Paul Henman formula1 Belgian Grand Prix – Race

Belgian Grand Prix – Race

In case it wasn’t confusing enough after Qualifying, another driver has taken an engine upgrade so here’s how Quali ended: VER, SAI, PER, LEC, OCO, ALO, HAM, RUS, ALB, NOR, RIC, GAS, ZHO, STR, SCH, VET, LAT, MAG, TSU, BOT
but then BOT has a 20 grid place penalty whereas VER, LEC, NOR, OCO, SCH, ZHO and TSU all have “back of the grid” penalties,
so now the grid is: SAI, PER, ALO, HAM, RUS, ALB, RIC, GAS, STR, VET, LAT, MAG, BOT, VER, LEC, OCO, NOR, ZHO, SCH, TSU

Yes, you read that right: BOT was P20 in Quali, plus a 20-place penalty, but starts P13; VER’s “back of the grid” penalty sees him start P14; crazy!
Note: because TSU’s engine change came after the car was in parc ferme, the Alphatauri (Red Bull’s sister team) will start from the pit lane instead of directly in front of VER

Pit lane is open; cars can do installation laps before taking up their grid place
Air temperature 21°C; track 37°C

GAS is in the pit lane, not his grid spot – Alphatauri removes another obstacle from VER, not that GAS wouldn’t have jumped out of VER’s way anyway

SAI leads everyone away on the formation lap
SAI on soft tyres; mediums all the way down to BOT (P13); TSU is the only one starting on the hard compound
I wonder which tyres Ferrari meant to start on? (Ouch!)
PER lines up with his car pointing at SAI

01/44: ALO a bit of a slow start
RUS ahead of HAM
HAM and ALO make contact
HAM seems to be off the pace
Radio for HAM: “Stop, stop, stop”
HAM has parked

02: SAI, PER, RUS, ALO, VET, RIC, ALB, VER, STR, MAG
LAT touches the grass, spins, tags BOT and they’re both in the gravel; LAT escapes but BOT is beached
Safety Car deployed

03[SC]: SAI, PER, RUS, ALO, VET, RIC, ALB, VER, LEC, STR, MAG, OCO, NOR, ZHO, SCH, TSU, GAS, LAT; out: BOT, HAM
Replay of the HAM/ALO collision – looks like HAM squeezed

04[SC]: LEC and LAT pit
Apparently LEC had a tear-off caught in the cooling system
SC in at the end of this lap

05/44: SAI, PER, RUS, ALO, VET, RIC, ALB, VER, STR, MAG, OCO, NOR, ZHO, TSU, SCH, GAS, LEC, LAT
SAI locks up and makes a mess of the restart, but fortunately he can keep PER behind
Radio from LEC, “We agree, one stop from now?” (After pitting he’s now on mediums); “I confirm, yes”

06: ALB inside RIC for P7
VER closing on VET

07: VER takes P5; he’s 6.5sec behind SAI
VER easily past ALO for P4
LEC is at the back of a train: MAG, NOR, ZHO, TSU, GAS, LEC

08: VER now takes P3 from RUS like the Mercedes was standing still

09: LEC inside TSU for P14
Radio for SAI, “We need more for Plan B”

10/44: SAI, PER, VER, RUS, ALO, VET, ALB, RIC, STR, OCO, NOR, MAG, LEC, ZHO, TSU, GAS, LAT, SCH; out: BOT, HAM
VER reporting high degradation of his soft tyres
LEC takes P12 from MAG

11: ALB pits, followed by GAS

12: SAI pits from P1; mediums go on; rejoins P6
SAI inside RIC for P5
(I didn’t see when PER let VER take P1)

13: RIC and OCO pit; OCO’s stop slightly slower

14: RUS pits from P3; mediums again; rejoins P7
NOR pits too; hards – that’s a surprise; rejoins P17

15/44: PER pits; mediums; rejoins P3
VET pits; rejoins P10
Radio from LEC, telling the stewards that PER didn’t leave the required car’s width

16: VER pits; mediums; rejoins P2
RUS is close to LEC’s rear… pulls alongside… takes P4

17: OCO passes NOR and GAS in one move

18: VER fastest lap 1:50.747
VER nearly clips SAI’s rear wing
VER takes P1, having started P14

19: TSU is the last to pit, having started on hards; he’s now on mediums

20/44: VER, SAI, PER, RUS, LEC, ALO, VET, ALB, OCO, RIC, GAS, STR, NOR, ZHO, MAG, SCH, TSU, LAT
ALB locks up; OCO takes P8

21: PER powers past SAI to take P2
STR takes P11 from GAS

22 = half distance: RIC closing on ALB
GAS has NOR and ZHO on his tail

24: VER over 8.5sec clear of his teammate
STR starts to pull alongside RIC into Eau Rouge but fortunately decides it’s safer to fall behind the McLaren
Radio for SAI warning him to avoid the bump in Turn 5

25/44: VER, PER, SAI, RUS, LEC, ALO, VET, OCO, ALB, RIC, STR, NOR, ZHO, MAG, TSU, GAS, SCH, LAT; out: BOT, HAM

26: SAI pits from P3; his 2nd stop; hard tyres go on; rejoins P4
LEC pits; mediums go on; rejoins P7
ALO pits too; hards; rejoins P13

27: ALB and STR pit; STR’s stop was 0.9sec quicker than ALB’s
ALO inside ZHO for P10

28: PER pits; hards; rejoins P3
ALO up to P9

29: RUS was given the call to pit but he stays out
ALO passes RIC for P8

30/44: RUS pits from P2; hards go on; rejoins P4
NOR pits; mediums go on

31: VER pits; mediums; rejoins still P1, with “only” 8.5sec lead over PER
LEC easily passes VET for P5

32: VER, PER, SAI, RUS, LEC, VET, OCO, ALO, RIC, GAS, ALB, STR, NOR, ZHO, TSU, MAG, LAT, SCH

33: VER f/lap 1:49.354
OCO pits from P7; RIC pits too
RUS closing on SAI
Radio for SAI telling him to try his best; “I’m pushing a lot”

34: VET pits; rejoins P8
Radio from SAI asking what happens if he pits again; he’d told “P4 behind RUS” but it’s more likely he’ll be P5 behind LEC

35/44: VER, PER, SAI, RUS, LEC, ALO, GAS, VET, OCO, ALB

36: VET is passed by OCO on one side and GAS on the other side at the same time
VET reclaims P8 from GAS

37: Mid-pack battle is between ALB, STR, NOR, ZHO and TSU, all wanting P10
RUS continues to close on SAI – should have DRS in a couple of laps

38: Radio for SAI now also told to avoid the bump in Turn 17

39: Radio from NOR saying he’s struggling behind STR; he’s told “it’s too late for Plan G” (G! It probably stands for something rather than being their 7th plan)
RIC (P15) has joined the train that’s led by ALB (P10)

40/44: VER, PER, SAI, RUS, LEC, ALO, OCO, VET, GAS, ALB, STR, NOR, ZHO, TSU, TIC, MAG, SCH, LAT
SAI has slightly extended the gap to RUS – sounds like RUS made a small mistake

41: VER over 17sec clear of PER; he’s lapped LAT (P18)

42: RUS is 2sec behind SAI with only 3 laps left
TSU takes P13 from ZHO
HAM has been given a warning because he “refused to visit the Event Medical Service following his crash on Lap 1 where the Medical Warning Light threshold was exceeded and only did so after the Race Director informed the team that further action could be taken if he did not.”

43: LEC pits from P5; softs go on; rejoins still P5 but ALO is only inches behind… and passes the Ferrari
ZHO reclaims P13 from TSU

44 = final lap: LEC manages to pass ALO to reclaim P5

VER takes the chequered flag
Yellow flag

Provisional result: VER, PER, SAI, RUS, LEC, ALO, OCO, VET, GAS, ALB; STR, NOR, TSU, ZHO, RIC, MAG, SCH, LAT
DNF: BOT, HAM
Fastest lap: VER, 1:49.354
Oh! LEC given 5-sec penalty for speeding in the pit lane, so he drops to P6, bumping ALO back up to P5

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