Formula 1 – Belgian GP – Race Review

The 2007 Belgian GP hardly can be called a classic race, but it was sure one of the better ones this season, with quite a bit of an on track action. Most of it was down the grid though …

Ferraris were class of the field this weekend, clearly better than McLarens. This was quite a turnaround after Monza, but that’s what we got used to this year. Both teams are very close and the pendulum swings from track to track…

We had no serious carnage at the start this time, however the stunt Alonso pulled on Hamilton could have caused one. Whether the move was deliberate I am not able to tell, but it sort of looked like it. This was something I would understand if the car next Alonso was all red, but doing this to a team mate is quite unexpected. It looks like Ron Dennis prefers this season to end as peacefully as possible. He told ITV:

“It was absolutely fine.They weren’t too aggressive and they’re racing drivers. No-one would blink if it was opposing teams.”

Exactly, no one would blink if it WAS opposing teams … Hamilton’s opinion was quite a bit different.

Back to race – It became clear early on, that only some disaster could prevent Ferraris from 1-2 finish. Nothing happened, and so Kimi has 3rd Spa win in a row under his belt. Massa finished 2nd, and with 3 races to and 20 points gap to the leader, he should probably settle for Kimi support role for the rest of the season. Kimi though, cut Hamilton’s lead to 13 points only and is still pretty much in the fight. I am not sure if the doughnut he did at the end of the race was planned, or was it just an innocent by-product of the quick U turn on the way to pits. In any case, quite a refreshment 

Go to 2min44secs for the doughnut

What was obvious for 1-2, was pretty clear about 3-4, the questions was, who will be 3rd, who 4th. Hamilton tried to gain some advantage by running the second stint heavier and longer. He managed to keep pretty close to Alonso. However, after Alonso made his 2nd stop, his refueled and on fresh tyres car was faster than light Hamilton’s car, and that settled it.

Nick Heidfeld lost some places at the start, but managed to claw back to 5th. It was impressive race from Kubica. Starting from 14th he quickly made several places, and after fighting with Kovalainen for most of the race he finished just outside the points. It was a very aggressive and tough on breaks and tyres race from him. It will be fun watching this guy next year without traction control.

Nico Rosberg had excellent race again. Sixth place, more points in the bag, he is squeezing out all that there is in the Williams car. There has been lots of Hamilton hype this year, but looks at what Rosberg is achieving… Unlike Rosberg, Wurz had a weekend to forget…

This was mixed race for Red Bull. Webber ended up in points again, Coulthard retired. It looks like this season is one long shakedown for the Newey designed car… It has lots of promise, until it breaks …

Kovalainen brought 1 point for Renault. He blames this performance on wrong one stop strategy, who knows. He however managed to hold off Kubica’s attempts to overtaking towards the end of the race. Kubica did overtake him earlier on, before the first round of pit stops. Fisichella did not race much, Spa is a track where working break are useful …

Another driver worth mentioning here is Adrian Sutil. He had one hell of a race in the new B-spec Spyker. He charged through the field like a hot knife through the butter and only got stuck at 12th behind Coulthard. What a drive! He lost few places after pit stops, but he finished 14th on merit.

Toyota and Honda were again beaten by the teams using their engines and running on much lower budgets. Ok, Barrichello finished ahead of Aguris, but it was nice to see Sato again overtaking Button on track (before Button retired). In Toyota, Ralf Schumacher for once came in ahead of Trulli. But 10th and 11th are not the places they dream about…

I have to say, I was quite happy with the TV coverage of the race. There were some new camera angles and nice shots of the Eau Rouge and some other steep gradient parts of the track. That helps to make the viewers appreciate the toughness of this track. However, all this was spoiled by another stupid and incompetent commentary, at least on the Star Sports TV. When will they get rid of this Stephen Slater guy… This guy calls Yamamoto Sutil, Kovalainen Fisichella, Barrichello Button, he even confuses Davidson for Sutil – these 2 guys have totally different car colors!!! For god’s sake, can you watch the race that you are commenting for once?

2013 Teams and Drivers

Red Bull
1. Sebastian VETTEL
3. Fernando ALONSO
4. Felipe MASSA
5. Jenson BUTTON
6. Sergio PEREZ
8. Romain GROSJEAN
10. Lewis HAMILTON
12. Esteban GUTIEREZ
Force India
14. Paul di RESTA
15. Adrian SUTIL
16. Pastor MALDONADO
17. Valtteri BOTTAS
Toro Rosso
18. Daniel RICCIARDO
19. Jean Eric VERGNE
20. Charles PIC
21. Giedo van der GARDE
24. Jules BIANCHI

2013 F1 Calendar

15-17 March - Australia
22-24 March - Malaysia
12-14 April - China
19-21 April - Bahrain
10-12 May - Spain
23-26 May - Monaco
07-09 June - Canada
28-30 June - Great Britain
5-7 July - Germany
26-28 July - Hungary
23-25 August - Belgium
06-08 September - Italy
20-22 September - Singapore
04-06 October - Korea
11-13 October - Japan
25-27 October - India
01-03 November - Abu Dhabi
15-17 November - USA
22-24 November - Brazil


2010 Mercedes GP F1 Merchandise