Daniel’s Spa treatment

Daniel Ricciardo wins in Belgium 498755951
Daniel Ricciardo wins in Belgium 498755951

Daniel Ricciardo was the main beneficiary as the Mercedes pairing of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg hit the self-destruct button at the Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday.

The pair, leading the fight for the world championship, collided on lap two of the race at Spa-Francorchamps, effectively eliminating Hamilton, while Rosberg would have to stop later for a new front wing.

Ricciardo, who started fifth, made a decent start in getting the jump of Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari, but couldn’t find a way past team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

Pitting later than his rivals though, Ricciardo managed to avoid the under-cut and came out in the lead of the race.

From there, he never looked back, opening up a big gap to Williams’ Valtteri Bottas as the pack behind fought among themselves.

Vettel’s earlier stop seemed to effect his strategy in a negative way, dropping as low as seventh.

But a late scrap with Alonso, and the McLaren pair of Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button, saw him elevated to fifth at the chequered flag.

Ricciardo’s win, his second in succession and third of the season, marks Red Bull’s 50th victory in F1, but even he admitted he doubted the RB10’s chances at Spa.

Ricciardo said: “You know everyone was saying we didn’t really have a chance around here, but I think we had some really good pace today and surprised ourselves.

“It feels a bit surreal, but another win is very cool, very cool.”

Vettel added: “Towards the end of the race was good, I was in a rush to get through because the laps were going down and obviously Alonso and Magnussen didn’t have fresh tyres, so Jenson and me caught them fairly quickly.

“The battle was fairly interesting, it was a bit all over the place with people pushing each other off on the track, but we race hard, although sometimes maybe a bit too hard!

Ricciardo is 63 points off the title lead.