Hamilton leads 1-2 Mercedes parade at Spa

Winner Lewis Hamilton waves to the crowd

In what was perhaps the most boring 1-2 parade by the Mercedes team in the past two years, Lewis Hamilton waltzed to an easy win over teammate Nico Rosberg.

The only thing that prevented the fans from falling asleep was Sebastian Vettel's blown tire with two laps to go while running third, up from his 9th place starting position.

This allowed Romain Grosjean to get third and a podium finish for the beleaguered Lotus team.

Vettel was in the Kemmel Straight when the Pirelli tire went down. He'd been trying to stay on the same tires from lap 14 to 43.

The win is Hamilton’s sixth of the 2015 season, and his 39th career victory. Hamilton now leads the World Championship by 28 points over Rosberg in second place.

More to follow……

QUOTES

Mercedes

Lewis Hamilton
I'm really happy with that one. I had great pace in the car and the balance felt fantastic. If anything it got better through the race and I never felt under pressure. After the stops I took it a bit easy on the out laps and Nico closed up but I always had a comfortable gap. A massive thank you to everyone here and back at the factories for all their hard work. The car was awesome all weekend and the crew did a great job. The weather has been great here too which makes this circuit even more fun to drive and what a great crowd. Loads of noise and plenty of British flags out there too which I really appreciate, so thanks to all of you for your support and hope to see you again at Monza!

Nico Rosberg
Unfortunately I messed up the start. Maybe the extra warm up lap had an influence on that – we need to find out what exactly happened but, in any case, I definitely have to improve that for Monza. Because of this I had to play catch up, which worked out well to a point. I managed to be second again and also was able to close the gap to Lewis a bit – but I didn't get a chance to come within overtaking distance. He deserved the win today and it was also a great result for the team. The car they gave us was awesome here, so thank you to them for that. Hopefully we can have the same level of performance in the next races. I'll be pushing as hard as ever for sure.

Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport
I'm very proud of the team after today's result – and especially to get a 1-2 finish at Spa, which is such a difficult and demanding circuit to master. Lewis did a perfect job – he got off the line well, defended cleanly his position from Perez up the hill and then drove a beautifully controlled race. He had the pace when he needed it, coped comfortably with all the challenges during the afternoon and scored a really impressive win. Nico obviously was hampered after his start, which we need to analyse, but then worked his way calmly back through the field. He kept Lewis honest all the way but couldn't quite close the gap. Congratulations to our boys, too, on four clean and impressive stops; they're doing a stunning job in the pits this year and we aim to continue that way for the remaining races. We will savour this win but need to keep our heads down and carry on working hard for Monza."

Paddy Lowe, Executive Director (Technical)
We're all very happy indeed with that result and a fantastic performance all round from the team. It's always great to win at one of the legendary circuits on the Formula One calendar and this was one which Mercedes hadn't conquered in the modern Silver Arrows era, so it's good to be able to tick it off the list. It was a quite amazing weekend from Lewis – from an incredible pair of laps in qualifying to a controlled drive to victory in the race. Nico, too, had a very strong weekend. Of course, I'm sure he'll be disappointed to finish second – but he was in touching distance throughout. Congratulations also to Lotus. It's extremely pleasing to have an all-Mercedes- powered podium and no doubt a big boost for a team who have not had the easiest of times recently, so well done to them.

Lotus
Romain Grosjean:
"Today’s result is wonderful. It’s good for the team and for myself of course. Yesterday’s good qualifying result put a smile on my face but today was an unbelievable race. Everything came together when it mattered during those 43 laps. I drove with my heart today and pushed 100 % throughout the race. I did some great overtaking manoeuvers and was really pushing to catch up and hopefully overtake Sebastian Vettel – of course it was bad luck for him to have had the tire issue at the end. We were really trying to go for the podium this afternoon and I felt very emotional during the last lap of the race! It’s a great feeling today."

Pastor Maldonado: "We had been doing a great job this weekend, especially yesterday. The car was feeling very good, very competitive and I had a good race start. We had an issue with the drive of the car which the team are investigating. I’m disappointed about the issue we had today but that’s racing sometimes. We are keeping focused for the next race now and Romain has shown what is possible. I love Italy and Monza so I’ll be doing everything I can for a strong result there."

Red Bull
Daniil Kvyat:
"It was a very interesting race and really good fun today. I had a lot of overtaking opportunities and the car performed well. The strategy from the team to keep me out during the virtual safety car was good and we were able to have a strong last stint. The team did a good job and we scored some solid points. We should be happy with the performance today and hopefully we can continue this form over the next few races."

Daniel Ricciardo: "I had a good start jumping up to third and the race was going okay. We didn’t have a great balance with the Prime, I was struggling a little, but we were hoping to come on strong with the Option and have a good last stint. It’s disappointing not to finish, we are not sure what the issue is but the team are investigating. I lost power going into the chicane, everything switched off, including the dash. It looks like it’s electrical but we’ll see what the investigation brings."

Force India
Sergio Perez:
"Fifth place and ten points is a good result, but we just lacked the pace to really fight for the podium today. My start was very strong and I was close to taking the lead on lap one when I was alongside Lewis [Hamilton] after Eau Rouge. I settled into a good rhythm, but we had very high degradation on the soft tires in the first two stints. It was a bit better on the medium, although we struggled in the middle sector with our low downforce set-up and that hurt my pace. We were racing some quick cars and it was hard to fight off Grosjean and Kvyat, so it’s clear we need to analyses our performance and see where we can improve. I’m already looking forward to the next race in Monza, which is another track where I think we can be competitive."

Nico Hulkenberg: "It’s disappointing to finish your race before it’s even started, but sometimes these things happen in racing. On the way to the grid I just felt a loss of power. We tried to understand and fix the problem on the grid, but it came back during the formation lap. There were a few moments when the power returned, but it disappeared again just before the start and I had to retire. It’s a real shame because the car has been very quick this weekend and we had a good opportunity to score some important points."

Ferrari
Sebastian Vettel: Yet to be released

Kimi Raikkonen: Yet to be released

Toro Rosso
Max Verstappen:
"What an entertaining race, it was a great achievement to start from so far back and finish eighth in the end! My pace was very strong and I enjoyed the overtaking, so we can be very happy about today’s race. The car felt great and we were able to keep up with Ferrari and Williams. I really enjoyed it and even if some of the overtakes were a bit risky, when you start from so far back you have to go for it if you want to move forward. It wasn’t an easy start to the weekend, but we managed to do a great job in the end and I would like to thank the team for the big effort and my home crowd for the support, we can all be really happy with today’s P8!"

Carlos Sainz: "What a frustrating way to end what was being a good weekend. During the formation lap I felt I had no power, so I had to box. Luckily they managed to solve the issue and I was able to go out and race, but being two laps down there wasn’t much I could fight for, just hope for rain and be lucky. After two stints though, we decided to retire to save engine mileage. I’m obviously very disappointed and desperate to finish a race, as it’s now been four consecutive races where I’ve had to retire while fighting for points. But this isn’t going to bring me down. I’m going to keep pushing and show my good performances whenever I can, like I did yesterday in qualifying for example… We know that this world is sometimes like this and I’m sure this unlucky streak will come to an end soon – hopefully in Monza!"

Williams

Felipe Massa: "It was a frustrating day for me. I struggled at the start and then the soft tire in the first stint didn't operate as well as it should have done so I lost a few positions. At this point we were fighting from behind but the medium worked well. I couldn't overtake the Force India of Perez at the end as their straight-line pace was good. It has been a difficult day but to still finish sixth is the main positive we will take away from the weekend."

Valtteri Bottas: "We haven't got the result we were after today. The pitstop and the race pace are two areas that we need to investigate. We thought we would be stronger during the race but the soft tire in the first stint didn't work as well and put us in a difficult position. We have to make sure we bounce back well in Monza."

Sauber
Marcus Ericsson: "First of all, I had a good start, managing to pass Daniil (Kvyat) with a good move into Turn 5. Quite early in the race we realized I had some debris stuck to the floor, which made us loose downforce in the first stint. We could not keep up with the competition, so we lost some ground, which was a bit frustrating. For the second stint we cleared the debris away and I was able to start to push more. Even with that, the pace was not as strong as we expected. We were a bit lucky in the end, and we were able to score one point. For me it is great to be back in the points for the second race in a row."

Felipe Nasr: "It was a tough race for me. At the start I struggled with a lot of wheel spin, losing some positions. My race was compromised by braking issues. Besides that, I also got a slow puncture on the front left tire during my last stint. There were many issues for me this time, but I am confident the upcoming race weekend in Monza will be better."

McLaren
Fernando Alonso: "That was a tough race and a painful weekend: we simply weren’t competitive today. My only fun came at the start – to start 20th and be 14th at the end of the first lap was a good feeling. After that, our overall pace wasn’t good enough, but at least we got both cars to the finish, so hopefully we can learn a bit for the next race. That’s just the way things are at the moment. Monza will also be difficult, but I’m sure we’ll have some better races after that.

Jenson Button: "From the early laps, I had a problem with the deployment from the ERS pack. I’d get deployment from it in different places now and again, but it was never really deploying and recovering as it should. It would cut immediately after Raidillon, for example, and then I’d have to rely on the ICE alone. That’s a lot of power to lose, and it meant I was driving the Kemmel Straight and the straight up to Blanchimont without any deployment at all. You can’t really do much in that situation."

Manor
Roberto Merhi:
"It was a good race for me. I got ahead of my team-mate on the first lap and things stayed that way until the finish. It was a bit of a lonely race for me to be honest, and mainly about managing my tires so that I could push when I needed to. I think the strategy worked out well to limit the blue flags, and this enabled us to maintain reasonable pace. It’s always a real pleasure to drive here at Spa; you never get tired of experiencing Eau Rouge. And of course we start the second half of the season with another two-car finish, so a good solid weekend."

Will Stevens: "My start was really good. I managed to get in front of Nasr in the first corner and then I came out and I was sandwiched in the middle of two cars, and with no room. I was hit and that compromised me quite a bit. I lost position and although the pace was really good, I wasn’t able to regain the place. So, a race that hasn’t really gone my way in terms of the result, but a positive weekend overall and of course we achieved another two-car finish as a team."

Results

1. Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes-Mercedes 43 laps 1hr 23m 40.387s
2. Nico Rosberg GER Mercedes-Mercedes +02.0s
3. Romain Grosjean FRA Lotus-Mercedes +37.9s
4. Daniil Kvyat RUS Red Bull-Renault +45.6s
5. Sergio Perez MEX Force India-Mercedes +53.9s
6. Felipe Massa BRZ Williams-Mercedes +55.2s
7. Kimi Raikkonen FIN Ferrari-Ferrari +55.7s
8. Max Verstappen NED Toro Rosso-Renault +56.0s
9. Valtteri Bottas FIN Williams-Mercedes +1m 01.0s
10. Marcus Ericsson SWE Sauber-Ferrari +1m 31.2s
11. Felipe Nasr BRZ Sauber-Ferrari +
12. Sebastian Vettel GER Ferrari-Ferrari +
13. Fernando Alonso ESP McLaren-Honda +1 lap
14. Jenson Button GBR McLaren-Honda +1 lap
15. Roberto Merhi ESP Manor-Ferrari +1 lap
16. Will Stevens GBR Manor-Ferrari +1 lap
Rtd Carlos Sainz Jr ESP Toro Rosso-Renault 33 laps completed
Rtd Daniel Ricciardo AUS Red Bull-Renault 19 laps completed hydraulics
Rtd Pastor Maldonado VEN Lotus-Mercedes 1 lap completed engine
DNS Nico Hulkenberg GER Force India-Mercedes

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