The 2015 F1 season resumed at Spa last weekend with Mercedes taking a dominant one-two finish, with Lewis leading the charge for the Brackley based outfit. Romain Grosjean delivered Lotus's first podium finish since 2013 US Grand Prix, amid threats of bailiffs ceasing the car. Daniil Kvyat also drove a strong race at a track where Red Bull-Renault were expected to struggle, while Force India's Sergio Perez finished in a season best fifth place.
Mercedes: A dominant race where they had few scares. Rosberg's poor start was the only drama in an otherwise carefree race in which Lewis Hamilton controlled from start to finish. The title race now seems to be without Vettel and Ferrari and the game again points to all Hamilton so far. However, it won’t be over until the rivals don’t have a mathematical chance of beating Mercedes for the title.
Ferrari: A risky strategy from Vettel saw him run third for the majority of the grand prix while Raikkonen’'s charge showed the car had pace if In the right situation. The gamble failed when the tyre failed on lap 42 and threw him out of the points but Raikkonen showed pace and collected a few potentially valuable points In the constructors championship.
Red Bull: The pace was there but as typically for Renault cars the reliability wasn't and failure consigned Ricciardo to the DNF list. Kvyat showed the potential of what Daniel could have achieved with an impressive P4 which was understandably the highlight of a far from spectacular weekend for the 4 times constructors champions.
Williams: How? Who? Why?: the three questions that need answering after a shambolic pit error that cost Bottas time with a drive through. The three soft, one prime tyre combo was the most talked about point at Williams on his side of the garage but any publicity is good publicity... Right? Massa had a solid if unspectacular race and brought the car home 6th collecting points when Ferrari dropped, limiting the damage of Kvyat's fourth. Once again a track that suits the car next in Monza where the Williams will be aiming to beat the Maranello's elite.
Lotus: A tale of two stories once again this season. Like Canada, Lotus fully exploited the speed that their vehicle has on this type of track. While a repeat of Grosjean's podium may be a lot to ask, more point scoring finishes will be a very realistic and achievable goal. And should Pastor Maldonado make the chequered flag, a two car points finish may well be do-able. Let’s at least hope he makes it further than today.
Force India: A second row start was amazing and the Mexican enigma Sergio 'Checo' Perez dared to dream of a podium. His would-be second of his Force India career, but alas fifth was all he could manage - a strong haul of points which exceeds some of the hauls when both cars finish the race. For Hulkenberg, the hopes for Monza will be to reach Q3 in a fortnight’s time. And with a quick car on the straights like they have, who knows what will be possible?
Toro Rosso: A second start drama for Carlos Sainz Jr led to a valuable if insignificant test session for the team who could also be changing engine supplier next season (rumoured Ferrari). Max Verstappen showed the car could shift quickly and a daring move round the outside of Blanchimont showed his character in the car and that with a good engine, he will yield more fantastic results.
Sauber: One point is measly for most teams but for Sauber the regular top 10 finishes are what they need this season to help build for next year after a catastrophic 2014. Ericsson again showed his consistency by picking the points and Nasr provided an excellent back up with P11. For the next few races, Q2 spots and points is the best to come and hopefully on merit rather than a tyre blowout ensuring the points.
McLaren: The 5 place movement from the start was as good as it got for McLaren who again lacked bite to compete with anyone else on the grid. Hopefully Honda can up their game for 2016 and provide the world champion drivers with the opportunity to compete for their second and third titles respectively.
Manor Marussia: While the start places showed way more than is ever possible, let's hope the 2016 car can keep the team on the grid and hopefully competitive/ Points next year is a big ask but still more likely than this year. For the two drivers, finishing races and racking up the miles is the best way forward for next season.
by Matthew Gannon