2017 Formula 1 Pirelli Belgian Grand Prix – LIVE
The first race after the summer break is here!
Here you’ll be able to see everything as it happens – LIVE, before, during and after the race along with driver interviews and photos from around the paddock.
Track Parade – Belgian Grand Prix LIVE
Drivers are now making their way out onto the track for the track parade – greeting fans and talking to the media prior to the race.
Lewis Hamilton – “I haven’t thought about anything since yesterday, I’ve been focusing on the race as this is what counts. I’m just focusing on my own thing – I can’t control what happens around me but I’m not concerned with that.”
“The only thing that I can control is focus on my race, I wish people could feel what we feel – it’s phenomenal and every year we turn up and the fans come in their thousands. The fans make it what this is so a big thank you to everyone and I hope they enjoy the race.”
Sebastian Vettel – “I was happy yesterday, we had a good run and it’s good to be on the front row. It’s now time to see what we can do – whoever has the most speed will win.”
“In principal, it’s the key to keep things simple as there’s a lot we can think about and worry about, it’s whoever is quick and whoever is quick will win – if you’re not, you won’t.”
Max Verstappen is out on track greeting the fans, there’s an estimated 80,000 dutch fans here – he’s just about to chat to the media. Let’s not forget that this is also Stoffel Vandoorne’s home Grand Prix.
Max Verstappen – “It’s amazing to see all the fans here and the atmosphere is great. I don’t know if we can win the race but we need to have a clean race and see what we can do to give the most we can for the fans.”
Vettel on Staying with Ferrari – “It’s been a long time that I’ve been talking about this. We had one goal and we haven’t reached that yet. I’ve always looked up to Michael (Schumacher) as he was always wearing red. I don’t want to go into his footsteps because we are all leaving our own mark, our own stamp, our own footsteps and everyone is doing their own thing in this generation. Yes, this weekend I have signed the extension.“
Hamilton on Vettel signing a new contract – “It’s a dream for every driver, including me, so whether or not I will ever be there – it’s not something that will happen in the next 4 or whatever years it is or so…. it’s great for them, they’re a team that are loyal to their drivers. There’s one opportunity that might come up in the future as Kimi won’t be there forever so it’s something that everyone will be looking to….”
Michael Schumacher’s son has taken to the track in his father’s car as a mark of respect – he spoke to the media afterwards.
Mick Schumacher – “It was awesome, we had a bit of understeer but it’s great to be out here. It’s different to compare to Formula 3 cars but to be able to drive a Formula 1 car here is incredible.”
30 Minutes Until The Belgian Grand Prix
The track is now open and drivers will be making their way to the grid.
Drivers are now making their way onto the grid.
Max Verstappen – “I think the whole of Holland is here at the moment (laughs) it’s great to see with brilliant motivation. The laps are almost flat out and that’s what racing drivers like I think. You always try to be clean in turn one and for sure, today – we will try to get through the first corner with no problems.”
The National Anthem has just been performed and drivers are now making their way back to their cars ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix.
Drivers are now in their cars and waiting.
Formation Lap – Belgian Grand Prix
The formation lap is taking place and drivers are making their way around the circuit – high speeds as drivers get their cars ready for the race.
Hamilton suffers a lock-up as he tries to get the temperature up in the tyres. He’s now started to backup the drivers as they make their way down the final sector.
Hamilton has turned his car slightly – facing towards Vettel. Both Ferrari’s are straight.
Hamilton gets the better start and leads Vettel – Bottas and Raikkonen right behind.
Verstappen makes his way past Ricciardo – a great drive.
Alonso makes his way up into 7th place.
Vettel challenging Hamilton already.
Hulkenberg now makes his way past Alonso and is down into 8th place after making places in the start.
Alonso now makes his way back up to 7th place after being challenged by Hulkenberg and the Force India of Ocon.
Hamilton leading Vettel who’s leading Bottas.
Hamilton leading Vettel – their times have stayed the same with each other.
Vettel – “For the moment we can go with him no problem.”
Hulkenberg now makes his way past Alonso – again.
Wehrlein comes into the pits – it looks like he’s retiring from the race.
Lewis Hamilton now sets that fastest lap time – leading the race.
Looking at the start of the race – Ocon suffered a big hit from his team-mate, hitting tyres and even going into the wall but somehow managing to make his way through the grid.
Alonso – “Embarrassing, this is embarrassing.”
He’s now been passed by the Renault and Force India’s – back into 10th place.
Romain Grosjean just makes his way past Alonso. It seems like there’s a problem.
The team radioing to Alonso, telling him about times.
Alonso – “I really don’t care about the gaps.”
Max Verstappen is slowing down – there’s a problem with his car.
The team are telling him to go through different settings and he’s now stopped on-track. He’s shaking his head.
A mechanical DNF – a blow to the Red Bull team.
Verstappen – “Unbelievable, I can’t believe this.”
The fans have flocked to the side of the track where Verstappen has stopped – cheering the driver on.
He’s making his way back to the pits – waving at the fans, another blow for the Red Bull team.
Hamilton leading the race.
Magnussen – “Guys, you need to listen if you want to get both cars into the points”
He’s been radioing the team, he wants to pit quickly and the team agree to bring him in.
Bottas – “Possible blistering on the front left”
Team to Bottas – “Copy that, we’re seeing it on other cars.”
Vettel now sets the fastest lap time.
Alonso now comes into the pits – he’s dropped back to 15th position.
Hamilton now comes into the pits.
Vettel leads the race.
That was a good stop for the Mercedes team – he’s back out onto the track and is in P4 – in front of Ricciardo.
The top 3 drivers at the moment are Vettel, Bottas and Raikkonen – none of which have pitted yet.
Kimi Raikkonen is currently under investigation for now slowing down during the yellow flags.
Ricciardo being told that things are looking good – following his team-mate suffering with an issue.
Bottas now pits – the Ferrari’s are still out on track, not responding to the Mercedes team.
Hamilton has been told “Hammer time” so it looks like things will get interesting.
It’s currently Vettel, Raikkonen and Hamilton.
Serio Perez makes a move however he goes off-track and could be told to give back the place.
Vettel now comes into the pits – he’s on the yellow tyre which could mean that they believe they will be able to go to the end of the race on that tyre whereas Mercedes will more than likely have to stop again.
Hamilton now makes his way past Raikkonen and is leading the race again.
Vettel closing the gap to his team-mate and takes 2nd position as Raikkonen comes into the pits.
Sergio Perez is now under investigation for leaving the track and gaining an advantage after the move which we mentioned above.
It’s full speed ahead of Vettel who’s chasing down Hamilton.
Bottas is in P3 with Raikkonen in P4.
Raikkonen has been given a 10 second penalty for not slowing down under the flags – it seems like a harsh penalty.
Team talking to Alonso to which Alonso replies – “No more radio… stay off the radio for the race”
Not a happy driver and it’s disappointing to see that a talented driver like that not being able to show what he can do.
Team telling Raikkonen about the penalty.
Raikkonen – “WHAT DO YOU MEAN?”
Raikkonen is happy with his car so it could be an interesting race.
Perez has also been given a penalty which will be served when he comes into the pit for a tyre change.
Hamilton leading the race, Vettel right behind in P2 and Bottas in P3.
Alonso radioing the team – he’s not happy.
Team to Hamilton – “Extend your track position”
Hamilton – “I’m trying to”
Mercedes are in effect telling Hamilton that he needs to be further ahead to be in the clear – at the moment Ferrari look like they’re playing a waiting game, putting the pressure on their rivals.
Vettel in P2.
Bottas in P3.
Hamilton leading the race however Vettel looks like he has started to close the gap. Raikkonen on the other hand has really closed the gap to Hulkenberg – he’s gaining and pushing the car.
Raikkonen is now right behind Hulkenberg, he’s made his way past and is now up into P5 with Ricciardo up ahead.
Hamilton and Vettel are still the front 2 drivers – the gap between them is close.
After asking if any rain is forecast, Alonso comes into the pits – he has retired from the race.
Alonso, Wehrlein and Verstappen are the 3 drivers out of the race.
Verstappen and Alonso are now in the interview pen talking to the media, here is what Alonso had to say after his retirement.
Alonso – “There was a problem with the car. We lost the power and we will see what we can do next week. We will see what happens in the next few weeks, I am happy with the team and I am happy to keep working with them but we need to see what we can do and what changes we can do.”
Sergio Perez suffers with a puncture after coming together with his team-mate.
The safety car has now been deployed.
Raikkonen comes into the pits.
Hamilton and Vettel are right around the other side of the lap – will they be able to take advantage of the pits?
Ocon comes into the pits.
Hamilton and Vettel both make their way into the pits.
Perez comes into the pits – he’s back out onto the track. .
Hamilton comes out on the track first with Vettel in P2.
The incident between Perez and Ocon – as we can see, Perez knows his team-mate is there however he has not given him any space. Perez is really pushing the limits with his team-mate and it’s a shame as he’s not giving his team-mate respect which is disappointing to see.
Hamilton – “Why is the safety car out? This is ridiculous.”
Team to Hamilton – “It’s for all the debris on the track.”
Hamilton – “Guys, there’s no debris on the track……”
Is Hamilton worried about his tyres.
Hamilton is complaining about the safety car, saying that it’s not going fast enough and that the gap between him and Vettel is closing.
There is no DRS for 2 laps after the safety car.
Hamilton – “Why is this safety car going so slow? I can’t keep the temperatures up in my tyres.”
Team to Hamilton – “Keep going and do what you can do.”
Safety car is coming in on this lap.
Mercedes could be the quicker car however Vettel is on the quicker tyre… what will happen between the two?
The incident between Ocon and Perez will be investigated.
Hamilton keeps his position – Vettel tried to challenge but just couldn’t get past.
Raikkonen makes his way past Bottas and Raikkonen makes his way past both.
Lewis HAmilton sets the fastest lap time, he’s comfortable in the lead again.
No DRS yet – Vettel right behind.
The battle is on between the two.
The gap between Hamilton and Vettel has widened slightly.
It’s Hamilton, Vettel and Raikkonen as the top 3 drivers at the moment.
Vettel has now set the fastest lap time.
Hamilton talking to the team about his temperatures.
Ferrari telling Vettel to push.
Ricciardo putting in some great times, he’s got Raikkonen and Bottas behind.
Vettel is now putting the pressure on Hamilton – Hamilton is radioing through to his team.
5 laps remaining of the Belgian Grand Prix.
Hamilton – “What sector is he fastest (Vettel) as he’s catching me at the end of the lap”
4 laps now remaining for the Belgian Grand Prix.
Hamilton still leading the race with Vettel right behind. Hamilton seems like he’s managing the tyres and the situation.
Team to Hamilton – “4 laps remaining, temps have stabilised so do what you’re doing.”
Hamilton – “Leave it to me Bono”
Vettel has now set the fastest lap of the race – which is the new track lap record 1:46.577
Perez is being told to box and retire from the race.
2 laps now remaining for the Belgian Grand Prix.
Hamilton leading the race.
Ricciardo is doing a great job – he’s in P3 and has managed to widen the gap to Raikkonen who is in P4.
It’s the final lap of the Belgian Grand Prix.
Hamilton is leading the race and things look comfortable for him at the moment as he makes his way round the circuit to cheers from the crowd.
In terms of points this is how things will look between the two drivers going into the next race at Monza.
Hamilton – 213 points
Vettel – 220 points
Lewis Hamilton WINS the Belgian Grand Prix – there’s just 7 points between the two title contenders now!
This is what we want to see.
It’s Hamilton, Vettel and Ricciardo – they’re the top 3 drivers who will be on the podium and as mentioned, a great result for the Red Bull team considering their year so far.
Podium Interviews – Belgian Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton – “Thank you for all the support, it’s been a strong weekend for me and the team and seeing all the British flags has been amazing. Sebastian put on a great fight.”
Sebastian Vettel – “Happy Birthday to you Mark (Webber) – it was good fun today because as you said I was waiting for Lewis to make a mistake but he didn’t. The restart, I was fearing that I wasn’t close enough but then I got too close and had to back away.”
“We did a lot better here and I am now looking forward to next week which is our home race.”
Daniel Ricciardo – “Max dropped out early so thank you to all the dutch fans for hanging around for the race and then Kimi had the penalty. I knew we had been given an opportunity and I tried to capitalise on that.”
Lewis Hamilton – “I like this Mexican wave that they’re doing (with Daniel Ricciardo) – I came here in 1996 with my dad and it was a dream for us so to everyone, this is a dream come true and this is for everyone to never give up.”
Brief Driver Reactions – Belgian Grand Prix
Raikkonen on his penalty – “I don’t think there was anything dangerous, the car was behind the barrier and it’s one of those things where it’s very unnecessary to give penalties here and there.”
Perez – “The first incident was my fault because it was my mistake and I didn’t have the right mode for my start. The second incident, there was no room for 2 cars and it was not good because it ruined our race.”
Ocon – “The first incident starting at the beginning, I accept that – even if saw me into the mirror and squeezed me into the wall but the second one was too much. He pushed me to the wall, he was not the professional driver today and he risked my life, his life and the team points.”
Verstappen – “I’m frustrated, disappointed and really not happy. For a top team – this cannot happen and if it’s happening again it’s something that shouldn’t be happening. Especially for the fans, they buy really expensive tickets to come here and after 8 laps – this happens and you retire.”
Ricciardo – “It worked well. The race was a little bit static and it gave me the chance to have a crack and have a crack I did! I’m happy with that. It’s tough, we still don’t really know – some races we look better, some we don’t. I had good pace over Kimi and maybe even Valtteri – for Seb and Lewis no way.”
Alonso – “We had a problem and I think we will see what will happen over the next few weeks. We have had tough seasons the past 3 years and I am happy to keep working with them but we will have to see what will happen.”
There’s lots more to come soon!
Images – Kym Illman F1