Paul Henman formula1 Belgian Grand Prix – Race

Belgian Grand Prix – Race

Qualifying gave us an interesting grid: GF, JT, NH, RB, RK, KR, TG, SV, MW, NR, AS, LH, FA, JB, HK, SB, JA, KN, RG, LB.

LB actually got a 5 grid spot penalty for an engine change but he was already easily in last place. Apparently he also managed to crash in parc ferme last weekend!

It’s cool but dry: air 16°C, track 30°C, wind 1.6m/s, humidity 51%

GF leads everyone around on the formation lap
Seems to be quite a slow lap
RK, RB & KR are on the soft (option) compound tyre
They form up again on the grid

01/44: RB slow off the grid
KR runs wide in Turn 1
KR up to P2 as they head up the hill
Couple of cars off as they come out of Eau Rouge, including LH
Safety Car deployed
Replay shows RK across the grass; RG smacked JB from behind, spins him, LH backs off to avoid the accident and gets hit too!

02[SC]: Several cars pit – JT, RB, AS
RB switched to the medium (prime) tyres
Marshals are clearing the accident site – out are JB, RG, LH & JA

03[SC]: GF, KR, RK, TG, MW, NH, NR, SV
BBC report SV claims NR passed him under yellow flags

04[SC]: SC in at the end of this lap

05/44: GF leads everyone over the line to restart
AS records the fastest lap! 2:46.187
KR takes P1 through Eau Rouge
SV takes P7 from NR

06: KR f/lap 1:49.555
RB squeezes past LB into the chicane – now up to P13 after his pit stop

07: KR f/lap 1:48.090
RB eases past KN for P12

08: AS passes LB for P14

09: KR f/lap 1:47.749
Somehow JT is behind LB – he must have had an off
AS takes P13 from KN

10/44: KR, GF, RK, TG, MW, NH, SV, NR; retirements: JB, RG, LH, JA
BBC interview LH – squeezed in the first turn and lost part of his front wing; hit again as he tried to avoid JB’s spin; but new it wasn’t going to be an easy weekend

11: BBC interview JB – pushed wide in Turn 1 but made up ~4 places; RG out braked himself and him rear wheel; frustrated; first DNF this season
GF was expected to pit on lap 10 but they’ll all go longer after those laps behind the SC

12: JT still stuck behind LB – hard to pass a KERS car

13: RK pits, as does TG
RK moves to the prime tyre
Problem with TG’s stop – had to swap to the reserve fuel rig

14: NH f/lap 1:47.738
SV f/lap 1:47.646

15/44: KR pits with GF right behind
MW & NH pit too
Will Red Bull be penalised for releasing MW right in front of NH?
NH passes MW
Replay on board with NH shows he had to brake and turn away to avoid MW exiting his pit box

16: RB eases past SB for P10
Cars 14 and 6 under investigation by the stewards (that’s MW & NH)
Drive-through penalty for MW

17: SV pits from P1- rejoins ahead of NH
NH harrying SV for P8

18: NR leads but he’s yet to pit; his lead is only 1.3secs
The stewards announce they’ll investigate the first lap incidents (RG & JB; LH & JA) after the race

19: NR pits and MW serves his penalty

20/44: KR, GF, FA, RK, HK, SB, SV, NH; retirements: JB, RG, LH, JA

21: JT pits from P16/last for his 2nd stop – slow stop because they had problems removing the fuel rig
LB just put in the fastest Sector 1 time of all!?

22: SB pits from P6
JT in the pits again … and he’s pushed into the garage

23: LB sets another fastest Sector 1 time – KERS is working well for him

24: Yet to pit: FA, HK, KN & LB
Pit-car for GF tells him to make up a tenth (0.1sec) a lap on KR

25/44: FA pits from P3 – problem changing the front left wheel – can’t get the spinner on – ~35sec stop
Replay from Lap 1 Turn 1 incident shows FA’s front left hit by a spinning car (AS?) – that’ll be what caused the damage
LB has pitted too

26: Pit-car tell FA to return to the pits slowly – they’re got to retire the Renault because of a problem with the front left corner

27: HK pits – clean stop – 8.3s
AS pits too
SB attacking HK but the McLaren stays ahead

28: RB pits – final stop – rejoins just ahead of KN

29: GF still on KR’s tail; they’ve both got to pit again

30/44: KR, GF, RK, SV, NH, NR, TG, MW; retirements: FA, JT, JB, RG, LH, JA

31: RK pits from P3 – rejoins in P5

32: KR and GF pit together – both have clean stops – KR stays just ahead

33: NH pits from P2
Pit-car for MW warn him to stay off the curbs in Eau Rouge

34: NR pits
RB has closed right up on HK

35/44: SV*, KR, GF, RK, NH, MW, HK, RB (SV needs to pit again)
NH f/lap 1:47.541

36: SV pits from P1 – rejoins ahead of RK
NH f/lap 1:47.371
MW right on the tail of NR

38: SV f/lap 1:47.331

39: SV f/lap 1:47.263
SV has closed the gap from GF to 4.5secs
AS has a look up the outside of TG as they climb up Eau Rouge, but TG holds on to P10

40/44: KR, GF, SV, RK, NH, HK, RB, NR; retirements: FA, JT, JB, RG, LH, JA
SV is closing on GF by about 0.5s/lap so he might get close but won’t have time to challenge for P2

41: If the race ended now, RB would only take 2 points out of JB’s championship lead

42: Smoke coming from the right bank of RB’s Mercedes engine

43: Pit-car for RB urgently tells him to back off and try to save the engine

44/44 = final lap: Pit-car tells RB that telemetry is OK so they suspect an oil leak
KR takes the chequered flag, with GF less than a second behind him! (That’s Ferrari’s first win this season)
SV over the line for P3, followed by RK, NH, HK
RB nurses the Brawn home for P7; NR is 2.6s behind

Flames from RB’s engine as he drives into the pit lane

Provisional results: KR, GF, SV, RK, NH, HK, RB, NR, MW, TG, AS, SB, KN, LB

KR: We’re really putting the effort into next year; we probably weren’t the fastest
GF: “Great result for us”; “I was quicker than Kimi”; pleased with 8 points but clearly thought he could win
SV: “Very good result”; “had a very good start”; “lost too much ground in the first stint”; “pleasure to drive the car”
KR: if he hadn’t passed GF at the restart (after the SC) he doesn’t think he’d have been able to pass GF
GF: will he drive for Ferrari at Monza? “It’s just a rumour”
SV: “this championship is a bit crazy” (referring to how it’s impossible to predict who’ll win)
KR: “it’s a proper circuit”; “it’s good fun to drive”; “it’s a nice place to win”

I’ll post the updated points tables later; I don’t think the stewards’ investigations will affect the results.

The next race is at Monza, Italy, in two weeks (September 11-13), and the rumour is that Fisichella will be replacing Badoer at Ferrari. Stay tuned!

5 thoughts on “Belgian Grand Prix – Race”

  1. “Force India have named reserve driver Vitantonio Liuzzi as Giancarlo Fisichella’s replacement for the final five races of the 2009 season.” [BBC]

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