Hamilton wins wet-weather thriller in Spa (Belgian Grand Prix race review)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Lewis Hamilton won his third race of the year in Spa to take back the lead of the drivers’ championship.

He passed Mark Webber at the start and clung on to win as a series of showers hit the track causing an action-packed race.

They were the only two of the top five championship runners to score points as Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button all hit trouble

Barrichello crashes out of 300th race

Having started from pole position Webber was down to sixth by the first corner, as he bogged down badly. Hamilton seized the lead followed by Robert Kubica and Button.

But within a few moments the first of the rain showers had hit the tracks. It wasn’t very heavy, but enough to make the braking zone for the chicane treacherous. Several cars failed to get around it including Hamilton and Button, who was trying to pass Kubica.

Rubens Barrichello also got it wrong and crashed heavily into Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari. The impact was enough to tear a wheel off the Williams, ending Barrichello’s 300th race, but Alonso astonishingly was able to keep going.

That brought the safety car out, but not before Button had taken advantage of a mistake by Kubica at the top of Eau Rouge to claim second. Vettel almost followed him through but had to take to the grass to avoid the Renault.

Vettel hits Button

Hamilton stayed ahead of Button at the restart while Vettel moved ahead of Kubica. The Red Bull driver now set about attacking Button, whose McLaren had a damaged front wing.

Hamilton had stretched his lead to ten seconds by the time the rain returned and Vettel began pursuing Button more aggressively. On lap 16 Vettel tried to pass Button at the chicane, lost control of his car and ploughed into the side of the McLaren.

Steam billowed from the side of the MP4-25, indicating it was terminally damaged. But Vettel was able to continue after a stop in the pits for a new front wing. Meanwhile Kubica moved up to second ahead of Webber.

As another shower passed over the track teams turned their attention to making their mandatory dry-tyre pit stops. Adrian Sutil came in early to ensure he stayed ahead of Alonso.

The Ferrari driver had already been in after his collision to try intermediate tyres before switching back to the hard compound. He picked off the new teams’ cars and then spent several laps trying to get past Liuzzi, who he eventually edged aside at the chicane for 13th place.

After Sutil pitted the others began to react. First Webber, then Felipe Massa and Kubica together on the next lap. Webber fell short of getting ahead of Kubica with his pit stop, trying to slipstream by at Kemmel but unable to get by.

Hamilton finally came in on lap 24 and got away again still in the lead. But it wouldn’t be his last stop.

Scare for Hamilton

The biggest shower of the race arrived with around ten laps to go. As before Hamilton and the rest tried to tough it out on slicks to begin with. Others gambled: Timo Glock switched to full wet tyres right away, but it never got quite wet enough for that.

Hamilton, Kubica, Webber and Massa came by the pits still on their slicks as the rain hammered down, but the cars further behind them had seen enough and all began to peel in, most for intermediates.

Hamilton found out why at Rivage, as he understeered off through the gravel. He gave the barrier the merest of kisses and managed to re-join the circuit. But his lead had now been slashed.

This time the lead quartet all pitted. Kubica failed to stop his R30 on his marks and knocked several of his pit crew over, and the time lost allowed Webber by into second place.

Crash ends Alonso’s race

By now Alonso had made it up to eighth by Kamui Kobayashi. But as he came out of turn seven on lap 37 he ran too high on the kerb and spun into the barrier.

This finally brought the apparently indestructible Ferrari to a halt and the safety car was summoned again. At this point the rain was falling most heavily, potentially robbing the drivers who’d tried full wets of their best chance to make up places.

The race re-started with four laps to go and Hamilton held his lead over Webber and Kubica to the flag – the McLaren driver finally claiming the win that was taken from him two years earlier. Webber was the only other driver in the top five of the championship to score points.

Massa had a quiet run to fourth, with Adrian Sutil less than a second behind him at the flag.

Nico Rosberg took sixth ahead of Michael Schumacher, the pair swapping places twice during the race. Schumacher passed Rosberg – and gave his front wing a knock – after his team mate was taken by Vitaly Petrov. But Rosberg fought back later in the race, edging his team mate aside at Les Combes.

Petrov came home ninth behind Kobayashi – a useful recovery having started 23rd. Jaime Alguersuari claimed the final point for tenth but the stewards are investigating whether he gained an advantage by cutting the chicane late in the race while battling with Liuzzi.

The Force India driver was 11th ahead of Pedro de la Rosa, Sebastien Buemi and Nico H???lkenberg who spun late in the race on wet tyres.

Vettel ended the race out of the points in 15th. Liuzzi made contact with his left-rear tyre after Vettel passed him at the chicane, leaving Vettel with a puncture which he had to drag around an entire lap. An extra stop for a second set of full wet tyres meant he made a total of five trips to the pit lane, including his drive-through penalty for hitting Button.

Heikki Kovalainen was first among the new teams, followed by Lucas di Grassi, Timo Glock, Jarno Trulli and Sakon Yamamoto.

2010 Belgian Grand Prix

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149 comments on “Hamilton wins wet-weather thriller in Spa (Belgian Grand Prix race review)”

  1. Maybe Ferrari can let Alonso jump into Massa’s car on the last lap. Just so he can maintain his 50% chance of beating his useless-but-don’t-bin-it rivals, you know…

    1. Couldn’t agree with you more

    2. Truly Ferrari/Alonso’s fault that Barrichello still doesn’t know when to brake after 300 Grand Prix’s.

      1. Actually I was referring to his spin at the end – though he was outdriven by Massa in qualifying too. The problem with demanding number one status is having to deliver the results afterwards. Maybe Alonso heaps too much pressure on himself this way? Still he doesn’t seem to know any other.

        1. I do think Alonso is just pushing too much this year as well (maybe that’s Vettels problem as well). He should just relax enough to bring some of those points home. If he would have finshed 6-8th he would have actually got very close to Button.

          1. Vettel problem is more serious than pushing too hard. He has some serious issues with race craft and mental focus. He would do well to hire a sports psychologist at the end of the season to assist in preparation for next year. It could save his career.

      2. Perhaps, after having won 2 World Championships, Fernando could learn that the kerbs are very slippery when wet.

        1. As could Hamilton last year in Monza even when it was dry.

          That not being the case, on the contrary, the curb is acctualy gripier than the asphalt.

          1. * * * yawn * * *

          2. We’re talking about Alonso here, not Hamilton. But if you choose to compare, in Monza Hamilton was fighting for a win in a season which he could not win at all. Crashing out was not important at all for his championship aspirations (which were non existent) so he pushed beyond the limit. Alonso on the other hand was in a wet-setup car in the wet, with intermediate tires, in a championship position which doesn’t allow for silly mistakes, and he made a silly mistake. I’m sorry mate, but questions need to be raised for that…

        2. Funnily enough, I was immediately reminded of his Fuji 2007 crash when I saw the onboard footage.

          1. Funnily enough, I was immediately reminded of his (hamiltons) China 2007 crash when I saw the onboard footage.

        3. … The Australian commentators absolutely ripped into Petrov after qual…

          I wonder if they noticed that Alonso did the same thing?

  2. Great race at spa like usual, nice job Hamilton, Webber, Kubica, Schumi, Petrov. Once again Seb “effs up.” Well at least this time he can’t blame his car…

  3. That was possibly the best race of the season. But I would have loved it if Alonso hadn’t have crashed! We would have seen an incredible amount of overtaking from those who had put the full wets on first and we may have seen some points for Lotus, Virgin and Hispania… What a shame. The safety car ruined what could have been a finish quite possibly as exciting as in 2008. Still, it was a highly entertaining race! :P

  4. Lewis has matured so much. I think he is now the best driver in F1 as Alonso seems to be the one making more mistakes than him now.

    1. I was actually thinking earlier about that Alonso quote from last year when he said “I might not be the fastest but I’m the most consistant” I’m starting to wonder if he’s now the fastest, with stunning drives like Malaysia, but he’s lost the consistency. As much as it pains me to say it Hamilton has been the driver of the year so far.

    2. Hamilton could have been out too. The difference between winning and losing was very little today. You can’t make those conclusions out of that.

      1. I mean on a whole. He hasn’t made any huge mistakes this year really. Not as many as others.

        1. Hamilton was very lucky today. As usual I might add.

          1. Like 2007 when his gearbox shut down? Come on.

            Alonso was unlucky today, admittedly he has been unlucky this season as a whole. It will even out.

          2. You make your own luck, as they say luck happens when preparation meets opportunity..

          3. “It’s good to be good, better to be lucky” -Martin Brundle (99% sure it was his quote though he may have picked it up elsewhere)

      2. Agreed. Hamiliton drove very well, deserved his win, but another inch or two and it may have been over for him.

    3. Lewis matured? It was almost China 2007 part 2.

      1. I know what you guys are saying he made a mistake today and Webber was the only driver not to today (the start was due to a clutch problem) but Hamilton has been the most consistnant driver over the course of this season.

        1. I think Ham has been a whole lot more consistent than Alo. He’s made his mistakes like in quali, clipping Mas in Aus and the crash in practice at Hock but it’s easy to forget those when looking at the mess Alo has made this year. I think Alo will return to his consistent ways next year. He seems to be putting far too much pressure on himself. He needs to calm down and the results will start to flow.

          1. Maybe Alonso can invite Vettel to a chill-out session that could help them both :)

          2. Clearly the most consistent driver is Sakon…

            I take that back, he has improved slightly this weekend… not nearly enough though.

    4. Absolutely. They have clearly swappped roles. Only problem is that the new Ham is quicker than the old Alonso (pre-2007) while the new Alonso can’t even match the old Ham.
      Yet another unprovoked schoolboy error by Alonso. Mediocre.

      1. Well, this is the normal debate that I expected to see here, Hamilton v Alonso when the title is actually Hamilton v Webber?

        It disappointing that Alonso, with all his experience, managed to throw the race away like that. Then again, these guys are so competitive that they probably push too hard anyway. This was the case with Alonso, pushing too hard. He’s been doing this all season, which is why he has been making too many errors, because he’s driving the car a little over its limits. Its a gamble, sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t, thats racing.

        Lewis has the best car under him at this point, and I say Lewis and not Mclaren. The car is suited to Lewis hence Jenson is still finding the sweet spot. Lewis drove a great race yesterday and deserves the credit, he has been driving well all year.

        Alonso has put up some great drives this year, but his car is not allowing him to take it to the next level. Monza will be an ultimate test…but Mclaren should sweep that with the F-Duct.

        My pick for champion this year is Lewis!

        1. @Jay Menon. I would have thought you would have mentioned that Barrichello crippled the Ferrari? how could he get over that type of shunt?

  5. “They were the only two of the top five championship runners to score points as aonlink, Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button all hit trouble”

    Who’s aonlink!!?

  6. I thought it was ridiculous that drivers were having to make compulsory stops even in a rain interupted race. Surely this just undoes the advantage gained by those who may be brave enough to stay out on slicks in the rain. It would make more sense for race control to declare the race ‘wet’ when there is any significant amount of rainfall and remove the rule to use both dry compounds.

    1. The race was ‘wet-race’ flaged at the start. They did not have to use both compounds.

    2. I thought that was the rule today as well today until the BBC and Keith both said that the mandatory stop still stood

      “As another shower passed over the track teams turned their attention to making their mandatory dry-tyre pit stops”

      1. Only for the drivers who had not already used wet-weather tyres. Alonso, for example, put intermediates on at the first safety car period, so he needn’t have switched to the hards later on, he could have used the softs.

  7. Great race by Hamilton, real shame about Button, would have loved to see him race in the wet conditions towards the end of the race, it would definitely have been interesting to see the two McLaren’s fight it out!

    I also think it would have been a very interesting fight up Eau Rouge and down the straight between Webber and Hamilton, a shame that didn’t happen.

    Once again Vettel show’s us how good he is at overtaking… Something needs to be said to him I think because this is clearly getting dangerous, thats twice now this season he has made a huge mistake in an overtaking opportunity. Feel very sorry for Button because something like that can easily put a driver out of a title fight. The penalty I feel wasn’t harsh enough, the only conciliation to Button is that he didn’t collect any points.

    1. Also feel sorry for Barrichello… But how on earth did Alonso carry on that was a right shunt! His rear suspension must be very strong indeed.

      1. I a huge fan of Rubens, but find it very difficult to feel sorry for him when he made such a rookie error in his 300th race.
        I actually felt more sorry for Alonso…..and I never thought I would be saying that.

        1. Everybody went off, not just Rubens.

      2. His front suspension’s still not strong enough though…

      3. Agreed. I watched that crash and was just absolutely gobsmacked that the ferrari could carry on after that. The rear end of that thing must be solid!

        1. He pretty much hit it straight on too, I’m surprised it didn’t shatter!

  8. vettel really needs to calm down, jonathan legard is just rubbish, and well done lewis :D that is all.

    1. Sweet and simple but I agree.

    2. it’s a bit of ‘Lewis @ 2008’ over Vettel.

    3. David Johnson
      29th August 2010, 17:13

      Argeed, BBC has to replace Jonathan Legard, on the last lap he was commenting that Webber would still leading the championship…nothing personal, he just can’t do the job.

      1. Younger Hamilton
        29th August 2010, 17:33

        You see this is why i watch F1 with Crofty and Davidson now online,Legard is SO BORING im missing out of Martin’s brilliant commentary because of Legard and his stupid and non-exciting view on the races live.BBC PLEASE drag this man out and Put Crofty or James Allen in that Chair.

        LEGARD sucks 10/10

        1. I couldn’t agree more.
          I was absolutely shocked when they announced that Legard was the replacement commentator.
          I have seldom known anyone who is so consistantly wrong and interrupts his colleagues when they are making an interesting statement, just to come up with some facile comment.
          The only place I disagree is putting James Allen back in there. He is a great journalist and I enjoy his articles, but as a commentator he simultaneously sucks and blows!
          Give us Crofty on the telly please.

        2. Perfectly agree on the Legard part and putting Crofty in that chair. But please, not JA again, Jeez no! He’s good for non-live stuff, but not live commentary, he did enough on ITV, couldn’t stand him then, can’t imagine him on live commentary again.

      2. i don’t hear what legard says anymore. I just hear it as a blur and mumble these days.

    4. Yes, yes and yes.

    5. he’s especially rubbish at the start of the race when he doesn’t get one fact right and just trips over himself

      then in the race he gets excited over the most insignificant thing and brundle is like “nor mate, calm down”

      lewis’s pit for hards today: “oh and he’s out in-front! Look! He’s kept his lead!” ok mate, he had a 12s gap to 2nd before he pitted you douche.


      but in the real world david croft should have legard’s job, and brundle is good craic.

      and one last thing – legard doesnt do anything apart from his race commentating, he’s nowhere to be seen before the race then right after he just nicks off home. At least brundle does his grid walk and the f1 forum.

      that is all.

  9. Button’s famous luck ran out and ran straight to Hamilton today. Hamilton drove a pretty brilliant race, even accounting for this off at Rivage, but things really fell his way mostly. Even though Kubica could not keep Webber back, Hamilton has elimated several drivers from being able to leap frog him at Monza, including Alonso.

    Vettel’s penalty was correct, and possibly lenient. This was not a “racing incident.” Vettel was already in the braking zone and straight up Button’s tailpipes when he decided he would drive around Button on the outside. How else was that going to end? That was some local kart track hackery from Vettel. If he was out he would probably would have been stamping around like a baby making the “Vogel” sign with his hand, blaming Button. This was exaclty like Turkey: Vettel did not have the room to make the pass and decided he would force the situation as hard as he could. The way that Button controlled himself afterward with the press shows that guy’s class.

  10. Is it possible that the redbull car was actually modified to pass the tests ?. Last season despite the horsepower disadvantage redbull was still able to make up their time deficits in the middle sector where downforce was most needed . And looking at the wing it seems to be much higher than hungary although onboard footage shows that its still flexing . I guess we might see the end of that flexing at monza . that test at monza won’t just be about loads the FIA will be looking for parts where flexing might be exploited .

    here is the sector 2 times .

    hamilton 48.023 +0.177
    webber 47.846

    here is where redbull should be dominant yet that wasn’t the case . hamilton made almost 0.4s on webber in the first and last sector

    christian horner needs to stop using the old horsepower argument ,its getting old . redbull matched mclaren in top speed .

    webber 303.2 kph
    hamilton 303.1 kph

    1. Agree with most of your comments except the horsepower argument.

      How times did we notice today a Force India driver being overtaken and then they take the position back, not by tow but by pure power of the engine. Mercedez engine defenitely has a power advantage over others.

      1. It’s really getting boring the whole horse power argument, didn’t Renault get the highest top speed in Montreal? I guess their car is not slippery enough through the air as the Renault!

      2. To be fair, that could just be down to gearing. Everyone was maxing out down that straight as it was

    2. You could hear that McLaren has done something with their engine, possibly to blow the diffuser off-throttle. It sounds like a WW-II fighter engine on the overrun. Matchett thought it was going to blow. First time I heard it I was ready to see flying valves. So, the lack of an S2 gap may be McLaren’s gain.

      If RBR is getting skunked like this on straights, with such little response in the high speed corners they so love, the Lesmos will offer them little cover in Monza. Looks McLaren is going to dominate in Italy.

    3. From what i saw on track, Red Bull took off some wing, i.e. downforce to enable them to better block/attack in sectors 1 and 3 for the race.

      When you look at Kubica’s speed i have no doubt, the Renault engine is just as good an engine as the Mercedes, just a little bit different in its characteristics.

    4. Purely on possible downforce, RBR should have the advantage in sector 2. I suppose that the more efficient F-duct of McLaren may have enabled them to put on more wing for sector 2 than the Red Bulls had. That would be my best guess really.

      The onboard footage on Webber and Vettel when running the straights in sectors 1 and 3 clearly showed that the wing still flexes as much as it ever has.

    5. I really dont get why they want engines equalised. They may as well make teams run the same chassis and bodywork in that case. Differing engines are just another aspect of the competition in f1, like faster/slower car designs.

  11. Great race. Well done Hamilton and Webber, but I think Kubica didn’t deserve the podium. He made a good start, but made two major mistakes on track, and one in the pits – losing positions to Button, Vettel and Webber. Oh, and don’t think I’m a Kubica hater. I think he’s one of the finest drivers out there, but today he didn’t show his best side.

    1. Not sure who else might have deserved 3rd more but I know what you mean, Kubica seemed to let the pressure get to him – bit like 2008 when he suddenly found himself in semi-contention for the championship.

      1. Are you trying to say that Kubica’s poor performances in 2008 after win in Canada were down to the fact that he let the pressure get him?
        Wasn’t that because (as he said himself) they [he and rest of the team] “wasn’t pulling in the same direction”?
        BMW concentrated more on helping Nick to solve his problem with warming up tires and also they switched more resources to the 2009 car, because the team achived what it had planned for 2008 – a win, but they planned challeging for the title in 2009 not 2008.

        As for today’s race, I’m not sure neither who deserved 3rd place more. Sure Kubica made three costly mistakes (I must say I’m a disappointed with his driving today, after that nice streak of flawless drives), but he was there to capitalise on Button/Vettel incident and kept good pace all race.
        He was a bit lucky but doesn’t luck play a big part in F1?
        -Hamilton’s title after Glock’s puncture in Brazil(?)
        -Button’s gamble in Australia
        -Kubica’s win in Canada after Hamilton showed how concentration is important in the pitlane
        -McLaren’s one-two in Turkey
        -Alonso’s win in Bahrain

        1. I was thinking mainly of China 2008, where he was 12 points behind, two races to go, but qualified way down the grid after struggling all weekend to get the car balance right. Not a big criticism, though, I think Kubica’s a great driver, just an observation.

        2. I don’t recall Glock having a puncture!
          He didn’t put on wet tyres(inters) as it started to rain so he passed almost everybody who did, then when it started to rain more heavily, only half of them got him back, so I see it as gamble paying off for Glock and him being lucky not Hamilton.

          1. I just remember Glock having problem at the end and being overtook at the last lap.
            And cheering Ferrari. For few seconds.

            That’s why I put a question mark there :)

            Still, If Glock lasted one or two corners longer it would have been a different story.

    2. I wouldn’t call letting Button pass him a mistake. The McLarens were clearly faster today so i think he just did a smart thing. What happened with Vettel, though, is beyond me and the pit-lane accident was a shame on him too.

      Overall, mediocre race for Kubica considering what he is capable of doing, luckily Renaults are strong and Vettel’s kamikaze move gave him a podium. Can’t agree with you he didn’t deserve it – there was not a single driver on the grid more worth of it.

    3. Kubica indeed wasn’t too concentrated today, unlike usually. Normally, he easily should be second today.
      But his mistakes were relatively minor, and except that his pace really good – on par with Red Bulls and better than Button. That’s why it helped him to build a pressure on Vettel from which he benefited.

      1. To be fair, Button was quicker at the start of the race (hence he overtook Kubica). Unfortunately he took some front wing damage in the process of one of his overtakes and lost balance. Didn’t you hear all the radio calls with efforts trying to improve it?

        1. Actually it was Kubica’s mistake at Eau Rouge from which Button benefited, not Button being that fast.

          1. True, but Button after they regained position on the track after everyone went off at the bus stop, Button was behind Massa in 5th, so the fact that he was in a position to leap on Kubica then suggested he had the pace (especially as he was moving for an overtake when they reached the bus stop in the first place)

  12. Mclaren almost cost Hamilton this race gain by keeping him out too long.he should have pitted on just before starting the lap he spun off.
    THEY PUSHED HIM too far and they are lucky he kept his head when he went of onto the gravel and got out unbeached.

    1. Agreed. One lap earlier would have made a difference, avoiding the run into the gravel.

      1. Younger Hamilton
        29th August 2010, 17:25

        But you never know both Mark,Felipe and Robert stayed out on the same lap maybe if Lewis can in a lap earlier he would have lost 3 places in that but i think that was Highly Unlikely anyway.

        1. I think they would have got into the pit as well if Lewis would have to cover him.

          1. That’s true. It’s worth pointing out too that McLaren were trying to ensure Hamilton didn’t have to stop twice by maximizing his time on the slicks (10 laps left in intermediates with the rain not that heavy at that point). They were saved much risk of that by Alonso calling out the safety car with his dodgy parking moment.

    2. It was driver error, since Kubica and the remaining Red Bull guy didn’t appear to go off, but I was expecting Hamilton and the others to dive in 1 lap earlier, too.

      1. It is quite an advantage to come through after the leader and see what the grip level is, especially if you see him go off, you know its not as much as you might have thought, so I give no gold stars to the rest for not going off there.

        Part of Hamilton’s major achievement in this race was being always the guinea pig for the leaders in changing conditions. It’s suddenly pouring down in a 200mph braking zone—you have got to have nerves or steel to be the first through that. Even so, the chasers could not really run him down even being able to judge the changing pace from his.

        1. I wasn’t really praising the others for not going off, as such, but Hamilton did drive a great race from start to finish.

    3. I was feeling faint when he passed the pits the second time. The whole pit discussion was just like China 07—the wall is saying, lets do what the computer says is ideal and leave him out and rely on his skill or judgement to bail us out if the decision if it turns out wrong. I think the team has a kind of attitude that they optimize everything and don’t take the hedge, as they did in Malaysia and Australia this year, when necessary. It’s a kind of operational hubris where they are more keen to rely on the models and data at the critical moment rather than using judgment.

    4. It’s so easy to make that criticism afterwards and so hard to get the call right at the time. None of the cars immediately following Hamilton pitted earlier than him – Kubica, Webber and Massa all stayed out. Hamilton just had the inevitable leader’s disadvantage of finding the track wetter than the people immediately behind him.

    5. To be fair the rain was light at first and then suddenly pelted down, we were standing on Campus where the weather was coming from and it got very wet very quickly, at that point the pits would have been experiencing the light rain.

  13. Younger Hamilton
    29th August 2010, 17:22

    Im so Proud of Lewis the performance he showed today was outstanding I was shaking and scared throughout the Grand Prix at every Rain Shower and every Yellow flag that occurred today thank god it didnt affect Lewis but that Terrifying moment when he went into the gravel in Rivage and just kissed the barriers by a small margin was the shock of the race to me.Jenson,should be thanked SO SO much for contributing to Lewis’s win and its a big big shame that stupid Seb has to take him out i wanted him on the Podium and Webber out of that Podium,If only Robert didnt make that mistake coming into the pits.Seb deserved every suffering he got in that race.Like DaveW said the way he controlled himself and kept calm was experienced, a personality item and clever.Schumi what a drive he did today thats the MS i know and what he can do but its so unfortunate that Nico took the place back at the end there.

    1. Lots of if onlys here. Feel the same though

  14. Vettel is having some growing pains. Inevitable at this stage – he made a huge splash in 2008 at Monza and since then I suspect everybody has been telling him he’s the coming man, include having de-facto number 1 status in the team.

    Contrast this with Webber, who has simply got his head down, asserted himself within the team, behaviour that takes maturity and guts, and has performed consistently even though he hasn’t always had Vettel’s raw pace.

    Vettel will learn, he showed discipline and self-control in his interview (there was none of the post-Turkey petulance) and apologised. He just needs to apply himself in the same way to his driving, and he will be a champion. He’s clearly fast enough.

  15. Pity for Button. I thought he might have challenged Hamilton given the rain and the eventual course of the race. Vettel, in my opinion, was handed a very lenient penalty, and should possibly have been disqualified after a full race of dangerous driving. Button wasnt really the only victim. Vettel is appaling at overtaking.

    Good race by the top three. And what a breathtaking pass by Petrov on Rosberg!!!

  16. Brundle reckoned Alo was on full wets when he crashed which (if true) means he used every single type of tyre this race. A boring stat.

    1. yer but it was the one time in history when Legard corrected Brundle. He was deffinately on inters. Which probably contributed to the crash, if the safety car hadn’t come out we prob would have seen a few more cars fly off on inters.

      1. Can be just pretenmd it was full wets so I can have my boring and weird stat? :P

        Yep it probably did contribute. I think to sum up in one word where Alo’s weekend has gone wrong it’s been “tyres” for a big part of it.

      2. yeah, there was clearly no big green stripe on the tyres, funny that Brundle didn’t see that.

        1. Those commentators are really bad sometimes, whats wrong with them? always getting drivers mixed up, saying theres 19 laps left when there are 22, getting tyres wrong… They need to sharpen up !

          1. Well, 95% of the bad is with Legard, to be honest.

  17. I just want to say that RACE CONTROL again has been tragicly interfiering in the racing.(punishing Vetel ,investigating Rubens????). They will soon forbide takeovering….TRAGIC.
    Like they have misson to make racing steril and boring…

    1. How is it interfering when Rubens was already out of the race before he was investigated? I thought it was tragically interfering with the race what Vettel did to Button by being too optimistic about chances of overtaking, but not so strange the Race Control thought that needed investigation.

    2. Vettel was punished because he caused an avoidable accident. Vettel only needed to go vaguely right to reach the pit lane and get a new wing, before heading back out. Not as bad as being wiped out of 2nd through zero fault of your own. Hence, Vettel was given a drive-through, which was enough to scupper his chance of any points, something that already befell Button.

      1. Now that its mentioned, what is an avoidable accident? There is no such thing. If its avoidable, there would be no accident, unless its deliberate, which this was not.

        I’m not in favour of the clamour to punish drivers who attempt overtakes and get them wrong, its ruining F1. The same fans who call for penalties then complain when we get processions like bahrain with drivers not willing to risk a move.

        1. Ok, he caused an accident- he was the one and only person to blame in my view. That’s why he got the drive-through penalty.

        2. Well if you’re gonna be pedantic I suppose we’ll change avoidable accident to a stupid accident?

          Vettel was right behind Button on track that he knew was slippery and decided to really flick it out. He was always gonna have problems there!

          1. But was it stupid?
            If he had not have lost control of his car, It could very well have been a great pass. But he did lose control, that’s not stupid, that’s racing.

            They are driving F1 cars and fighting for position.. there is always a certain amount of risk and if the drivers shy away from that risk, they will be rubbish drivers.

          2. Sorry mate, you misunderstood me. Though I’ve never driven an F1 car before, I have raced karts and I can say that the way he flicked the wheel was only ever going to result in a slide, especially under braking. I’m not saying he shouldn’t try and overtake. If he had controlled the car I’d still say it was stupid because modern F1 cars aren’t designed for controlled slides! (though admittedly I’d be praising his car control)

    3. The interfering from the marshalls that irritated me more was throwing the SC out on track because it was raining! These guys are supposed to be the best drivers in the world.

      1. The first safety car was because Barrichello’s car, and all the debris were in a dangerous position. The second was because Alonso’s destroyed car was covering half the track. You simply can’t in this day and age have them racing in such dangerous situations.

  18. Who’s aonlink? Cool name though.

    1. That’s apparently Alonso’s new nickname! Will be calling him that from now on!! :P

      1. I think i will stick with Teflonso or Monobrow hehe

  19. how come Massa wasn’t investigated for stopping past his box on the grid?

    1. seems every question here has been answered… apart from mine…

  20. During the forum they had an onboard of the RB going down the straight. the wings were clearly flexing!

    1. they passed the scrutinering so they’re legal

      1. But they didn’t want a rear facing camera on the floor. It’s pretty apparant that the whole floor section at the front flexes, so scrutineering won’t have a problem with that

  21. “Vettel almost followed him through but had to take to the grass to avoid the Renault.”

    Thing was, he didn’t need to go on the grass. He actually had loads of room, but didn’t stay calm (as per usual with vettel) and instead chose to raise his hand at Kubica.

    Vettel let himself down last season, but this one is ridiculous.

  22. Vettel should be punished, A drive through penalty isn’t harsh enough, he needs a grid drop for the next race in my opinion, hes a great driver but he has a massive inability to overtake! Gutted for Jenson. What a race though!

    1. I think he needs a severe talking to from the FIA about his consistently dangerous overtaking maneuvers. Plus, he could do with a sport psychiatrist or something of the sort to calm him down.

  23. I really hate this! It´s so unfair! When will they stop mistreading Massa! I mean, he was all fired up and ready to jump out of his car and let Alonso drive it and Ferrari didn´t even think of that! Poor Massa…

  24. Did anybody else notice how weird the McLaren’s engine note sounded?

    1. When they lifted off? Brundle said it was “distinguished.”

      1. I was watching it on SPEED in the states, and they made it seem like something was broken, obviously it wasn’t, but i don’t think any other car out there made that sound.

        1. It sounded pretty distinguished to me, like the header had fallen off. It was pronouced in Fagnes and Stavelot, where you might have a lot of part-throttle. Mercedes have had a distinct engine note for a while—kind of heavy and mechanical in low revs, notes of a Porsche racing flat-6 almost, while the Ferrari screams bloody murder. But that bellowing in Fagnes was unmistakeable. They are up to something there.

          1. Sounded sick, little bit worse on Hamilton’s compared to Button.

            Ferrari’s had a a similar sound, though much less pronounced. Mercedes did not have the off-throttle sound but sounded mis-firing-y at gear changes, probably to save the GB’s.

            The McLaren off-throttle sounded like something that would be really uncomfortable in the car…

      2. http://www.jamesallenonf1.com/2010/08/hamilton-wins-action-packed-belgian-grand-prix/

        James Allen Reply:
        August 29th, 2010 at 5:47 pm

        We think it’s to do with retardation of ignition to help constant exhaust pressure onto the diffuser

    2. If you follow this link and look 2/3rds down the page there’s a section on it there:


      & also a bit here.. http://scarbsf1.wordpress.com/2010/06/25/exhaust-driven-diffusers

  25. Anyone come up with any audio of the McLarens?
    I search…….

  26. I nearly forgot, what happened with Massa being too far ahead in his starting box?

  27. I think the reason the mclarens were near to the pace of the redbulls in s2 is because they could afford to use a higher downforce setting than the two rbs. As for Hamilton being lucky as usual, what happened to him in Hungary? It sure wasn’t look in my eyes!!!

  28. @keith,
    Please check end of 3rd paragraph, “aolink”, it is supsd to be Alonso, I am guessing?

  29. not a bad drive from Yamamoto considering his experience and equipment. he seemed to keep it on the road at all times.

    1. I agree. Yamamoto seems to be very good at getting his car home (even if it is usually in last place) and avoiding trouble. Would be interesting to see what he can do in a better car.

      On another topic it seems that the Belgian GP produces another exciting race again. Would be a crying shame if this race disapears off the calendar!

  30. I too would support a Crofty switch to tv. Imagine how hilarious It would be trying to interpret Legard’s muddled sounds coming out of your radio! To be fair, I do enjoy a spot of legarderrorwatch.. it would make a decent drinking game.

  31. bobo_the_legend
    29th August 2010, 22:02

    Great race today probably the best of the season Lewis had a perfect race handled the safety car periods brilliantly and the rain he also did well not to get stuck in gravel trap…. well done kubica POOR OLD RUBENS LOL

  32. Great race by Hamilton. He encountered all situations. Little rain than dry and than heavier rain at the end but still led every lap with only one scary moment.
    He dominated maybe not in terms of time because of two safety cars but for me he was the driver of the day and season so far.
    The title of most complete driver should be taken from Alonso and given to Lewis.

  33. Looks like Webber vs Hamilton on the WDC. Can the other 3 still catch-up on the 6 remaining races?

    Keith, can you do an article on how many points (min) does each driver need to take the WDC?

    1. The minimum points a driver will require to win the WDC is whatever number will get them onto 183.

  34. I’ll say it again for those that didn’t hear it the first time. Championship is between Webber & Hamilton and the sooner Vettel & Red Bull realise it the sooner Webber has a better chance at beating Hanilton to the flag. Vettel can’t be champion this year with all the impatient, agressive spoilt brat tactics he employs. Nobody wins championships with DNF’s & drive through penalties on a regular basis through the season.
    Deserved win for Lewis to make up for 2008. Kubica again showing when the car’s up fot it, he’s on the podium.

    1. Yeah, if vettel wins i will never drink red bull again!

  35. I have to wonder what race-control’s excuse for massa being outside his start-box and not getting a penalty. I’ve never seen anyone get away with this before, and he didn’t lose any advantage into the first corner that might make me think he didnt need one.

  36. Did anyone else notice on the replays Button was the only driver that ran wide at the chicane to get back on the track to make the corner? He lost several places, it then looked as though Alonso yielded and the cameras caught his overtake on Kubica. I assume that was the reason for the investigation that was dropped. Just a bit of action that was missed by the coverage/commentators.

    1. I saw that in the replay, but somehow he got that place back in racing speed.

  37. It was a good race to Spa standard. It was awesome to see that many drivers were caught out in the last corner in the opening lap.Sad day for Ruben as I understand he had no were to go. Feel bad for Button & I think nothing ca Vettel do at that moment as the condition didn’t helped him but once again it seems like he is cracking under pressure. Mark had a bad start but he kept things cool which Vettel failed to do.Alonso race was ruined by his switch to inter-tyres very beginning of the race but Massa raced well.The battle between the Mercedes driver was the highlights of the race & both alone with Kobayashi & Petrov raced well to come from the back to the front. To me Sutil was the surprise as I didn’t expected them to be in the points for this race & for Kubica’s hard work are paying off.

    Now thew question remains will this be only a two horse race between Hamilton & Webber? Red Bull proved today that dispite not been the favourite they have a car which can challenge for the podium where Mclaren’s domination may only remain until the next race in Monza. With Button going with no points in this race I think Mclaren may switch their attention toward Hamilton who seems to be the only one from their team to challenge for the championship. Alonso with his best don’t think will live up with the pace of the Red Bulls once the European rounds are over so he & the team needs to do something very special in Monza & also hope that the people in front of him have a very bad day.

    Last thing what would have happened if Ferrari didn’t ask Massa to give up his victory to Alonso in Germany?
    Alonso – 134 instead of 141
    Massa- 116 instead of 109
    He could have had a good lead over Kubica!

  38. Well, if Webber wins the WDC this year, I will never say ‘never’ again when it comes to F1. I hope Lewis wins it, but I can see how RBR’s superiority in most remaining circuits can give him the title.

  39. Lewis Hamilton is leading the championship as he’s the only genuine contender Vettel hasn’t smashed into yet.

  40. Mel Hutchinson
    30th August 2010, 9:01

    I’ve stated this before and I’ll say it again, the posters on this forum are the most passionate, observant, and informed Formula 1 fans anywhere. In the posts leading up to mine many important aspects of a fantastic 2010 Belgian Grand Prix have been addressed. I would like to add my two cents to the mix. The combination of the greatest racing circuit in the world along with Belgium’s unpredictable weather continues to teach us something new each and every season.
    The realization I had to come to grips with this year is, while Sebastian Vettel is an exceptionally fast driver, his overtaking skills are subpar for a Formula 1 driver. We have seen examples of this deficiency multiple times this season including his poor ability to overtake lapped drivers. Today the light bulb finally went on for me and I realized that Sebastian is a very fast and talented driver but he is not a very good racer. I still have never been convinced that Mark Webber was at fault for the crash in Turkey. As I recall, a poll on this site shows that quite a few of you feel the same way.
    I however disagree with the stewards interfering with the race under today’s circumstances. Penalties should only be applied to drivers who break a rule or intentionally drive dangerously. I think what we saw today was poor racing judgment and not intentional. If Vettel was a good racer he wouldn’t have attempted a pass under those circumstances. Christian Horner and Vettel’s mentor Helmut Marko need to address the situation and coach their driver better. Maybe the FIA should fine the teams when their drivers crash out other teams cars. Would that make more impact without affecting the outcome of the race than the inconsistent penalties we continue to see?
    Speaking of coaching, McLaren did a horrible job again today. I was reminded of the 2007 Chinese Grand Prix. Had McLaren called Lewis into the pits before the cords were visible on his rear tires, he might be a two time world driving champion. Today they got lucky. Hamilton handled the sand trap far better that I do on the golf course. If he had hit the wall and thrown away the win, Martin Whitmarsh should have resigned on the spot. The drivers have to concentrate on racing and the team has to coach them.
    Mark Webber recovered from a nearly disastrous start and drove an excellent race. He was in position to capitalize whenever he had the opportunity and was rewarded with second place. The final races of the season will prove to be exciting. I can’t wait for Monza.

    1. I’ve stated this before and I’ll say it again, the posters on this forum are the most passionate, observant, and informed Formula 1 fans anywhere.

      Couldn’t agree more :-)

  41. Before crucifying Vettel it’s worth remembering that most of these incidents are youthful exhuberance. He believes he is the fastest driver, in the fastest car.

    Reminds me a little of Schumacher in ’92. He kept crashing into people too.

  42. One interesting point I haven’t seen made – isn’t it funny that not a single driver felt the need to take to the tarmac run-off outside La Source at the start? The threat of punishment obviously worked.

  43. The Red Bulls were undergeared so their top speed was too low when they reached the rev limiter.
    But someone please tell me, by how much is the adjustable differential able to alter the effective final drive ratio?

    1. Adjusting the differential only affects the point at which torque is transferred between the two rear wheels (from left to right or vice-versa) to stop the unloaded wheel spinning up. The physical gear teeth aren’t altered so there is no effect on straight-line speed.

      I think the differential gear ratio is probably fixed for the year. The teams nominated 30 gear-pairs before the season started, which form their possible ratios for the gearbox.

      Red Bull clearly chose too short a 7th gear on Saturday morning – Jenson Button said after the race that there was a tail-wind down the straight after Eau Rouge, which probably made the difference when combined with Vettel sitting in Button’s tow. I don’t think SV was on the rev limiter going up to the bus stop chicane, because there wasn’t a tail-wind at that point on the track.

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