Grand Prix of Belgium – Race


Sad news from yesterday’s F2 race:

Formula 2 racer Anthoine Hubert has passed away following a crash in Saturday’s F2 feature race in Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium. The 22-year-old Frenchman was involved in a multi-car incident at Turn 4 and was immediately attended by emergency and medical crews. All drivers involved were taken to the medical centre, but Hubert sadly succumbed to his injuries.

[F1] [BBC]

It’s difficult to just put that aside and move on to the F1 race, but it’s what the drivers & teams have to do; not to forget but to focus on what’s to come.

There were a couple of engine issues in Qualifying yesterday (KUB and GIO in Q1) as well as a heap of penalties to be applied:
Provisional grid: LEC, VET, HAM, BOT, VER, RIC*, HUL*, RAI, PER, MAG, GRO, NOR, STR*, ALB*, GIO, GAS, SAI*, KVY*, RUS, KUB
*Penalties to be applied for ALB, HUL, KVY, RIC, SAI, STR
Additionally, GIO will start from the back [F1] and KUB will start from the pit lane.

Updated grid: LEC, VET, HAM, BOT, VER, RAI, PER, MAG, GRO, RIC, NOR, HUL, GAS, RUS, SAI, STR, ALB, GIO, KVY, KUB

It’s significantly cooler than it was in Quali; there’s even talk of rain during the race.
Air temperature 17°C; track 26°C; 40% chance of rain

Minute’s silence for Anthoine Hubert and then the national anthem.
Looks like most are starting on the soft compound tyre; RUS (P14), ALB (P17), GIO, KVY and KUB

01/44: SAI stalled on the grid; ALB misses him
VER slow off the line
Contact in Turn 1 – VER and RAI
VER is in the tyre wall
Safety Car deployed
Replay shows VER thump into RAI in Turn 1, lifting RAI into the air and breaking VER’s front left suspension

02[SC]: LEC, VET, HAM, BOT, NOR, GRO, MAG, PER, GAS, STR, KVY, GIO, ALB, HUL, RUS, KUB, RIC, RAI, SAI; retirements: VER
RAI and RIC pit

03[SC]: SAI pits
RAI pits for a second time
SC in at the end of this lap
SAI has stopped in the run-off at the final turn
SC deployed … even though it’s not come in yet, so its lights are back on

04[SC]: SC in at the end of this lap … unless something else happens 🙂

05/44: LEC, VET, HAM, BOT, NOR, GRO, MAG, PER, GAS, STR, KVY, GIO, ALB, HUL, RUS, KUB, RIC, RAI; retirements: VER, SAI
VET locks up into Turn 1
HUL past ALB for P13
RIC takes P16 from KUB

06: LEC fastest lap 1:49.685
RIC past RUS for P15
RAI takes P17 from KUB
Radio from HAM – “VET’s not that quick”

07: LEC f/lap 1:49.558
RAI takes P16 from RUS

08: VET f/lap 1:49.459
MAG having to defend P7 from PER

09: LEC f/lap 1:49.452
LEC locks up and cuts a corner

10/44: LEC, VET, HAM, BOT, NOR, GRO, MAG, PER, GAS, STR, KVY, GIO, HUL, ALB, RIC, RAI, RUS, KUB; retirements: SAI, VER
PER takes P7 from MAG
Race control: incident involving LEC (cutting the corner) has been noted

11: Race control: incident involving LEC (cutting the corner) – no investigation necessary
GAS passes MAG for P8

12: LEC f/lap 1:49.398
BOT f/lap 1:49.342
HUL pits
STR past MAG for P9

13: LEC f/lap 1:49.004
KVY past MAG for P10

14: LEC f/lap 1:48.917
GAS pits; new mediums go on
GIO the latest to pass MAG; takes P11

15/44: LEC, VET, HAM, BOT, NOR, GRO, PER, KVY, GIO, STR

16: VET pits; new mediums
PER pits too
Radio for LEC telling him to push
RIC’s turn to pass MAG

17: Neither Mercedes pit – was that a good move?
GRO pits
VET past NOR for P4
PER and GAS go either side of

18: VET f/lap 1:47.087
RAI runs wide in Turn 1 and HUL steals P14

19: GAS and MAG wheel to wheel

20/44: LEC, HAM, BOT, VET, NOR, KVY, GIO, ALB, RIC, GRO, PER, GAS, MAG, HUL, STR, RAI, RUS, KUB
NOR pits; rejoins P7
NOR takes P6 from GIO

21: Radio for LEC – “mode box”
NOR past KVY for P5
Oh, great – the official FIA app is broken again

22: LEC pits; mediums; rejoins P4, behind VET
Radio for HAM – “box, box”
GAS has been given a black & white flag warning for moving under braking

Half distance

23: HAM pits; rejoins P4
Radio for BOT – “box, box”

24: LEC f/lap 1:46.664
BOT pits
ALB pits too; switches to softs

25/44: VET, LEC, HAM, BOT, NOR, GIO, RIC, PER, GRO, GAS, HUL, STR, KVY, ALB, MAG, RAI, RUS, KUB; retirements: SAI, VER

26: BOT f/lap 1:46.551
MAG pits
Radio for VET – “Let LEC by this lap”

27: VET lets LEC take P1
PER takes P7 from RIC
KVY past STR for P12
Radio from VET asking if he needs to pit again; told probably not; VET “tyres won’t last to the end”

28: BOT f/lap 1:46.465

29: HAM closing up on VET
HAM now under 1sec behind the Ferrari, so he’ll get DRS
PER takes P6 from GIO

30/44: VET holding off HAM and letting LEC open a gap
GIO pits – the last one to make a stop
Radio from HAM – “rears are on fire”; “interesting; he’s struggling just as much, if not more”

31: Radio for BOT telling him HAM is struggling to pass VET “so think about saving your tyres”
VET and HAM wheel to wheel into the final turn

32: LEC almost 6.5sec clear of the VET-HAM battle
HAM makes it past VET to take P2

33: BOT now under 1sec behind VET

34: VET pits from P3; soft tyres go on; rejoins P4
ALB tucked up behind KVY, his teammate until ALB was promoted to Red Bull

35/44: ALB around the outside of RIC for P8

36: LEC 6.8sec ahead of HAM
RIC has GAS, GIO and GRO catching him

37: VET f/lap 1:46.409

38: ALB takes P7 from KVY
GIO and GRO pass GAS

39: HAM hanging the tail out as he tries to catch LEC
GIO takes P9 from RIC

40/44: LEC, HAM, BOT, VET, NOR, PER, ALB, KVY, GIO, RIC, GAS, GRO, HUL, STR, MAG, RUS, RAI, KUB
GAS past RIC for P10
RIC now has GRO, HUL and STR on his tail

41: HUL and STR past GRO
LEC is closing on that group to lap them
HUL and STR now pass RIC

42: LEC laps MAG then GRO
HAM laps them too – he’s 2.5sec behind LEC
RIC is tumbling down the order

43: HAM continues to close on LEC; they’re coming up to lap STR

44 = final lap: LEC 1.5sec ahead of HAM
NOR has stopped!
GAS locks up; HUL takes P10
GIO is in the tyre wall; confirms on the radio he’s ok
LEC takes the chequered flag

Provisional result: LEC, HAM, BOT, VET, ALB, PER, KVY, HUL, GAS, STR; NOR, MAG, GRO, RIC, RUS, RAI, KUB, GIO
DNF: SAI, VER
Fastest lap: VET

Incident involving PER and ALB under investigation
Replay of NOR shows he lost power as he started the final lap; at least he won the FIA Driver of the Day

First time the anthem of Monaco has been played for an F1 race winner