The Phuket News
The Phuket News Premier League predictions The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News Outrigger Koh Samui Beach Resort
The Phuket News World Sport
The Phuket News Phuket | Thailand | World  | Surf Report  | Predictions XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

Hamilton halves title gap but Ferrari the real winner in Spa

FORMULA ONE: Lewis Hamilton may have won the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday (Aug 27) as predicted, but Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel made him work for victory in his 200th race start.

transport, technology,

Michael Lamonato

Tuesday 29 August 2017, 04:35PM

Winner Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium after the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Spa. Photo: Loic Venance / AFP
Winner Lewis Hamilton celebrates on the podium after the Belgian Formula One Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Spa. Photo: Loic Venance / AFP

Formula One’s 2017 season of twists and turns resumed at the historic Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, which served up a predictably unpredictable race that promised the last eight rounds of the year would go down to the wire.

Mercedes was expected to dominate the weekend after blitzing the British Grand Prix at the similarly profiled Silverstone Circuit, and there was little sign of trouble for the Silver Arrows after qualifying.

Hamilton stole the show on Saturday (Aug 26), and not just because Vettel was unable to match him – the Briton took his 68th career pole position, equalling the all-time Formula One record set by Michael Schumacher.

The record-matching performance was poignant in its timing, coming 25 years since seven-time champion Schumacher made his Formula One debut, as chance would have it at the very same Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

But the emotional pause was short-lived, because on Sunday it quickly became obvious that Ferrari was out to trash Hamilton’s perfect weekend.

Hamilton pulled away from the lights, but when he would ordinarily sprint away into the distance Vettel stubbornly clung to his gearbox, never drifting by more than two seconds.

Mercedes rolled the dice with an early pit stop in an attempt to build a gap, but even this failed to shake the German who, if anything, moved only closer in spite of the strategic gamble.

A lap-30 safety car – deployed to clean debris from a crash between Force India teammates Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon – intensified the pressure. Hamilton had only a set of the slow soft tyres left to use, whereas Ferrari shod Vettel’s car with a set of the fastest ultrasoft compound.

The safety car restart was fierce. Vettel’s grippier tyres put him within striking distance at turn one, but some cunning defensive driving by Hamilton, who slowed subtly into Eau Rouge to deprive his rival of enough road to execute a pass, saved him his unlikely lead.

British International School, Phuket

The defensive masterstroke won him the race, but Hamilton was painfully aware how close Vettel had come to usurping him.

“While we’ve had a very, very solid well put together weekend, it was only just enough to stay ahead,” Hamilton said. “Ferrari were quicker, so I’m a little bit cautious mentally knowing that we might not be the quickest everywhere up ahead.”

Meanwhile Vettel’s happiness, though mingled with disappointment he was unable to extend his championship lead, spoke volumes of the team’s relief to perform strongly at what had been earmarked as a weak circuit for Ferrari.

“Overall the car was very good,” he said. “We are on the right track, and I don’t think we have a circuit we should fear going [to] from now. I’m very, very happy.”

Before Spa-Francorchamps the circuits remaining were thought to favour the Mercedes car on balance, but a reassessment of the calendar now suggests Ferrari will be either equally quick or quicker at all bar perhaps one: the team’s upcoming home race in Monza, Italy.

The Italian Grand Prix on Sunday (Sept 3) is the calendar’s most stringent test of engine performance, a field in which Mercedes still holds an advantage. Ferrari, however, has its final power unit upgrade timed for introduction at the so-called Temple of Speed and will hope even this weakness could be neutralised by the end of the weekend.

The 2017 title is going down to the wire in November, and despite losing the Belgian Grand Prix, Ferrari has emerged as the in-form team carrying the momentum.

Don’t forget to tune in to Live89.5 each and every Saturday from 9am for the Box of Neutrals radio show.



The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
* Please login to comment. If you do not have an account please register below by simply entering a username, password and email address. You can still leave your comment below at the same time.
Comments Here:
E-mail: (No Hotmail, Live, MSN and Outlook accepted at this time)
    Forget password?

Be the first to comment.

The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community

Recent Comments

Wheelchair-bound Phuket TV repair man makes second trip to honour late King

In this country disable people conveniently get ignored much of the time. Look at the mostly absence of wheel chair access to shopping centers and de...(Read More)

Navy experts beaten by Phuket rising tide

Oh My ... Are these navy professionals not reading the tide time tables in The Phuket News? Helloooo ? Beaten by the tide! You have to read it to b...(Read More)

Wheelchair-bound Phuket TV repair man makes second trip to honour late King

Any news on their progress? Most countries would have news teams, along the way, reporting on such an event. Even Thai media are not reporting it.... ...(Read More)

Patong nightclub shooter out on B300k bail, clubs ordered to attend ‘security tutorial’

Men are 49% of the population, yet commit the vast majority of these types of crimes. When are we going to address the issue of testosterone as a real...(Read More)

Navy experts beaten by Phuket rising tide tide chart? and 2 weeks after being found to be ex-rayed by a portable machine? Good luck then to the Navy with running the 13 billion baht s...(Read More)

Patong nightclub operator sacked over shooting incident

How to solve all these problems with alcohol festered violence? Legalize marijuana....(Read More)

Chinese tourist drowns at Phuket beach

Wasn't the Chinese government going to ban travel to Phuket at one point not too long ago? It's like 2-3 a week now dying from completely avo...(Read More)

Navy experts beaten by Phuket rising tide

It says in the article:..while experts figure exactly what the"torpedo shaped"object is...This will probably lead to new objections here....(Read More)

Tourism visitors and revenue spike year-on-year

It's easy enough to check the immigration and landing figures. Don Mueang is not the only airport in Thailand. You must have flown over Don Mueang...(Read More)

Patong pub shooter surrenders to police

Seems some people have difficulty in comprehending. The law was only passed on Thursday 5 October 2017. It hasn't yet been published in the Gazet...(Read More)

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Bangkok Hospital Phuket
Weird World
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Culture
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Technology
Phuket Travel
World Entertainment
Photo Galleries
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2017 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.