Belgian Grand Prix – Race

It was wet in all the practice sessions and in qualifying, so it’s been a challenging weekend. It’s not raining now (just before the start of the race) but that’s probably going to change during the race.

The provisional grid was: SV, LH, MW, FM, NR, JA, BS, FA, SP, VP, SB, KK, JB, RB, AS, PM, HK, PD, JT, TG, JD, VL, DR, MS … but that was assuming (a) PM isn’t penalised and (b) those that didn’t make the 107% time requirement are allowed to compete on Sunday.

Williams’ Pastor Maldonado has been dropped five places on the Spa grid as a penalty after clashing with McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton during qualifying for Sunday’s Belgium race. Maldonado, who had qualified in 16th, will now start the race from 21st. […] Hamilton, meanwhile, was given a reprimand for his involvement in the incident.
[source: FIA]

SV leads everyone away on the formation lap
Pit-car radio for MS tells him most people are on the option (soft) tyre but BBC report JB is on the prime compound
There’s concern from the teams that the front tyres might blister, which hasn’t been seen before; they’ve asked for replacements but that was denied
Smoke from NR’s Mercedes

01/44: Poor start for MW
Contact in Turn 1
FM ahead of LH
NR takes P1 from SV
On-board camera shows JA has broken his front wing and front-left suspension

02: NR, SV, FM, LH, FA, SB, SP, MW
TG pits, as does BS, HK and JA
FA passes LH for P4
LH attacking FA
MS is already up to P14 having started dead last

03: NR, SV, FM, FA, LH, SB, SP, MW
FA fastest lap 1:56.493
DRS enabled
SV alongside NR and passes him to reclaim P1
Replay of the start – looks like it was BS who caused the Turn 1 incident
Also shows JA got a big thump from behind; breaks his suspension on FA’s rear-right wheel

04: MW pits, as does JB
New nose cone for JB
SV f/lap 1:55.708
FA looking to pass FM
FM all over the tail of NR

05/44: SV, NR, FM, FA, LH, SB, SP, KK
MS pits
NR still defending hard as FM
FA pressuring his teammate; LH closing as the Ferraris battle
FA pushes FM wide; FA takes P3; LH passes FM too

06: SV pits – another set of soft tyres
MW f/lap 1:54.957
Broken end-plate on KK’s car; broken rear wing on SB’s Toro Rosso; coincidence?
Incident in first turn under investigation
Drive-through penalty for car 9 (BS)

07: NR, FA, LH, FM, KK, VP, SV, AS
SB’s made it to the pits
FA takes P1 from NR
LH attacking NR

08: NR still holding off LH … but finally LH makes his move stick
SV f/lap 1:54.733
FM lining up NR now

09: FA pits from P1 – soft tyres – rejoins just ahead of MW
MW alongside FA through Eau Rouge – FA yields just before a huge accident – MW takes P9
BS serves his penalty
MW goes one side of AS; FA goes the other side

10/44: LH, NR, SV, FM, KK, VP, MW, AS, FA, PD; retirements: SB, JA
FA uses DRS to pass MW for P6
Pit-car from SV complaining of blistering tyres

11: LH pits from P1 – soft tyres – rejoins between the two Force Indias
Pit-car for LH reminding him to be gentle with his new tyres

12: NR pits – slow stop
FA f/lap 1:53.747
MW takes P4 from KK
LH right on the tail of VP

13: VP pits, releasing LH
LH easily past KK for P4
KK fights back
Contact – LH takes his line but KK was in his blind spot – LH spun off and bounces off the wall
Safety Car deployed

14[SC]: Lots of teams taking the chance to pit under the SC
Replay shows LH looking to his right at the apex, but KK is on his rear-left corner
BBC asking why KK was there and not directly behind LH, which would have been the faster line

15/44[SC]: KK & PD pit
FA, MW, SV, FM, NR, AS, SP, VP, MS, RB
DR has retired

16[SC]: LH’s McLaren is lifted away
SC in at the end of this lap

17: Green flags – racing again
Clean through Turn 1
NR sneaks past FM for P4
JB has taken P10 from RB

18: FA has got the hammer down but he can’t shake SV
JB around the outside of SP in Turn 1; VP goes the other side and demotes SP to P10
SV takes P1

19: SV f/lap 1:52.281
RB passes SP in Turn 1 but the Williams re-takes P10 at Les Combes
Pit-car for FA tells him “it’s not a disaster for our strategy”

20/44: SV, FA, MW, NR, FM, AS, MS, JB, VP; retirements: DR, LH SB, JA
SV f/lap 1:51.974

21: JB pushing MS for P7 but MS is going to make it very hard to pass
No further action re: incident between LH & KK

22/44: BS pit stop #3
Drive-through penalty for SP following incident with SB
JB brakes later than MS and takes P7

23: JB takes a look at AS but plays it safe
SP serves his penalty
JB takes P6 from AS

24: JB closing on FM now

25/44: SV, FA, MW, NR, FM, JB, AS, MS, VP, RB
JB braves it past FM for P5
SV’s tyres clearly blistering

26: JB tucked up behind NR
JB uses DRS to storm past and take P4
Pit-car from JB asking how far are the guys in front; he’s told they’re struggling with blisters

27: JB is ~8sec behind MW

28: SP off track – broken suspension?

29: SP pits – straight into the garage and retirement
JB continues to close on MW

30/44: FA pits from P2 – prime tyres – rejoins ahead of NR

31: SV pits from P1 – primes – twitchy as he exits the pit lane – rejoins behind JB
NR, FM & VP pit together
NR passes RB but FM tucks up behind him

32: MW pits, as does AS & MS
SV easily past JB – the McLaren lacks power as they head uphill
McLaren pit crew getting ready

33: JB pits from P2 – soft tyres (he started on the harder compound)
SV f/lap 1:51.015
FM pits again (he just stopped on lap 31) – puncture – primes – tail steps right out at pit exit
KK passes FM, pushing him down to P12

34: MW f/lap 1:49.883
MS takes P6 from AS

35/44: SV, FA, MW, JB, NR, MS, AS, VP, PM, PD; retirements: SP, DR, LH, SB, JA

36: MW right on the gearbox of FA’s Ferrari

37: MW closes up through Eau Rouge; passes FA for P2

39: MS tucked up behind his Mercedes teammate; MS on the options tyres so he has an advantage over NR

40/44: SV, MW, FA, JB, NR, MS, AS, VP, FM, PM
JB continues to close on FA; gap’s down to 2.6sec
Pit-car for JB with a setting change – more boost?

41: Pit-car for NR telling him to conserve fuel – why not just be honest and tell him to let MS past?
Late pit stop for RB
Replay shows RB ran into the back of KK just before pit entrance

42: JB storms up behind FA and easily past the Ferrari for P3
MS makes an easy move on NR for P5

43: JB pushing on – he’s under 5sec behind MW but there’s only 2 laps left

44/44 = final lap: JB still closing on MW but the Red Bulls are safe

SV takes the chequered flag
MW only 3.7sec behind his teammate
JB started P12 and fought his way to P3
P4=FA, 5=MS, 6=NR, 7=AS, 8=FM, 9=VP, 10=PM
VP had a problem on the final lap, lost P8 to FM and parks the Renault off track
P11=PD, 12=KK, 13=BS, 14=JT (+1 lap), 15=HK, 16=RB, 17=JD, 18=TG, 19=VL
DNF: SP, DR, LH, SB, JA

Provisional result: SV, MW, JB, FA, MS, NR, AS, FM, VP, PM, PD, KK, BS, JT, HK, RB, JD, TG, VL.

2 Replies to “Belgian Grand Prix – Race”

  1. Result: SV, MW, JB, FA, MS, NR, AS, FM, VP, PM.

    2011 Drivers’ Championship

    1 S Vettel 259
    2 M Webber 167
    3 F Alonso 157
    4 J Button 149
    5 L Hamilton 146
    6 F Massa 74
    7 N Rosberg 56
    8 M Schumacher 42
    9= N Heidfeld 34
    9= V Petrov 34

    2011 Constructors’ Championship

    1 Red Bull 426
    2 McLaren 295
    3 Ferrari 231
    4 Mercedes 98
    5 Renault 68
    6 Sauber 35
    7 Force India 32
    8 Toro Rosso 22
    9 Williams 5
    10= Lotus 0
    10= Virgin 0
    10= Hispania 0

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