Belgian Grand Prix – Race

Qualifying resulted in an interesting grid, with Sauber, Williams and Lotus ahead of Ferrari and Red Bull!

Applying the gearbox change penalties to MW & NR, the provisional grid looks like this: JB, KK, PM**, KR, SP, FA, LH, RG, PRe, SV, NH, MW*, MS, FM, JV, DR, BS, HK, VP, TG, CP, PRo, NR*, NK.

**PM was handed a 5 grid spot penalty for impeding NH in Qualifying, which bumps him down to P6

It’s dry; air temperature 21°C; track 34°C; wind 3m/s
With the Practice sessions being so wet, this will actually be the first time this weekend that the teams have done more than a few laps around the Spa circuit

JB leads everyone away on the formation lap – it’s his 50th race with McLaren
DRS is disabled until the 3rd lap, as usual
Radio for KR telling him everyone is starting on primes (hard compound) except NH and NR
Looks like KK has over-heated his brakes – there’s smoke coming from the Sauber as he sits at the front of the grid

01/44: That looks like a jump start from PM – he’s in P2 before anyone else has moved!
Contact before the braking point for Turn 1 – RG hits LH, triggering a multi-car incident in T1 – RG, LH, FA are out
Safety Car deployed
LH walks over to RG –
FA slow to get out of the Ferrari; doctor is on scene immediately because they follow the cars off the start line
LH walking back to the pits with part of his car in hand!

02[SC]: JB, KR, NH, PRe, MS, DR, JV, MW, BS, HK; retirements: RG, LH, FA, SP
PRe pits, as do KK & PM
Replay shows RG went through the rear wing of SP’s Sauber and over the top of FA’s Ferrari
Replay also shows the start lights went off a fraction of a second before PM moved
More replays:
On-board with KK shows he’s just about to turn in to Turn 1 when a cartwheeling Lotus (RG) bounces past him, followed by a McLaren (LH) slamming into his front-right; it’s surprising that he keeps going
From LH’s point of view – shows RG cut across, gets the Lotus’ wheels inside the McLaren’s; there’s contact and then they’re both passengers in a big accident
The camera on FA’s car is just above+behind his head; RG bounces off the Ferrari’s nose section, just missing FA’s head
SV had a poor start, falling behind his teammate almost as he pulls away from his grid spot
Turn 1 is littered with tiny (and not so tiny) shards of carbon fibre, so there are bound to be punctures

03[SC]: The corner workers are trying to clean up all the debris from Turn 1
There’s enough parts piled behind the wall for someone to build their own F1 car!
More replays of the start – RG and SP watch the replays with their teams

04[SC]: Radio for KR warning him that tyre temperatures are dropping
Replay showing LH getting out of his McLaren; LH tapping the side of his helmet, asking RG what on earth he was thinking
Safety Car in at the end of this lap

05/44: JB, KR, NH, PRe, MS, DR, JV, BS, MW, HK; retirements: RG, LH, FA, SP
JB opens a good lead over KR as they
FM runs wide; SV attacks but FM holds on to P11
Incident involving cars 4 and 10 (LH & RG) will be investigated after the race – no surprise there
FM and SV pass HK
Incident involving 18 (PM) is under investigation – that’s the jump start
NH takes P2 from KR
PM pulls off – no front wing
Replay of the start looking over Charlie Whiting’s shoulder – he shakes his head as PM sets off, so I guess he think PM jumped the start

06: JB fastest lap 1:57.091
MS takes P4 from PRe
Incident involving 18 and 24 (PM and TG) under investigation

07: DRS enabled now
HK spins – nearly collects another car as he spins the right way round

08: KK pits – 2nd stop – rejoins P19/last
SV has caught MW – team orders are legal this season, so expect SV to be allowed to pass

09: DR attacking PRe for P5
MW unable to find a way past BS
SV takes P9 from his teammate as they enter the final chicane

10/44: JB, NH, KR, MS, PRe, DR, JV, BS, SV, MW; retirements: RG, LH, FA, SP, PM
DR takes P5 from PRe
SV so close to the rear of BS

11: PRe pits – switches to primes
MS takes P3 from KR

12: KR pits, followed by MW
SV fighting the Red Bull as he’s in the dirty air behind BS

13: DR pits, as does FM
Replay shows VP very slow pulling away after his pit stop

14: NH pits from P2
KR f/lap 1:55.872
SV passes BS into the chicane

15/44: JB, MS, NH, JV, SV, BS, NR, KR, DR, PRe; retirements: RG, LH, FA, SP, PM
BBC interview RG, who tries to sound like the victim
KR easily past NR for P6
NH tries to make the same move as SV, diving down the outside of NR into the chicane

16: NH makes the pass stick – takes P7 from NR
MW f/lap 1:55.797
Replay of NK entering his pit box – Caterham release HK too soon – HK hits NK – that’s definitely an unsafe relase – expect a penalty for HK
Radio for BS telling him to pit at the end of this lap and checking for wing adjustments

17: DR easily past NR for P7; MW follows through for P8
BS pits from P4
Incident involving 20 (HK) under investigation – unsafe release from pit stop
MW attacking DR – easily takes P7

19: Close battle between NR (P9), PRe & JV

20/44: JB, MS, SV, KR, NH, MW, DR, FM, NR, PRe; retirements: RG, LH, FA, SP, PM
SV attacking MS into the chicane; MS on the outside, cuts across SV and dives into the pit lane – that was dangerously close
MW f/lap 1:55.671

21: JB pits from P1 – he had a 17.2sec lead – clean stop – 2.6sec stationary – rejoins still P1 🙂
MW f/lap 1:55.666
FM makes an easy pass on DR for P6

22 = half distance: SV pits from P2; 3.7sec stop; rejoins just ahead of DR
FM f/lap 1:55.435
Update re: HK’s unsafe release – will now be investigated after the race

23: JB f/lap 1:54.917
NR f/lap 1:54.660
Incident involving 1 and 7 (SV and MS) will be investigated after the race – that was MS cutting across SV to enter the pits

24: Radio for NH telling him “pace is looking good”

25/44: JB, KR, NH, MW, SV, FM, DR, MS, JV, BS; retirements: RG, LH, FA, SP, PM
JB has 9.0sec lead over KR
KK pits – stop #3, although the first stop was for damage after the lap 1 incident
SV f/lap 1:54.357

26: SV catching his teammate again – SV is 1-stopping but MW is expected to stop again
Radio for MW saying they expect KR and NH to pit again

27: BBC interview SP: “we paid [for] the mistakes of another driver”
Radio for KR telling him to save 10% KERS for each lap – heat related problem?
PRe pits
Radio for JB confirming his pace is good

28: NH, MW and FM all pit; all make clean stops
Replay of MW’s release – close to FM entering his box

29: KR pits from P2; rejoins behind MS
FM uses DRS to take P8 from BS

30/44: JB, SV, MS, KR, NH
Incident involving 2 (MW) under investigation – unsafe release
JV pits
MW f/lap 1:54.220

31: FM f/lap 1:53.464
NK off into the gravel

32: MS takes P3 from KR
JB has 13sec lead over SV, who in turn is 13sec ahead of MS

33: KR harrying MS

34: KR goes around the outside of Eau Rouge and retakes P3 – great move!

35/44: JB, SV, KR, MS, NH, MW
NH makes a good move on MS for P4
MS fights back – reclaims P4
Radio for MS – “plan B”, which presumably means 2-stop

36: JB, SV, KR, MS, NH, MW, FM, BS, NR, JV
MS pits from P4; late stop for fresh tyres
FM takes P5 from MW
NR tries to defend from JV but instead loses momentum and lets DR through too

37: NR pits

38: JB has a 14.3sec lead over SV, with a further 13.8sec to KR
Marussia teammates CP and TG battling over P15
BS struggling with his rear tyres

39: TG dives down the inside of CP; contact? CP retakes P15
NR f/lap 1:53.103

40/44: JB, SV, KR, NH, FM, MS, BS, JV, DR; retirements: RG, LH, FA, SP, PM, NK
JV easily past the struggling BS
BS pits
NR f/lap 1:53.073

41: BBC report that MS has lost 6th gear
HK lost the tail; loses P17 to PRo

42: JB & SV still posting fairly quick laps despite their large leads

43: Radio for KR telling him they “need to pick up the pace”; KR replies “well give me power!”

44/44: JB starts his final lap with a 14.5sec lead
BS f/lap 1:52.822

JB takes the chequered flag 🙂
SV across the line for P2
KR, followed by NH, FM, MW, MS, JV, DR, PRe; NR, BS, KK, VP, TG, CP, HK, PRo
DNF: NK, PM, SP, FA, LH, RG

There are few incidents still to be investigated, so the result’s not final yet.

Yet another terrible interview on the podium – they really should go back to the press conference and let someone who knows how to conduct an interview do it!

How did my GridBids picks do? Provisionally: SV=P2, MW=P6, JB=P1, LH=DNF, FM=P5, SP=DNF.

6 Replies to “Belgian Grand Prix – Race”

  1. Incidents to be investigated after the race:

    • Lap 1: Jump start by PM
      Maldano will be penalised 5 grid spots at Monza. [source:FIA]

    • Lap 1: Turn 1 incident involving LH & RG
      “Lotus’s Romain Grosjean has been given a one-race ban after the stewards at Spa-Francorchamps judged him to be responsible for causing the first-corner accident at the start of Sunday’s 2012 Formula 1 Shell Belgian Grand Prix.” […] “He has also been fined 50,000 Euros.” [source: FIA]
      It’s likely he’ll be replaced at Monza by Lotus’s reserve driver, Jerome D’Ambrosio.

    • Lap 5: incident involving PM and TG
      Maldano will be penalised 5 grid spots at Monza, in addition to his jump start penalty. [source:FIA]

    • Lap 16: HK’s unsafe release from pit stop
      Caterham were fined 10,000 Euros. [source: FIA]

    • Lap 20: MS cutting across SV to enter the pits
      No penalty. [source: FIA]

    • Lap 28: MW’s unsafe release from pit stop
      No penalty. [source: FIA]

    So no penalties which affect the provisional results, so it looks like:
    JB, SV, KR, NH, FM, MW, MS, JV, DR, PRe; NR, BS, KK, VP, TG, CP, HK, PRo
    DNF: NK, PM, SP, FA, LH, RG

  2. “Lotus have announced that reserve driver Jerome D’Ambrosio will compete for the team at this weekend’s Italian round alongside Kimi Raikkonen. D’Ambrosio replaces Romain Grosjean, who received a one-race ban after causing a crash at the start of Sunday’s Belgian event.”
    [source: FIA]

  3. Points update: [previous]

    2012 Drivers’ Championship

    1. F Alonso 164 points
    2. S Vettel 140
    3. M Webber 132
    4. K Raikkonen 131
    5. L Hamilton 117
    6. J Button 101
    7. N Rosberg 77
    8. R Grosjean 76
    9. S Perez 47
    10. F Massa & M Schumacher 35

    2012 Constructors’ Championship

    1. Red Bull 272 points
    2. McLaren 218
    3. Lotus 207
    4. Ferrari 199
    5. Mercedes 112
    6. Sauber 80
    7. Force India 59
    8. Williams 53
    9. Toro Rosso 12
    10. Caterham, HRT & Marussia 0

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