenged for the lead on the first lap before settling into third. When he was taken by Ricciardo he defended hard against Fernando Alonso before losing out to Raikkonen in the pit stops. Placed eighth three laps from the end he however muscled past Alonso, Button and then Magnussen to claim fifth at the flag fall.
Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat secured his fifth points finish of the year with tenth overall. The Russian had a busy race fighting with the Force Indias and finished just one second from Perez in ninth and four seconds from Alonso in eighth. Jean-Eric Vergne brought the car home a solid 12th.
Lotus F1 Team had a double retirement; Pastor Maldonado stopped on lap one with an exhaust failure while Romain Grosjean pulled up 11 laps from the end with a loss of downforce.
André Lotterer’s F1 debut came to a premature end on the second lap. His Caterham lost drive, possibly as a result of a hard knock over a kerb at Blanchimont. Marcus Ericsson had one of his strongest races to date, battling with Chilton for the entire distance. It was only Chilton’s fresher tyres at the end that allowed the Brit ahead.
Rémi Taffin, Head of Track Operations:
We came into the weekend with cautious expectations, knowing it would take some luck, but we took full advantage of the conditions here today. A victory at an engine circuit where we were expected to struggle shows the never give up, never surrender mentality we have at Renault Sport F1 and how the knocks just make us work harder and smarter. In the past few months we have been working even closer with Red Bull and today was an example of optimizing a chassis and engine package. This clear direction and streamlining is playing dividends.
Reliability is obviously now the key, and enhancing the package where we can. F1 is hard work, but also luck, and we had this today. We’ll now carry forward this renewed confidence to Monza.