Formula One returns to action this weekend for the Belgian Grand Prix. In an attempt to put the focus back on the racing instead of on other issues in the sport I have decided to bring back the Driver Battles posts which I initially published in the latter part of 2015.
It has taken a huge swing where Nico Rosberg was once seemingly walking away with it, he now finds himself nineteen points behind teammate Lewis Hamilton who currently heads the standings.
Despite this there is the added dimension that Hamilton is likely to have to take a ten place grid penalty at some point during the season due to his high engine component usage.
Red Bulls and Ferraris battle for third
Currently in third is Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo. He is however only eleven points ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen.
Raikkonen himself is only two points ahead of his teammate, Sebastian Vettel. However the three can’t ignore Max Verstappen in sixth who is currently only five points behind Vettel after claiming three podium finishes in the last four races.
Seventh but also a battle for ninth
Valtteri Bottas is currently seventh in the standings. However he is only ten points ahead of Sergio Perez.
Felipe Massa is a further ten points behind his teammate with thirty eight points. He will however want to be focusing more behind him with Nico Hulkenberg only five points behind him in the standings.
Looking ahead but also behind
Having hinted that Massa could focus on seventh and yet be needing to at the same time keep his current ninth. The same could apply to Nico Hulkenberg in tenth who is only three points ahead of Carlos Sainz.
The same can be applied for the remaining drivers in the standings with Sainz himself who is only two points ahead of Romain Grosjean who is on twenty eight points.
Yet, Alonso is only four points behind the Frenchman whilst Daniil Kvyat is one point behind Alonso.
Jenson Button then follows in fifteenth with seventeen points and will want to join the battle for thirteenth as he currently has an eleven point advantage over Kevin Magnussen directly behind him.
The only other point scorers remaining are Pascal Wehrlein for Manor Racing and Stoffel Vandoorne for McLaren who both have one point.
Despite that Wehrlein may need to be concerned about Gutierrez, Palmer and the two Saubers of Ericsson and Nasr who have yet to score points and will be hoping to pick up points by the end of the season.
The other driver in the standings is Rio Haryanto who is last having not been able to score any points so far this season. He has now been replaced by Esteban Ocon at Manor Racing with Haryanto taking up an offer to remain as the team’s reserve driver.
Despite that, Haryanto has shown his worth in Formula One finishing nine of the twelve races he has competed in with a highest finish of fifteenth, achieved in Monaco.
There are plenty of drivers battling for points and a higher position in the driver standings but only ten can finish with a points finish this weekend.