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Seb Second And Kimi Fourth At Belgian Grand Prix 2017

Seb Second And Kimi Fourth At Belgian Grand Prix 2017 Image Credit Ferrari Media

 

  • Still leads the championship after an exciting race

Scuderia Ferrari finished second and fourth in a Belgian GP that was closely contested right down to the wire. Seb Vettel was runner-up, with Kimi Raikkonen fighting back after a penalty to take fourth. Sebastian still leads the Drivers’ classification with a 7 point advantage over Lewis Hamilton.




Seb Second And Kimi Fourth At Belgian Grand Prix 2017 Image Credit Ferrari Media

 

At the start, Seb was tucked in behind Hamilton and poked his nose alongside at Les Combes, while Kimi was tailing Valtteri Bottas. “We can go with him,” said Vettel over the radio, confident in his pace. At this point, the top five were all within five seconds of one another. The tyres were showing no signs of blistering on the SF70Hs and on lap 10, Sebastian was quickest, while further back, the pit stops got underway. Hamilton pitted at the end of lap 12 to switch from Ultrasoft to Soft, with Bottas coming in on lap 13, also going for the harder tyre.

Ferrari covered its rival’s strategy, calling Seb in next time round. He too opted for the Softs and came out behind Kimi, who was fighting with Hamilton before also pitting. But there was some bad news for the Finn in the shape of a 10 second stop-and-go penalty for not having slowed down under waved yellow flags. “A shame as the car was going really well…” Meanwhile, Seb reduced the gap to the leader to around a second. Raikkonen began moving up the order, passing Ocon to go sixth. With 20 laps to go, he slipped by Hulkenberg on the Kemmel climb and he was fifth.

Then came drama on lap 30: Perez lost his right rear wheel after a collision and struggled to stay on track and the Safety Car was called out. Ferrari immediately called in both its drivers to fit the softest tyres. The rivals reacted, but they went for the Softs and at the restart, the gaps were of course much smaller and the race was on with different compounds.

The Safety Car came in at the end of lap 33. Seb kept the pressure on Lewis, but was unable to get past, although Kimi fared better, as he and Ricciardo jumped Bottas who had run wide. On lap 36, the DRS could be used again but the gap was over the requisite one second. On lap 40, Vettel set the fastest race lap, which wasn’t enough to win, but going into Monza it’s a result that exceeds expectations.





 


Seb Second And Kimi Fourth At Belgian Grand Prix 2017 Video Credit: Formula 1

 

Maurizio Arrivabene:
“Going into this race, on paper at least, it didn’t seem like one that would suit us particularly well. Despite that, we proved able to fight for the win right down to the final lap. Seb drove a great race and at the restart after the Safety Car, it really came very close. It’s a shame Kimi had to take a penalty, which cost him almost half a minute, but he managed to recover with a nice passing move at the restart. The SF70H proved to be very competitive and the team, both at the track and in Maranello, worked with concentration and determination. However, we still need to improve. The next GP will be in Monza where we will be meeting up with all our fans.”


Sebastian Vettel:
“If we had ended up ahead in qualifying, then we would have had a good pace to stay in front today! I was surprised how close I could follow through the whole race. So I am a bit angry at myself, because, when the race restarted after the safety car, I was probably too close to Lewis out of Turn 1. I tried to open the gap down Eau Rouge but it’s a difficult compromise. You see the cars coming behind and you know that you need to defend, instead of focusing on attacking. At the same time I know that down the straights we are not as quick as Mercedes. So, I am not entirely happy, but after all it’s been a great weekend for the team. We don’t need to be afraid of any circuit, I believe we have the best car in terms of package. There’s still something missing but the guys in Maranello are very motivated. I think we have done the biggest improvement and a big step forward. Now we turn the page on and move on to Monza: let’s see what happens there.”


Kimi Raikkonen:
“Overall, we have been quite competitive this weekend. In the race the car was good on the Soft compound, while with the Ultrasofts,after some laps,I was struggling with the rear; the first laps were ok but then I was sliding around. When I saw the yellow flags I was on the straight, on the right side and I’m sure I did not go any faster than on any other lap. The penalty was not ideal, but luckily there was a Safety Car and we could recover something. I overtook Bottas and then I tried to get close to Ricciardo, but we did not have enough speed to overtake him as he was surprisingly good in race conditions, with good speed in the right places. I guess the result of today could have been worse, but for sure I was looking for more. We have to take the good things, we learned from this race and we’ll try to do better next weekend.”