Sebastian Vettel insists that he was happy with fifth place in the Belgian Grand Prix, despite seeing Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo win for the third time this season.

The German had started ahead of his Australian colleague but a mistake at Pouhon in the early stages saw the two Red Bulls swap places and, once ahead, there was no stopping Ricciardo, who pulled out a gap on Vettel and went to capitalise on a clash between the two Mercedes drivers at the front of the field.

With Lewis Hamilton suffering a puncture that relegated him to the rear of the field, and Nico Rosberg taking on front wing damage that necessitated an earlier-than-planned stop - as well as pitting early a second time after flat-spotting tyres trying to pass Vettel - Ricciardo remained unchallenged until the closing stages.

Related Articles

Vettel, meanwhile also found himself passed by Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Williams' Valtteri Bottas, leaving the four-time world champion in a scrap for fifth place with the two McLarens and fellow second row starter Fernando Alonso, who had picked up a penalty in the opening ten laps.

The varying pit-stop strategies allowed Vettel to close on the group, before taking advantage of the skirmishing to come through and seize fifth place from Magnussen in the closing stages. He also survived contact from Alonso at La Source on the final lap, but admits that he enjoyed the battle.

"Towards the end of the race was good," he confirmed, "I was in a rush to get through because the laps were going down and, obviously, Alonso and Magnussen didn't have fresh tyres. Jenson and me [sic] caught them fairly quickly and, in the end, it was good not to lose a position compared to when we decided to pit, which was probably a little bit late.

"The battle was fairly interesting, although it was a bit all over the place with people pushing each other off on the track. We race hard, although sometimes maybe a bit too hard!"