It’s time to let the dust settle on the Hamilton/Rosberg feud for a while and consider who stood out in the Belgian Grand Prix.
The race was dominated by Daniel Ricciardo once the fallout from the Hamilton and Rosberg collision worked through and then the closing laps were lit up by a fantastic battle for fifth down to eighth.
Ricciardo won his second successive race, his third in total, while Valtteri Bottas scored his fourth podium of the season with another mature drive.
Kimi Raikkonen took his best finish of the year in fourth, Jenson Button brought home some solid points for McLaren, while Daniil Kvyat scored his fifth points finish of the season.
So who was your Driver of the Day at Spa Francorchamps?
Ricciardo took his second successive win and third of the season. Starting fifth, Ricciardo benefitted from Hamilton dropping down the field with a puncture and then put a good move on Alonso at Les Combes. Capitalised on a mistake from Vettel at Pouhon to snatch another place and then closed to within a second of leader Rosberg. Took the lead when Rosberg stopped and retained it when he made his own stop. Built up a lead over Raikkonen and looked comfortable when he rejoined on lap 27 on the mediums he would race to the flag. Had enough of an advantage in the closing stages so that a chasing Rosberg couldn’t catch him. Victory strengthened his grip on third place in the drivers’ standings.
Bottas took his fourth podium in the last five races following another impressive drive that highlighted his potential as a future champion. Started sixth and gained a place when Hamilton suffered a puncture. Rose another place during the stops and then passed Alonso for third using DRS on the Kemmel Straight. Dropped back after his stop, but capitalised on Rosberg’s error in an attempt to pass Vettel to move up to fourth. Briefly led the race, before pitting again. Passed Vettel for fourth place and then climbed into a podium position with a late move on fellow Finn Raikkonen.
Despite being force to wear team gear in Spa that was two sizes too large for him (above!), Raikkonen produced his best drive of the season, narrowly missing out on a podium place with fourth. Passed Kevin Magnussen at the start and then gained another place as a result of Hamilton’s puncture. Was the first of the frontrunners to pit and it proved to be a good decision as he rose up to second behind race leader Ricciardo. Pitted on lap 21 for the medium tyre which he would take to the end of the race. As his tyres began to struggle, he lost a place to Rosberg and then late on to Bottas before crossing the line fourth.
Scored his fifth points finish of the season to move to just three points behind Toro Rosso team-mate Jean-Eric Vergne in the drivers’ standings. Lost a place at the start, but showed good pace in the middle part of the race to rise up into the top 10. Absorbed pressure from Nico Hulkenberg late in the race to hold onto 10th, which became ninth following Magnussen’s penalty.