Sebastian Vettel wins in Belgium after dramatic lap 1 crash

Sebastian Vettel wins in Belgium after dramatic crash

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel beat title rival Lewis Hamilton in the Belgian Grand Prix to cut his lead to 17 points. Vettel passed Hamilton on the first lap just in time before a safety car was deployed following a multi-car crash at the first corner, and dominated thereafter. Fernando Alonso, Nico Hulkenberg and Charles Leclerc were uninjured after the German rammed Alonso’s McLaren and launched it over Leclerc’s Sauber.

Hulkenberg received a 10-place grid penalty at the next race for the incident. Alonso related it to the first-lap crash at this race in 2012, in which Lotus driver Romain Grosjean was given a race ban for causing a similar incident, which also took out the Spaniard. Alonso was catapulted over Sauber’s Charles Leclerc, just missing the Frenchman’s head”Again a very big-time missing braking point,” Alonso said. “That time Romain had a race ban. “It is tough to understand how you can miss (the braking) so much. It is not a couple of metres. You arrive at a speed that it is impossible to negotiate the corner. So, sad for that but happy that we are all fine.” The big difference between the 2012 and 2018 crashes was that Grosjean was a repeat offender in terms of first-lap crashes that year, while Hulkenberg is one of the sport’s most consistent performers. ‘Don’t mind me’: Alonso flies through the air. He was involved in a similarly dramatic crash at the same corner in 2012.

The crash also may have been the first time a grand prix driver was saved from injury by the new halo head-protection device, introduced this year. Television replays showed Alonso’s car bounced off the halo on Leclerc’s car and Alonso said: “I flew over his car and the halo was a good thing to have today. I think for him it helped, looking at the replay. We don’t need to prove it is a good thing to have.” That was not the only incident at the first corner. Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull hit Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari, forcing both into eventual retirement despite initially rejoining. And Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas, starting from the back because of engine penalties, damaged his front wing and needed to pit for a new one. Hulkenberg said: “I misjudged my braking point a little bit and there was no real time to recover it. “We are due to see the stewards at 17:30 (CET). Of course I can understand that he is upset and frustrated. So am I, and he has every right to be, but it is racing and these things unfortunately do happen.” No wonder he is retiring: Water sprays from the car as the Spaniard lands back on the ground

The battle at the front It seemed inevitable that a safety car would be deployed with so many damaged cars and debris on the track but race director Charlie Whiting delayed his call to deploy it for a crucial amount of time. Hamilton and Vettel were well clear of the chaos behind and the German tracked the Mercedes off the start, settled into its slipstream up the long Kemmel straight and swapped into the lead. Vettel briefly had to fight off an attack from Force India’s Esteban Ocon, who started third and tried a look down the inside into the Les Combes chicane.

Sebastian Vettel: “I had a great start. I’m not sure Lewis saw me as he pushed me to the left in the first lap, but after last year I ended up short, and this year it was the other way around. This year was better. “As soon as I was ahead I relaxed. I had a good restart after the safety car, and after that it was a very smooth race. We turned everything around and then controlled the race.”

Lewis Hamilton: “Congrats to Seb. I did everything I could and we ultimately did well, but he drove past me like I was not there. We have to keep pushing to see what we can do. “They have got a few trick things going on in the car. I did what I could – we did what we could – so we have to keep working.” Lewis later tweeted:

Max Verstappen: “It was good. After Turn One I just had to be focused on how to get past those guys. “Compared to a Force India, how difficult it is to get past those guys on the straight is disappointing and we tried to make the best of it. “It’s great to see how many people come to the grand prix. It gave me goosebumps.” On team-mate Daniel Ricciardo leaving: “We always had equal material and still have, and we try to have the best result as a team. Everyone knows Daniel is leaving but we want two cars in the points.”

 

Lewis Hamilton claims thrilling pole in wet Hungary

Lewis Hamilton claims thrilling pole in wet Hungary

Britain’s world championship leader leaves rival in his wake with an awesome qualifying lap in dreadful weather in Hungary new Lewis Hamilton will begin from the entrance of the grid tomorrow. For the second time in six days, the heavens appeared to present Lewis Hamilton a chance to make use of his expertise in the rain to rescue a day that appeared in any other case to be getting away from him.

A wet qualifying session in Hungary saw Hamilton win his 77th pole in a Mercedes that within the dry seemed to be decisively slower than Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari. Simply because the race in Germany final week had allowed Hamilton to say a victory that in any other case would have been Vettel’s, his pole represented a psychological blow to his title opponent. If he can comply with it up with victory within the race at present to increase his lead within the championship, it can go away Vettel the complete four-week summer time break to ruminate upon both…

Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes boss Toto Wolff makes Ferrari admission at German Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton: Mercedes boss Toto Wolff makes Ferrari admission at German Grand Prix

That’s in accordance with Mercedes group principal Toto Wolff. Hamilton will begin 14th on the grid on this afternoon’s race (2.10pm) in Hockenheim after a hydraulics problem ended his qualifying session early yesterday. It’s a third setback in as many races for the four-time world champion, with the Brit and team-mate Valtteri Bottas DNF’ing in Austria earlier than a primary lap coming-together with Kimi Raikkonen took a house win away from him at Silverstone a fortnight in the past. Hamilton battled again to complete second and preserve the hole to race-winner and rival Sebastian Vettel, with the German on pole immediately and eight factors forward within the standings. Vettel is all however sure to construct on his lead on the prime of the championship though the style through which Hamilton climbed by the grid on the British Grand Prix, having dropped to 20th on the third nook of the primary lap, is encouraging. At the very least that’s in accordance with Wolff, who additionally admits that the Silver Arrows – who a minimum of have Bottas beginning in second – have their work lower out to catch as much as Ferrari after latest races. “That was a tricky qualifying session for us, we have been preventing with one hand tied behind our backs after shedding Lewis’ automobile so early within the session,” Wolff declared. “From what we are able to see within the knowledge, we had an hydraulic failure as Lewis used the Flip 1 kerbs in a standard means. “Then, with failed energy steering from the lack of hydraulic stress, he ran wider and that is once we noticed the automobile bouncing dramatically on the TV.  “Clearly, this can be a vulnerability we’ve underneath the excessive hundreds you see when operating the kerbs, and one thing we should get on prime of. “Will probably be a tall order for Lewis to return by the sphere tomorrow however we noticed already in Silverstone how nicely he can battle again.  “For Valtteri, it was a mega remaining lap that put him on provisional pole, particularly within the third sector, the place he was quickest of all people by an enormous margin.  “However Sebastian and Ferrari have been simply that bit stronger than us immediately.  “They have been notably robust within the center sector and it is clear they’ve discovered quite a lot of energy within the final races – and that we have to catch up.  “Will probably be a difficult race however we noticed very shut matched lengthy runs from all people in apply [on Friday].  “The situations can be cooler, so it is going to be attention-grabbing to see if and the way that modifications the aggressive order.” Hamilton has solely received one of many final 5 races and is unlikely to make it two in six in Germany this afternoon, upping the ante in opposition to Vettel because the season approaches its mid-season break.

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas agree new Mercedes offers

Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas agree new Mercedes offers

Mercedes have accomplished their driver line-up for 2019 with Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas having signed new offers with the world champions prior to now 24 hours. Hamilton’s two-year contract extension is value as much as £80 million, making him the best-paid driver on the grid, whereas Bottas’s deal is for one yr with the choice of an extension to 2020. Whereas no monetary particulars have been launched by the staff, the long-awaited deal is known to be value as much as £40 million a yr for the Briton, which incorporates performance-related bonuses, cementing his place because the best-paid British sportsman. Sebastian Vettel, who leads Hamilton by eight factors within the championship earlier than this weekend’s German Grand Prix, is assumed to earn £30 million per yr at Ferrari.