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Belgian GP: Points result for Williams Martini

By Andrew Hooper
August 27 2017

After such a difficult leadup to the Belgian GP the Williams Martini team was able to see one of their drivers finish in 8th, courtesy of Felipe Massa. Team-mate Lance Strool would finish just outside the points in 11th. To start from where they did the race was such a positive result for the Williams team. But it would now be down to whether or not the team could turn things around in Italy in just a weeks time.

 Belgian Grand Prix Race Review

The revised grid would see the Williams Martini drivers starting from fifteenth and sixteenth with Lance Stroll ahead of team-mate Felipe Massa. Felipe had received a five place grid penalty. On pole was Hamilton from Vettel and Bottas. Following them was Raikkonen, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Perez, Ocon, and Alonso. Palmer having dropped from tenth to fourteenth due to a gearbox change. Both Lance and Felipe would start on new super soft tyres. The top fourteen cars were all of the ultra soft, with the top ten all on used tyres . The only driver on the soft tyre was Wehrlein. The grid would move away on the parade lap for the forty four lap Belgian GP. They would return and form up and the lights would go off and it would be Hamilton leading from Vettel, Bottas, and Raikkonen. Verstappen was fifth followed by Ricciardo and Alonso. Felipe was running in fourteenth and Lance fifteenth.

Lance would drop to sixteenth when he was passed by Sainz. Alonso would re-pass Hulkenberg using the DRS to be seventh again. Hulkenberg was again able to pass Alonso for seventh while at the front Hamilton was leading Vettel by 0.9 after lap three. Felipe was still behind Palmer while on lap five Wehrlein would stop in his pit with an issue. Felipe was only 0.4 behind Palmer with a similar gap between Lance and Sainz. Ocon would get past Alonso now running eighth and Alonso ninth. Replays would show Ocon and Perez touching just before Eau Rouge after the start. Ocon was luck to get away with it. Felipe would get past Palmer for thirteenth using his DRS. Grosjean would get past Alonso for tenth. Lap seven and Hamilton was leading by 1.7s over Vettel with Bottas 3.3 behind the Ferrari.


Verstappen would have an issue with a loss of power going down into Eau Rouge. He would stop on the straight and retire. This would see Felipe move up to twelfth running close behind Magnussen. Lance was now in fourteenth as Palmer and Ericsson both pitted taking on the soft tyre. Felipe would get past Magnussen for eleventh. Magnussen had pitted seeing the Williams move up. Lance would drop to seventeenth. Lap twelve and more drivers would pit including Ocon, Grosjean, and Alonso. This would see Felipe move up to eighth. Lance would also stop changing to the soft tyre. Lap thirteen and Felipe would also pit taking on the soft tyre dropping to fifteenth.

Hamilton would pit on lap fourteen taking on the soft tyre. He would return in fourth ahead of Ricciardo. The next lap and Bottas would pit while Raikkonen was under investigation for not slowing under yellow flags. Vettel was now leading from Raikkonen with Hamilton now third. The Williams drivers were in fifteenth and seventeenth. Vettel would pit on lap sixteen seeing Raikkonen leading but Hamilton would get past using his DRS. Raikkonen would pit on lap seventeen dropping to fourth, taking on the soft tyre. Hamilton was again leading from Vettel, Bottas, Raikkonen, Ricciardo, Hulkenberg, Ocon, Sainz, Perez and Grosjean in tenth. Raikkonen would receive a ten second penalty while Vettel had closed in onto Hamilton. Hamilton seemed to be slowing allowing Vettel to close. Raikkonen would take his penalty coming back out in eighth.


Ricciardo was now fourth followed by Hulkenberg and Ocon. Hamilton would respond opening the gap to Vettel. For Williams Felipe had moved up to twelfth and Lance fifteenth. Raikkonen would get past Ocon for sixth. Felipe would get past Alonso moving up to eleventh and was under a second behind Magnussen. Lap twenty six and the places had remained fairly static but Raikkonen would get past Hulkenberg for fifth using his DRS. Lance would move up to thirteenth passing Alonso. Lap twenty seven and Perez would pit again dropping to twelfth taking on the super soft tyre. He would also take a five second penalty for gaining an advantage. Alonso woud stop in the pits to retire. Felipe was now running in tenth but was 3.1s behind Magnussen. Team-mate Lance was now thirteenth. Ocon would also pit dropping to eleventh while Felipe had moved up to ninth.

Perez and Ocon were now fighting going down the main straight. Both Force India cars were likely to pass Felipe been on new super soft tyres. But they would continue to fight and the result would be a right rear puncture on Perez's car and damage to the front wing of Ocon's car. The Safety Car would call out due to debris on the track seeing many drivers pit. Felipe would pit taking on new ultra soft tyres with the top three all pitting. Lance had also pitted along with both Force India cars. Both Mercedes cars would take on new soft tyres and the Ferrari's the ultra soft tyres. Lance had also taken on the ultra soft tyre. The order was now Hamilton leading from Vettel, Bottas, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Hulkenberg, Grosjean, Felipe, Magnussen, and Ocon tenth. Lance was now running in twelfth behind Sainz. Grosjean and Magnussen were both on the super soft tyres. The Perez and Ocon incident was under investigation.


The Safety Car would come in on lap thirty five and Vettel would try to pas Hamilton on the main straight but going into the corner it would be Ricciardo who would get past Bottas for third. Raikkonen was also able to get past Bottas. While this 2was happening Felipe had moved up to eighth and Lance was eleventh. Hamilton opened the gap to Vettel and by lap thirty seven it was out to 1.5s. Replays had show the front left of Felipe's car making contact with Grosjean's rear at the restart. Lance would drop away from Sainz in tenth with Felipe 2.1 behind Grosjean. Five laps remaining and both Williams drivers were running alone with little chance to challenge the car in front.

The final alps would count down and it would be Hamilton who would take the chequered flag to take victory. Vettel was second followed by Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Bottas, Hulkenberg, Grosjean, Felipe, Ocon, and Sainz. Lance would finish in eleventh after what was a great turn around fro the Williams team to see one driver secure points coming home eighth and the other getting so close to also finishing in the points. To start from where they did the race was such a positive result for the Williams team. But it would now be down to whether or not the team could turn things around in Italy in just a weeks time..


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