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GP Week : Issue 226
faded the challenge was picked up by Lotus, with Romain Grosjean one of the biggest movers of the race. The Frenchman started ninth following a gearbox change and raced his way to third, the teams first podium since 2013. It was a welcome distraction from the off-track plight the squad currently faces. There will be furrowed brows at Williams though. Expected to show well at a circuit many expected to suit their car, Felipe Massa's sixth place was hardly the sort of reward they'd predicted. Throughout practice neither car showed its hand, as has become the norm for the team, but that seemed to be a false alarm since Valtteri Bottas went third fastest in qualifying. Publicly it's blaming graining for its lack of pace but the sector times suggested a different story. Perez was four tenths faster in the first sector in qualifying trim than Bottas. The Force India was slower in the middle part of the lap, but with overtaking next to impossible there it was far more important to be lightning quick out of La Source and up to Les Combes. The Williams' weren’t, and in the race that cost them. DRS proved quite simply too effective. The intent of the system is to create opportunities for drivers, not to allow them to simply drive by their rival. A steady headwind up the Kemmel Straight amplified its effect but whatever the case it was too powerful. When a Renault powered car can blast by a Mercedes powered car it suggests there is something rather fundamentally wrong. Hamilton's win sees him extend his points advantage to 28 over Rosberg, the largest of the season. Furthermore, Vettel's late race failure and lack of points dealt him an almost crippling blow as he now sits 67 points in arrears – more than two entire races with just eight rounds remaining in the championship. 22 GPWEEK.com // 22 GPWEEK.com // F1 >>> BELGIUM PARTNERS: