August 26, 2018 / 8:12 PM / a month ago

Team by team analysis of Belgian Grand Prix

SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium (Reuters) - Team by team analysis of Sunday’s Belgian Formula One Grand Prix (listed in championship order):

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MERCEDES (Lewis Hamilton 2, Valtteri Bottas 4)

Mercedes stretched their championship lead by five points but could not match the Ferrari’s pace. Bottas came from 17th place on the grid, due to engine penalties, and set the fastest lap. Hamilton’s lead over Vettel is now 17 points.

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FERRARI (Sebastian Vettel 1, Kimi Raikkonen retired)

Vettel took his fifth win of the season and 52nd of his career, one more than now-retired French great Alain Prost. He started second on the grid, passed Hamilton on lap one and won by 11 seconds. Raikkonen retired in the pits with a damaged car after a first lap collision with Red Bull’s Ricciardo.

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RED BULL (Max Verstappen 3, Daniel Ricciardo retired)

Verstappen started seventh, passing Grosjean and the two Force Indias on track, and moves up to fifth overall and ahead of Ricciardo in the standings. Ricciardo hit the rear of Raikkonen’s Ferrari at the start, requiring a rear wing change. He retired to save mileage on the engine and gearbox.

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RENAULT (Carlos Sainz 11, Nico Hulkenberg retired)

Hulkenberg started 18th due to engine penalties and crashed into Alonso at the first corner, for which he collected a 10 place grid drop for the Italian Grand Prix next weekend. He accepted the blame. Sainz started 19th but was 13th by lap two.

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HAAS (Romain Grosjean 7, Kevin Magnussen 8)

Haas closed the gap to Renault to six points with their second straight double points finish. They are 24 clear of McLaren.

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MCLAREN (Stoffel Vandoorne 15, Fernando Alonso retired)

Alonso was shunted out by Hulkenberg, his car skimming across Leclerc’s Sauber and hitting the halo head protection device. Vandoorne was the last finisher at his home race.

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TORO ROSSO (Pierre Gasly 9, Brendon Hartley 14)

Future Red Bull driver Gasly finished in the points for the second race in a row after starting 10th, with the team pulling a further point away from Sauber and closing the gap to McLaren.

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SAUBER (Marcus Ericsson 10, Charles Leclerc retired)

Ericsson scored points for the fourth race this year. Leclerc could thank the halo for escaping serious injury after Alonso’s McLaren flew over his head at the start.

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FORCE INDIA (Sergio Perez 5, Esteban Ocon 6)

The newest team on the grid, after the demise of the old Force India, scored their first points and immediately overtook Williams in the standings. Ocon had qualified third and Perez fourth but they could not hold off Verstappen and Bottas.

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WILLIAMS (Sergey Sirotkin 12, Lance Stroll 13)

No points again for struggling Williams, although both did run in the top 10 briefly early on and the car showed signs of improvement.

Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge

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