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Belgian Grand Prix: Who was your Driver of the Day?
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Posted By: Editor   |  26 Aug 2014   |  8:01 am GMT  |  216 comments

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?

Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo

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.

Valterri Bottas

Valtteri Bottas

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.

Kimi Raikkonen

Kimi 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.

Daniil Kvyat

Daniil Kvyat

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.


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1

Fully Agree with KN above Ricciardo, Raikkonen and Bottas. Both Red Bull and the Williams are faster than the Ferrari so Kimi did well.

2

Ricciardo. Then Kimi and Valtteri.

3

Ricciardo is proving to be a bit special.

4

Nico made the super move, why he is not in the list?

Dan win and gain on teammate just 15 points, but Nico gain 18 points, he should be in the list.

everyone talking about his drive, he should be driver of the day.

5

Rosberg absolutely 100% after coming back from Hamiltons clear attempt to drive him off the track causing damage to his wing to the tune of having to come in for a lengthy pitstop to change the nose cone and then come back to recover to 2nd absolutely amazing! hail Rosberg 🙂

6

Lotterer…. has not really been in this race, right? But given his lack of experience his performance on Fri/Sat has been absolutely impressive. Especially in qualifying in thick wet conditions.

7

Poor vettel that he will miss weber

8

Dan, taking full advantage when Merc (read: Rosberg) screws up.

9

Rosberg – it was a “precision” drive!

10

Raikkonen, for his perseverance amidst all the talk of being destroyed by Alonso.

11

did you forget sleepy engineers and penalty? ALO would be in front of RAI.

12

Not really Kimi ended up 30+ sec ahead. Alonso only incurred a 5’sec penalty. It put him into traffic but he was passed by Bottas even before he pitted- so you cannot be sure where he would have ended especially as Kimi has excelled at this track more than any other driver

13

@Fox

The car suits Alonso much more cos he likes understeer. F14T has inherent understeer, as they built it for Alonso who has been driving for them for 4 years previos. Kimi detests understeer and prefers a pointy front end. Allison is now finding ways to iron this out for Kimi. Kimi is doing a remarkable job to be even close in a car that totally doesn’t suit his driving style. Hope this helps you

14

Dan the man!

Not only did he win the race, taking advantage of the Merc misfortune, but he overtook two multiple world champions in the process. One of which happens to be his team mate. His speed and consistency in the last stint, while under pressure from a fast closing Merc, is the stuff of champions, in my opinion.

Nico may have extended his championship lead but cutting down the tyre of your team mate, in an act of retribution at worst or stupidity at best, will earn you scant applause.

15

Aussie Dan continues to impress as DOTD. I’ve been a big fan of Motorsport and in particular F1 since age of 16. Now 64 and still can’t get enough of the drama that WDC gives me whenever there’s a tough battle raging for the coveted title. Love him or hate him without Nico’s desperate battle against the much more fancied and demonstrably quicker LH this years title fight would be a snooze fest. I think Nico rolled the dice and figured he had to try and make his move aggressively “to make a point” and he was prepared to wear the consequences. Let’s face it he has been racing for a long long time and must have figured it could end up badly for either one of them or both. Pressure makes people do unpredictable things. We, as fascinated onlookers are kept enthralled by the ongoing drama. I can’t wait for the next race. By the way I think Wolff and Lauda’s comments show they are not coping with all the stress and drama which adds another delicious element to all the unfolding drama. To think it was going to be a boring season with the Mercs having a cakewalk and the cars not making any noise. Good old F1, just when you think you know what is going to happen, the sheer unpredictability of motor racing surprises everyone.

16

i may be quite wrong here but i did see a lap chart that showed ricciardo setting [in total] some 11 fastest laps and this was in a car that is seriously deficient by comparison to the mercedes! if this is correct ricciardo is getting a lot out of that car and of course himself. for me, that is a stellar performance especially when measured up against vettel. post race comments from horner indicated that they were ‘sure’ vettel had a problem with his car. they keep searching for clues……..

17

I was there all weekend and Dan was impressively consistent, Vettel on the other hand struggled with track limits (as usual) and didn’t look as well composed. I don’t believe there was an issue with Vettel’s car, he was pretty competitve towards the end of the race from what I could see…

I believe Vettel’s struggles are a hangover from the past 4 years. The previous 4 1/2 incarnations of the Red Bull gave him grip no matter where his foot was on the accelerator or the brakes, and he just drove to that. Watch any qualifying lap from him over those 4 years and he was always super agressive over the kerbs and into corners, the blown diffuser just stabilised everyting for him. This year he just doesn’t have enough finesse with his feet, the extra torque and lower levels of grip/downforce are highlighting this compared to his less experienced team mate.

18

@ chrisS…far be it for me to dispute your observations when all i ever see is the TV broadcast. and i envy you in being able to attend. the fact is though that where the attendance at races gives you an on the spot experience, the TV broadcast gives you a more holistic view due to the ability to visually track cars over a greater distance around the track. it also allows you qualify drivers and their actions relative to other drivers at close hand.

in reading your post it more or less confirms my suspicions, and those of many others, that vettel’s success/failure is derived from the car. as a 4 x wdc holder i would/did expect him to be at least as good as ricciardo due to the fact that it was ‘his’ team, tailored to meet his requirements. it was noted by marko many years ago when this element was raised by webber he was told in no uncertain terms that if he wanted to compete he had to change his driving style to that of vettel!!!

we are now almost two thirds way through the season and he still seems to be unable to deliver the goods. yes, he has had a lot of car related problems but last weeks race was decided on merit between the drivers.

my sarcastic comment was based on horner’s feeble attempt to lessen this type of analysis. he is unwilling to acknowledge vettel’s shortcomings although he did say many races ago that vettel was having problems in adapting to the new dynamics. surely, if vettel was to be ranked as one of the greats, as has been promulgated endlessly, he should be outperforming ricciardo time and time again. i guess that only time will tell.

19

Got to be Dan. Special mention to the caterham team for the nose job on the green cars.

20

What an impressive driver Daniel is. He does not let any chance go by his hand and over shadowed his partner 4 X WDC this season.

Interesting stats 2014 season: Nico – 4 wins, Lewis – 5 wins and Daniel – 3 wins (with inferior car compared to Merc), other drivers – 0.

21

Definitely Dan! If RBR could only get their cars to match Mercedes for pure outright performance this years championship would be phenomenal and I can’t help but think Rosberg although a great driver would struggle to stay with Dan and Lewis. Bottas another solid performance but I think Williams race strategies are letting them down.

22

Nico all the way! Contreversy? Yes. Intrigue? Yes. Big points gain despite front wing damage and tire issues? You bet! Dent in Hamilton’s psyche? Sure looks that way.

23

Don’t understand the argument for Kimi. He still would have finished behind ALO without Fernando’s penalty.

24

I think you forgot Fernando got a 5’sec penalty and ended up 30+ sec behind- even though he start 3 places ahead. Understand he got traffic after his penalty but most people have ridiculed Kimi when hes 10 times worse…so sorry Alonso drive was nothing special

25

This.

I think everyone forgot about the penalty Alonso received through no fault of his own.

26
Thread the Needle

Great to see Ricciardo win, there’s no drama with him he just gets on with it

27

Ricciardo.

Special mention to Seb, of whom I have not been a fan – a dismal season for a guy who won the last 4 WDCs, he has been, publicly anyway, a model citizen, and an overall gracious teammate.

It turns out that RBR really can pick’em.

28

Ricciardo

After his dismal start this season, I would have picked Kimi. I’ll wait to see if Spa was Kimi’s revival or just a flash in the pan. Bring on Monza.

29

Then you obviously missed Hungary after the team qualif/up put him at 16& he ended up6th.

Or the fact he was 3rd at Monaco before Chilton took out his tyre… The rest and even some of these races hes missed half his practise sessions due to tech failures..so not really his doing..

30

I really want to say Kimi but we all Ricciardo deserves it. I think Rosberg should be an option as well – instead of Bottas who I think should have won the race after the collision opened up an opportunity. I really hope there will be a double Ferrari podium in Monza!

31

Hmmm, Ricciardo again, or Kimi? Surely beating Alonso is harder than beating Vettel?

32

In 2014, beating Mercedes three times is more impressive than beating Alonso once. (and only after Alonso was given a five second penalty)

33

maybe, but it’s driver of the day not the season and I voted for Kimi as a “most improved” driver type award. Daniel drove Brilliantly and deserves to win the contest. I’m just pleased to see the old Kimster back.

34

Kimi. He had a much improved qualifying session and a very good race. Ricciardo a close 2nd. He keeps stomping all over his 4 time champion teammate. He’d be even closer to the leaders if he wasn’t stripped of his 2nd place at home.

35

Ricciardo or Nico, both destroyed their team mates!

Ok, in a more serious note, I think Daniel is not only the driver of this weekend, but he is the great star of this season.

If theres still someone in doubts about how he have being destroing Vettel this year, Daniel didn’t left no stone unturned this weekend.

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