Webber shows starts are still a Red Bull weakness (Belgian Grand Prix analysis)

Posted on Author Keith Collantine

Mark Webber, Red Bull, Spa-Francorchamps, 2010

Red Bull aren’t just struggling to turn pole positions into wins – they’re finding it hard to keep their lead as far as the first corner.

It happened again in today’s race at Spa, with Mark Webber slipping to sixth place within a few hundred metres of the start.

Review the race in detail with the analysis and interactive data below.

Lap 1

Lap 1 position change
Lap 1 position change

Webber made a similarly poor getaway in Valencia, dropping seven places on that occasion. Team mate Sebastian Vettel has made a few bad starts too, notably at Silverstone and the Hockenheimring.

Oddly, Button’s great start is not reflected in the official FIA lap data, possibly because of the confusion at the end of lap one as several cars went off at the chicane.

Pit stops

Pit stops
Pit stops

Sebastian Vettel made the most visits to the pits – five – one of which was for a drive-through penalty.

The Mercedes drivers, Jarno Trulli and Lucas di Grassi were the only four drivers to get through with just one pit stop, starting on the hard tyres and only changing to wet-weather rubber at the end of the race.

Rubens Barrichello was probably planning on doing the same, but never got beyond the first lap in his 300th Grand Prix.

Race progress

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View interactive chart full screen

Tick/untick drivers? names to show their laps, click and drag to zoom

It’s clear to see from the race progress chart how vital Hamilton’s 11-second gap over Kubica and Webber was. Had it been much less when he went off on lap 35 he could easily have lost the lead.

Massa seems to have had his usual disagreement with the hard compound tyres as he dropped away from Webber and Kubica after switching to them. He had a slow last lap, too, Adrian Sutil cutting his advantage by 1.3s to 0.8sas they approached the chequered flag.

Lap chart

Lap chart
Lap chart

Nico Rosberg made an excellent restart at the end of the race, picking off his team mate and Kamui Kobayashi to move up to sixth.

Vitaly Petrov steered clear of trouble at the start to move up from 23rd to 11th by the end of the second lap. He even managed to get ahead of Schumacher, but fell back behind him by the end of the race.

There might have been another point for Pedro de la Rosa who was running tenth near the end despite having started last. But he went off four laps from the end on worn wet tyres, losing two places.

NB. The charts above reflect the original timing and do not take post-race penalties into account.

2010 Belgian Grand Prix

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Image (C) Red Bull/Getty images