Verstappen and Raikkonen's tete-a-tete
Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen had already traded paint - and a little bit more - at the first turn of the race, but the real flashpoints came on laps 12 and 13 as they duelled on the run down to Les Combes. Raikkonen was the man doing the hunting, but he was unable to find a way past Verstappen's vigorous defence. The Finn's first attack was rebuffed in the braking zone, as Verstappen on the inside leaves it as late as possible to ensure Raikkonen cannot turn in. If that was borderline - Verstappen only just makes the corner himself - the next move proved even more controversial. Raikkonen has the run on his opponent, but as he ducks to the inside this time, Verstappen sees it and moves to block the gap, forcing Raikkonen to jump on the brakes - and fire off a series of criticisms both over the radio and after the race.
A race in the pits - and out of it
The pit lane is not usually a place you expect to see wheel-to-wheel racing - especially not racing that ends in actual content. However, Fernando Alonso was a man on a mission in Spa. Having started from the back row of the grid, the McLaren star was up to fourth by mid-distance and already sensing a very strong result. He was chasing the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg for third when they pitted together on lap 23 and there was nothing to choose between their pit crews. As Alonso was released, his rival was just moving past in the fast lane. Normally you would have expected the Spaniard to slot in behind, but on this occasion he decided to try his luck, running alongside the German as they approached the exit. Hulkenberg, though, was rightly having none of it and as the road narrowed he got a ‘friendly’ tap on his right-rear wheel from Alonso’s front left. Thankfully neither car was damaged and both men continued on their ways.
Perez gives Verstappen deja-vu
Kimi Raikkonen wasn't the only one to find himself on the receiving end of Max Verstappen's robust defensive tactics. Thirteen laps on from their tangle at Les Combes, Force India’s Sergio Perez starred in almost identical replay of the incident, when - like Raikkonen - he thought he had edged far enough ahead of the Dutchman to claim the corner and seize seventh position. Again, though, Verstappen had other ideas, braking late and leaving the Mexican nowhere to go but across the run-off area - from where he rejoined ahead of the Red Bull.
Magnussen writes off his Renault
Kevin Magnussen's huge shunt in Belgium highlighted the fact that whatever the cynics may say, Eau Rouge and the complex of corners that follow it remains among the most fearsome sections of tarmac on the F1 calendar. Chasing Renault team mate Jolyon Palmer hard for seventh place, Magnussen's trouble starts when the rear of his car gets loose as he crests the hill. Once it snaps away from him, the Dane rapidly becomes a passenger, as first the rear and then the front of his yellow machine impacts the barriers at speed. Modern F1 safety standards meant he mercifully walked away with nothing more than a sore ankle.
Perez goes mano a mano with Massa
Perez's earlier move on Verstappen into Les Combes had almost ended in tears, but the Force India driver obviously thought he could count on a more measured defence from the highly experienced Felipe Massa as he attacked sixth place - and so it proved. That didn't mean the Williams veteran was a pushover, though - far from it in fact. Yes, he gives the Mexican room as he dives down the outside - but only just enough room. And even as they exit the corner side-by-side, the Brazilian keeps his foot in, the two cars rubbing tyres before Massa runs wide over the kerbs as he is forced to concede. Feisty, but fair.
Max pounces at Pouhon
Max Verstappen's defensive driving may have come under the spotlight at Spa, but it was certainly hard to fault his attacking instinct. Pouhon is not exactly famed as an overtaking spot - especially around the outside - but the high-speed left-hander held no fear for the flying Dutchman. Fighting back up the order after his first-turn adventures, here he uses every inch of the track - and more - to move ahead of Haas's Romain Grosjean for 11th place, the position in which he would ultimately finish.
Vettel vexed at Les Combes
Sebastian Vettel had a frustrating Sunday at Spa. Things went awry at the very first turn, with his coming-together with Raikkonen, and from there it was an uphill struggle. Here we see an uncharacteristic error from the four-time world champion, as he gets his braking wrong into Les Combes passing Felipe Massa's Williams. As the Ferrari locks up and runs momentarily wide, Massa needs no second invitation and promptly goes back around the outside on exit to retain seventh place. Unfortunately for the Brazilian, however, he was only delaying the inevitable - a lap later the postions had been reversed again; and this time for good.