Perth born F1 driver Daniel Ricciardo managed another podium finish, his sixth of the season, at the Belgian Grand Prix, but he seemingly has no answer for the dominance Scudari Ferrari and Mercedes have demonstrated all season.
Lewis Hamilton won the race, cutting into the lead of Valtteri Bottas of Ferrari. It was the 200th consecutive start for Hamilton and the 68th time he has started at the front of the grid. He won by a narrow margin of around two seconds.
Ricciardo started sixth on the grid and passed only one car in the entire 44 laps of the race. Combined with a penalty for Kimi Raikkonen and yet another engine failure for Ricciardo’s Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen, Ricciardo mainly had to keep the rubber side down and point the car between the barriers.
Sebastian Vettel summed up his race thusly, “I was waiting for Lewis to make a mistake and he didn’t,” Vettel said.
Hamilton is not the sort that has gotten to the position he enjoys in F1 by making a lot of mistakes. In the last 10 laps of the race, Vettel almost got past Hamilton on a restart behind the safety car. Vettel pulled alongside Hamilton on a long straight section of the track, but Hamilton closed the door when they got to the corner of the Spa track.
Hamilton sliced Vettel’s overall lead to seven points after 12 races of the season, so this year promises to be far more compelling than last year, where the season was mostly a coronation for Mercedes.
Behind Hamilton, Vettel and Ricciardo, all was not quite right for Force India. Teammates Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon staged a bumper cars show with each other, touching wheels in the early going before flat out ploughing into one another on lap 30.
Verstappen has finished only half of the 12 races this season, as the Renault engine that powers him and Ricciardo’s cars failed him yet again.