Given that Lewis Hamilton had won the two races in Germany and Hungary before the Formula One summer break, there was huge pressure on Sebastian Vettel to win in Belgium to reignite the world championship fight, and that's exactly what he did.
Ericsson and Brendon Hartley had arguably the best battle of the race as they tussled over 10th place for several laps before the Toro Rosso pitted.
After overtaking Lewis Hamilton at the start of the race and then holding him off after a Safety Car restart, Vettel says an upgraded power unit introduced this weekend had a major role in his win. He pushed me quite far to the left, but I knew my chance would be later on, up the hill.
Frenchman Esteban Ocon, whose future is uncertain following Canadian billionaire Lawrence Stroll's takeover of Force India, came home sixth ahead of Frenchman Romain Grosjean and his Haas team-mate Kevin Magnussen.
"That was one of the toughest I can remember", said Hamilton who had claimed the 78th pole of his career thanks to well-timed laps in the improving conditions at the end of the session.
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Starting from sixth place, Raikkonen lost his rear right tire after being clipped by Ricciardo - who retired later after running a lap down because of time he lost while his team repaired the damage on his vehicle picked up during the chaotic start.
It neatly summarised the recent help Hamilton has been having from the rain. It's really about balance of circumstances and compromises and maybe Seb, as he said, he'd got a battery problem, or something like that.
"That was definitely some of the toughest. even though at the last race it was very wet, but that was different circumstances, where you have more grip on those extreme tyres". At the restart four laps later, Vettel surged forward with Hamilton being a close second.
Both drivers have five wins this season as they seek to win a fifth F1 title and move level with Argentine great Juan Manuel Fangio, and move within two of Schumacher's all-time record.