Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2013

Belgian Grand Prix gets lowest rating yet in 2013

2013 Belgian Grand PrixPosted on | Author Tom Taylor

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2013Spa-Francorchamps may be a favourite venue for drivers and fans but this year’s race was no classic.

The average rating given by F1 Fanatic readers was 5.688 out of ten – the lowest for an event so far this season and well down on Spa’s average rating for its previous five races: 7.839.

In many ways qualifying was the highlight of the weekend. Saturday afternoon rain saw Marussia and Caterham get cars through to Q2, while Paul di Resta briefly held provisional pole position.

Sunday’s race will one to forget for Kimi Raikkonen, who recorded his first DNF since his return to the sport last year. But it says a lot about the race that one of the biggest talking points of the day was a protest by Greenpeace.

Some of you did manage to find a few positives, though:

Exciting first half of the grand prix, with some good battles, and not knowing the strategies which were going to play out.

However, it kind of fizzled out towards the end, especially once Button converted to a two-stop, which I?m still not sure why they did that, considering the worst they were going to finish was sixth anyway.

Great drives from the top three (as usual), especially Vettel. Alonso and Hamilton also took everything out of the car.

Nice to see the top three drivers on the podium, and nice to see Hamilton and Vettel being friendly after the race.

The race wasn?t that amazing, especially for the lead. It was interesting to follow the midfield and where the backmarkers were, considering their grid positions.

Some good overtaking (Raikkonen on many people, Vergne versus Hulkenberg, Alonso on Webber on lap one), some bad (DRS is becoming increasingly tedious, Perez trying to force off Grosjean, Maldonado not using his mirrors) but I still enjoyed the first two-thirds of it much more than most races of the 2000s.

The authenticity of modern F1 racing is a constant source of complaints, such as this one:

Terrible race for me. This season I have really fallen out of love with F1. After 20 years and plenty of live races I am just not remotely excited by the fake DRS racing we now have.

I know I am not like a casual viewer so will be in the minority but I miss the chess-like battles that build and ebb and flow. The anticipation can be so exciting, edge of your seat wait/willing something to happen.

Yes some races you had to will anything at all to happen but when races were good, they were really good and real! If a car was out of position he could try and hang on, sometimes unbelievably. Fat chance now.

So many battles robbed by DRS. I think we have given it a fair crack but it is so obviously not the answer I think I will switch off before they switch it off. So sad that I feel I’m loosing something I love.

Last month Keith wrote about his growing dislike of DRS – something a lot of people remarked on after Spa:

DRS ruined it again for me, Drivers admitted to slowing down before detection zones to stop other drivers passing them at the end of the straights.

For Spa ?ǣ yes, I was expecting more. DRS must be forbidden on that track, but the conservative tyre choice made it even more worse.

DRS really needs to be banned, how anyone can find any of the DRS passes anything other than totally and utterly boring and dull is beyond me!

There is literally nothing even remotely exciting or interesting about any of the DRS passes, There all far too easy, very uneventful and ridiculously boring to watch occur.

I want to see some real overtaking again, Not this stupid push of a button motorway drive-by artificial rubbish passing!

One of the major incidents of the race saw Pastor Maldonado collide with both Force Indias and eliminate Paul di Resta, earning a stop-go penalty. Opinion was divided on the stewards’ use of one of the harsher F1 penalties:

A drive-through maybe, but I viewed it that Sutil didn?t leave enough space and the collision with Di Resta was an inevitability after that.

Maldonado?s collision with Sutil was caused by Maldonado making a swerve for the pit lane. He then made a second move for the pits and totally wiped out di Resta. Taking two cars ? two cars you?re not even realistically racing ? out on your way to the pits? Not acceptable. Maldonado fully deserved a stop go penalty.

He tried to dive for the pit while two cars were still passing. Utterly stupid move from him. Again!

Hopes were high for the Belgian Grand Prix but in the end it didn’t strike a chord with most viewers:

Qualification promised so much, but the race came up very short.

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