F1 is back and this week as we build up to the Belgian Grand Prix, we focus on four drivers from the current grid who have lifted the coveted trophy.
One of the best-loved circuits on the calendar, Spa-Francorchamps is to host the next round of F1 for the FORMULA 1 JOHNNIE WALKER BELGIAN GRAND PRIX 2019 this weekend, the first race after the summer break.
A track which has seen many drivers and champions taste victory, we look back at some of the wins we’ve seen in recent years.
Sebastian Vettel - 2018, 2013, 2011
The 2018 grid saw Lewis Hamilton starting from pole, after a rainy qualifying session allowed him to put his Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport car on the front row. However, with weather conditions seemingly opposite to the day before, the pole position advantage was soon to disappear. With Sebastian Vettel starting from second, he was able to make the jump on Hamilton along the Kemmel Straight, getting past him and moving up into the lead at the start.
With Hamilton having won the previous two races and leading the championship, Spa was a crucial race for Vettel if he wanted to remain in the title fight. The dry track proved to benefit Ferrari more than it did Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport, and the German driver gained an 11 second advantage as he swept across the finish line and the chequered flag was waved.
The 2013 race marked another win for Vettel, who then was driving for Red Bull Racing, and marked his fifth win of the season moving him 46 points clear of Fernando Alonso his closest championship rival. Vettel went on to win his fourth World Championship that year.
And in 2011, Vettel won his first Belgian Grand Prix for Red Bull Racing in a one-two finish for the team, with Mark Webber finishing second.
Lewis Hamilton - 2017, 2015, 2010
The five-time World Champion has stepped onto the top spot of the podium in Belgium on three occasions, in 2017 and 2015 for Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport and in 2010 for McLaren. With three wins under his belt, the Brit will be aiming for his fourth win as we approach the 2019 race.
The 2017 race was special for two reasons for Lewis. Not only did he win the race, but it marked his 200th race in F1. Storming away, Hamilton fought off the threat of Sebastian Vettel, his closest rival in the championship, to take his fifth win of the season. The day before was also special for Lewis, as his pole position meant he had equalled Michael Schumacher's record of 68 poles in his F1 career.
It was by no means an easy win for Hamilton and Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport. In a race where they were expected to dominate, Vettel and Ferrari time-managed in order to push Hamilton all the way. Despite this, Hamilton proved why he is such a highly regarded driver, showing his driving skill and managing to keep the charging Ferrari at bay right until the end.
The 2010 race was an exciting one too, with many incidents in which Hamilton managed to avoid, in order to crowned the victor and retake the lead of the championship. By lap 15 Lewis had already picked up an 11 second lead. Meanwhile as the rain started to come down, drivers from all ends of the grid struggled for grip and made costly mistakes. On lap 39 a safety car was sent out, but nevertheless Hamilton was able to maintain his lead and take home the win.
Kimi Räikkönen - 2009, 2007, 2005, 2004
Finnish driver and one-time World Champion Kimi Räikkönen is another current F1 driver to have tasted victory in Belgium, and the only one to have won four times. Despite have four wins to his name, the last time he lifted the first-place trophy was back in 2009, when driving for Ferrari.
Räikkönen started from sixth on the grid, making his win was even more impressive. The win marked Räikkönen's first win since the Spanish Grand Prix the season before and as it turned out, Ferrari's only win of the 2009 season. It was Giancarlo Fisichella who started from pole position having claimed Force India F1 Team's first pole position. The race was incident packed with British drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson button crashing out early resulting in a safety car which Kimi utilised to take the lead. Fisichella however remained vigilant, putting Räikkönen under pressure all the way, but despite being quicker, was unable to get back passed Kimi for the remainder of the race.
Kimi’s first Belgian win came in 2004 when he was driving for McLaren and marked the teams only win that season as he moved his car from tenth on the starting grid to first. The Finn won the race the following year too, after starting from second place for McLaren. And in 2007 he clinched first place too, having claimed pole position during qualifying.
Daniel Ricciardo - 2014
Daniel Ricciardo currently drives for Renault F1 Team, but during his time with his previous team Red Bull Racing, he too became a winner in Belgium.
The 2014 Belgian Grand Prix saw Daniel starting from fifth place on the grid ahead of the race, with Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton locking out the front row, followed by Ricciardo's teammate Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso.
The win for the Australian driver marked his third win of the season. Daniel took the lead after the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport drivers collided on lap two resulting in the pair having to fight their way backup. Rosberg ended up finishing in second place however Hamilton was unable to complete the race. Despite this inheritance of a lead, Ricciardo's obvious racing skills meant he was able to keep competitors at bay and drove a smooth and sophisticated race from the start, right up to the chequered flag being waved.