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