DNF for Max at Spa: "Terrible"
Published on 27 August 2017 by Stefan Meens
In front of ten thousands of Dutch fans, Max Verstappen failed to finish his home race at Spa-Francochamps. An engine failure in lap eight marked the end of the Red Bull Racer’s Belgian Grand Prix.
In his 200 starts, Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) took the win ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Max’s team mate Daniel Ricciardo.
"This is terrible. Not just for me, but all those fans that buy an expensive ticket. To be out of the race after just eight laps is just not right for a top team. You can say ‘it’s bad luck’, but this hasn’t got anything to do with luck, this is plain bad. I didn’t have any power. I tried some things on the straight but it didn’t work.”
Looking forward, Max is clear: “We have to make sure this doesn’t happen again, because we are a top team. Monza is next, but that probably won’t be great either. I just don’t know what to say, but this can’t go on for much longer.”
With sunny and warm conditions, the race on the jam packed Spa-Francorchamps circuit gets underway. Max has a good start and heads into turn one side by side with his team mate Ricciardo. Despite that the Ozzie gets in his slipstream on Kemmel Straight, Verstappen manages to maintain his fifth place. At the front it’s Hamilton, followed by Vettel, Valtteri Bottas and Kimi Raikkonen. Esteban Ocon is very lucky to come out unscathed after having gotten too close for comfort with team mate Sergio Perez at the base of Eau Rouge.
On lap eight another drama unfolds for Max. His plagued RB13 loses power again and Verstappen is forced to abandon his car at Kemmel Straight. Max gets out of his car a very disillusioned driver. The yellow flags, as a result of Verstappen' misfortune, are missed by Raikkonen and he is served a ten seconds stop & go penalty.
Alonso, running briefly in seventh after having had a good start, quickly drops back at the back of the field. Due to the lack of top speed, the Spaniard sees his peers flying by left and right. As a result of this, he vents his dismay on the team radio. On lap 27, his McLaren has had enough and Alonso is added to the list of drop outs.
On lap thirty, both Force India’s resume their bumper cart game. Perez blocks Ocon, who in turn rips open Perez’ right rear with his front wing. The debris on the track brings out the safety car.
When the field is let loose again, Ricciardo advances to P3 with a good slipstream action on Bottas. Vettel tries his luck on Hamilton, but the Brit is having none of that and keeps his lead. Vettel keeps chasing after Hamilton all the way to the flag, but is unable to pose a threat. Lewis Hamilton takes home the victory with Vettel in second and Ricciardo claiming the final podium spot. Raikkonen, Bottas and Hulkenberg round up the top six.
Belgian Grand Prix - Spa-Francorchamps - Sunday 28 August
RACE RESULT 01 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 44 1:24:42.820 02 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 44 +2.358s 03 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 44 +10.791s 04 7 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 44 +14.471s 05 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 44 +16.456s 06 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 44 +28.087s 07 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 44 +31.553s 08 19 Felipe Massa Williams Mercedes 44 +36.649s 09 31 Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 44 +38.154s 10 55 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 44 +39.447s 11 18 Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes 44 +48.999s 12 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 44 +49.940s 13 30 Jolyon Palmer Renault 44 +53.239s 14 2 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Honda 44 +57.078s 15 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 44 +67.262s 16 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 44 +69.711s 17 11 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 42 DNF NC 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda 25 DNF NC 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 7 DNF NC 94 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber Ferrari 2 DNF