Belgian GP - Raikkonen just off the podium, Fernando eighth

Belgian GP – Raikkonen just off the podium, Fernando eighth

Spa-Francorchamps, 24 August –Kimi Raikkonen came very close to a podium finish in the Belgian Grand Prix at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps track. Having started eighth, the Finn did an excellent job of making the most of every opportunity that came his way in an action-packed race, in which he spent much of the time in third place. Fernando Alonso on the other hand, had a decidedly difficult time of it, eventually finishing eighth.

A problem on Alonso’s F14 T before the start meant the mechanics had to stay on the grid over the time allowed. He managed to get away before the last car passed him and so was able to take up his correct fourth place on the grid. However, because of the rule infringement, the Spaniard was given a 5 seconds stop-go penalty, which he took at the first pit stop.

The opening laps were action packed, as the two Mercedes collided, so that Hamilton had to pit with a puncture and Rosberg struggled with front wing damage. That meant it was all very close at the front, with both Scuderia Ferrari drivers in the mix, as the top six were all within 3 seconds of one another.

Raikkonen was always a front runner, even getting as high as second for a while, spending much of the race in third. However, in the closing stages, Kimi had to give best to the Williams of Valtteri Bottas and settle for fourth, which is nevertheless his best result of the season so far. Alonso paid a heavy price for that 5 second penalty, finding himself locked in battle with Kevin Magnussen in the McLaren who was still in front of Fernando after the second pit stop. That cost the Spaniard a lot of time and in the closing stages he was involved in a four way fight, but had to also give best to Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) and Jenson Button (McLaren) thus finishing eighth. Daniel Ricciardo took the third win of his career. The next round is at Monza in a fortnight’s time.

Race

Pos.

Time

Gap

Laps

FL

L

ALONSO

8th (7th)

1:25:37.718

+ 61.162

44

1.53.879

29

Pit-stop

1st stop

Lap 12

New Soft

2nd stop

Lap 25

New Medium

RAIKKONEN

4th

1:25:13.371

+ 36.815

44

1.54.090

39

Pit-stop

1st stop

Lap 8

New Soft

2nd stop

Lap 21

New Medium

Weather: air 17/19 °C, track 24/32 °C. Sunny

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