Belgian GP 2008 predictions

My tip for Spa - Felipe Massa to win a second Grand Prix in a row

My tip for Spa - Felipe Massa to win a second Grand Prix in a row

Who to back for the Belgian Grand Prix? Felipe Massa’s the form man at the moment but Kimi Raikkonen is superb around Spa.

Ferrari reckon the harder tyres being used at Spa this year could hand an advantage to McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton and Heikki Kovalainen. The BMW pair will be poised to capitalise on any mistake by the top four – especially if it rains…

Predicting the top three for this race may be harder than usual. Two readers managed to get the prediction right for the top three at Valencia – find out who below.

Kimi Raikkonen’s record at Spa is formidable – three wins in the last three races at the circuit. It’s tempting to say if he can’t win here, he will not be able to defend his championship. Raikkonen has been struggling in qualifying recently and that has in turn compromised his race pace.

He will start the Belgian Grand Prix with a fresh Ferrari V8 engine following his failure at Valencia. But what about Massa? He will be on his second race with the unit – and Ferrari have had a con rod-related engine failure in the last two races.

Massa can change his engine without penalty (under the new-for-2008 ‘one free change’ rule) but it’s not an easy decision for Ferrari: the next two races are the toughest for the engines with the highest percentage of flat-out running. And Ferrari simply cannot afford another failure, especially with McLaren closing in on them in the constructors’ championship.

Engine concerns aside Massa, who is shrugging off almost every concern about different aspects of his performance this year, must be favourite for victory. I say ‘almost’ because I’m still not convinced of his wet-weather credentials after his awful drive at Silverstone. And Spa-Francorchamps, deep in the Belgian Ardennes, often sees mixed weather conditions.

In wet weather, my first choice for victory would be Hamilton, closely followed by Robert Kubica. In dry conditions Hamilton will likely run Massa very close but, even given Ferrari’s suspicion that the harder tyres will favour McLaren, I think Ferrari’s apparent power advantage should tip the balance in their favour.

So, based on the assumption that the weather will stay dry and the Ferraris will finish, my prediction is:

1. Felipe Massa
2. Lewis Hamilton
3. Kimi Raikkonen

Two readers correctly predicted the Valencia podium of Felipe Massa, Lewis Hamilton and Robert Kubica. Toncho and Becken, stand up and take a bow!

Can they get it right two weeks in a row? Post your podium predictions below. And if you can’t decide who to go for, copy Toncho and Becken…

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77 comments on Belgian GP 2008 predictions

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  1. I’ll go with Raikkonen, Massa, Hamilton.

    Spa was designed for Kimi Raikkonen.

  2. Hey, I´m famous now! 

    …So I will use my crystal ball again to predict the next race:

    1º – Lewis
    2º – Kimi
    3º – Bob Kubitza

  3. 1. Kimi Raikkonen
    2. Sebastian Vettal
    3. Fernando Alonso

  4. chaostheory said on 4th September 2008, 18:34

    Considering it will be shower race: 1.Kubica; 2. Raikkonen; 3. Massa.

    Remember me! :D

  5. I almost agree with you chaostheory.Although i don’t believe Massa will be 3rd.Just a feeling :)

  6. diseased rat said on 4th September 2008, 18:54

    1. Kimi Raikkonen
    2. Lewis Hamilton
    3. Felipe Massa

  7. chaostheory said on 4th September 2008, 19:09

    @ Rui: yeah i know – Silverstone; but i hope he got better by now… BTW. if he will do one spin at Spa – then i’ll stop considering him a ’08 World Champ candidate.

  8. A rainy race looks like a probability, rather than a possibility, but as always, I’ll do two predictions. (Wet and dry)

    Dry Race
    1. Raikkonen
    2. Massa
    3. Hamilton

    Wet Race
    1. Form book (Kubica)
    2. Thrown out (Hamilton)
    3. The Window (Heidfeld)

  9. If it’s dry….
    1. Massa
    2. Hamilton
    3. Raikkonen

    If it’s wet….
    1. Hamilton
    2. Alonso
    3. Raikkonen

  10. Raikkonen
    Massa
    Hamilton

    Is to be considered by dry prediction. My wet prediction is

    Raikkonen
    Hamilton
    Kubica

    People forget just how bloody good Raikkonen is in the wet, particularly in mixed weather conditions. He’s already owned Spa twice in these conditions, and I see no reason why he wouldn’t do it again.

    This is Raikkonen’s weekend.

  11. 1.Hamilton
    2.Kimi
    3.Kovalainen

  12. Nirupam said on 4th September 2008, 20:44

    Kimi
    Massa
    Alonso

    Spa & Kimi..made for each other! Massa in the list because of apparent advantage of Ferrari engines(of course if it lasts!) and Alonso needs to be there simply because he is the best driver in the grid and he should be on podium even with a less competitive car!

  13. Tengil said on 4th September 2008, 21:14

    1. Hamilton
    2. Heidfeld
    3. Kovalainen

  14. Stubie said on 4th September 2008, 21:41

    Dry
    Raikkonen
    Hamilton
    Massa

    Wet
    Hamilton
    Kubica
    Heidfeld

  15. Dry
    Hamilton
    Kimi
    Kovalainen

    Wet
    Hamilton
    Barrichello
    Heidfeld

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