View Full Version : 2010 Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix

08-27-2010, 08:00 AM
After a four week hiatus the Formula 1 season gets underway again this morning when practice begins at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit for the 66th Belgian Grand Prix, but don’t doubt for a second that the summer break has done anything to dampen the tension in the F1 Championship.

At the Hungarian Grand Prix almost a month ago Lewis Hamilton and McLaren were displaced from the top of the drivers’ and constructors’ standings respectively. Hamilton’s retirement in Budapest cost him dearly as Mark Webber took the chequered flag to usurp his championship lead. With only a third of the season now remaining, the race for the Drivers’ Championship is now hotting up with the top five drivers all separated by a mere 20 points.

A circuit under threat

Consisting of several long stretches through picturesque Ardennes forest complemented by high speed corners, Spa is often deemed the most challenging circuit in the Grand Prix calendar. A firm favourite among Formula 1 fans and drivers alike, the Belgian Grand Prix is one of only four races that survive from the inaugural world championship in 1950. However it is in danger of disappearing from the schedule completely amid financial concerns from the hosts.

Ticket sales have been respectable this year, but there is always the worry that Belgium won’t be able to pull in the crowds, particularly in the absence of any home favourite. With the advent of an increasing number of more lucrative venues worldwide, the circuit could struggle to compete and if race organisers are to be believed we could see the last Belgian Grand Prix as early as 2012.

Looks like rain...

Spa has a history of wet weather and it is set to be another miserable weekend in the eastern Belgian municipality with rain forecast for all three days. The weather brings a certain unpredictability to proceedings and it is no surprise that the last six Belgian Grands Prix have all had different winners. For those of you who were fans of Mario Kart, this circuit is very much the Yoshi Valley of the Grand Prix calendar. (For those of you who weren't, wasn't that an appalling analogy?)

A mammoth circuit over seven kilometres in length, such is Spa’s size that localised precipitation can cause the track to become wet in some places, dry in others. In the event of this occurring, tyre choices become far from straightforward.

Once again this weekend could be as much about rules and regulations as it is driving, with the FIA set to increase test loads for the cars’ front wings after a number of complaints concerning the low ground clearance of both the Red Bull RB6 and the Ferrari F10 in recent races. If both cars are cleared of any irregularities concerning their front wings, we could see the two teams repeat their dominance of four weeks ago. Although we may not see Red Bull qualify as much as a second ahead of their rivals as they did in Budapest, with more moderate levels of downforce at Spa than the Hungaroring.

A tough test for Red Bull

Indeed Sebastian Vettel was the first to admit that this could be a difficult weekend for the team based in Milton Keynes.

“Our weakness will be the long straights and, with uphill sections too, we know it won’t be easy for us,” conceded the German.

Technically speaking the one chink in the Red Bull’s armour this year has been its performance over flat-out sections of the track, and this is one circuit where you would expect Red Bull’s rivals will need to get a result.

Ferrari, for one, should be much quicker over the straights of Spa. After the return to form in Germany and Hungary of both Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa, there could be even more to come from the Italian team, who have more diffuser updates ready ahead of this weekend’s meeting. Massa believes that he and team-mate Alonso, both seasoned competitors and experienced challengers for the championship, could have the edge as we near the business end of the F1 season.

“Myself and Ferrari have been in this sort of situation before and we know how to deal with the pressure, by concentrating on the job in hand,” assured the Brazilian.

All of a sudden things do seem to be falling into place for Fernando Alonso. Seemingly out of the championship race after failing to deliver at Valencia and Silverstone, triumph at Hockenheim and second in Hungary have guided the Spaniard back to within touching distance of championship leader Mark Webber. Now just 20 points shy of the Australian’s total, Alonso cannot afford any more slip-ups as we enter the final third of the season.

Wet ‘n’ wild

Speaking of which, last year’s race saw Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton both succumb to early retirement following a pile-up on the opening lap. The race had barely started when the safety car was deployed on that occasion and looking at the wet weekend ahead of us we may not have to wait long to see the swish of its windscreen wipers as Bernd Mayländer once again leads the crocodile of drivers around the Spa track in Sunday’s 44-lap race.

You may remember his predecessor was called into action in 1998 when over half the field became embroiled in a collision at the first corner. When the dust settled only eight cars went on to finish the race, while Michael Schumacher remained adamant that David Coulthard had tried to kill him.

These days the seven-time world champion is simply not worth the trouble. A winner six times at Spa, this weekend could well see him supplanted in the standings by fellow countryman Adrian Sutil, even if the German’s Force India team have been trying to play down their chances after helping Giancarlo Fisichella to an impressive second place last year.

The usually reliable Renault of Robert Kubica has failed to finish two of its last three races and the Pole will want to make amends at Spa, while team-mate Vitaly Petrov will be hoping to follow up on his highest finish ever at the Hungaroring. One other to watch out for will be Kamui Kobayashi who once again finished in the points in Hungary despite starting at the back of the grid.

Race Date: 29 Aug 2010
Circuit Name: Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
Number of Laps: 44
Circuit Length: 7.004 km
Race Distance: 308.052 km
Lap Record: 1:45.108 - K Raikkonen (2004)

Fri 27 August 2010
Practice 1 02:00 - 03:30
Practice 2 06:00 - 07:30
Sat 28 August 2010
Practice 3 03:00 - 04:00
Qualifying 06:00
Sun 29 August 2010
Race 06:00

Pos No Driver Team Time/Retired Gap Laps
1 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 2:00.797 17
2 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 2:01.567 0.770 7
3 11 Robert Kubica Renault 2:02.081 1.284 14
4 5 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 2:02.450 1.653 11
5 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 2:02.646 1.849 14
6 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 2:02.913 2.116 6
7 6 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 2:02.926 2.129 11
8 23 Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari 2:03.401 2.604 17
9 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 2:03.424 2.627 7
10 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 2:03.489 2.692 9
11 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 2:03.601 2.804 17
12 10 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 2:03.649 2.852 17
13 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 2:03.654 2.857 6
14 22 Pedro de la Rosa BMW Sauber-Ferrari 2:03.851 3.054 17
15 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 2:04.145 3.348 12
16 17 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 2:04.250 3.453 16
17 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 2:04.690 3.893 15
18 16 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 2:05.680 4.883 6
19 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 2:05.697 4.900 18
20 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 2:06.695 5.898 14
21 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 2:07.189 6.392 15
22 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 2:07.737 6.940 13
23 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 2:07.955 7.158 15
24 20 Sakon Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 2:10.507 9.710 18

Pos No Driver Team Time/Retired Gap Laps
1 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:49.032 25
2 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:49.157 0.125 17
3 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:49.248 0.216 14
4 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1:49.282 0.250 20
5 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:49.588 0.556 23
6 5 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:49.689 0.657 19
7 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:49.755 0.723 20
8 22 Pedro de la Rosa BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:50.081 1.049 27
9 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:50.128 1.096 22
10 23 Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:50.200 1.168 24
11 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:50.251 1.219 24
12 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1:50.341 1.309 23
13 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1:50.382 1.350 21
14 17 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 1:50.682 1.650 25
15 10 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:50.831 1.799 20
16 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1:51.520 2.488 17
17 16 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:51.523 2.491 25
18 6 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:51.636 2.604 19
19 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:53.480 4.448 15
20 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:53.639 4.607 21
21 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:54.325 5.293 17
22 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1:55.751 6.719 24
23 20 Sakon Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1:56.039 7.007 21
24 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 2:03.179 14.147 3

08-28-2010, 06:32 AM
Anyone watching this morning? I'm using the f1 timing app for tihe iPad, and it's a totally different experience.

Unfortunawtely though there is a 7 second delay on tv...

08-28-2010, 06:35 AM
Yup. What a gongshow Q1 haha.

08-28-2010, 06:51 AM
Hamilton is in a world of his own. Wet, dry, mixed, he's destroying anyone else on the track.

08-28-2010, 06:52 AM
Mercedes fails to make q3.... Massa drives like a douche but still makes it through....

Blame it on the rain right!

08-28-2010, 06:53 AM
Yeah hammy's got glue for tires today

08-28-2010, 10:46 AM
fuck I thought McLaren had a chance at a 1-2 today. One car on the front row's not bad though. They'll have good race pace for tomorrow. Button's pretty good on the first lap.

08-28-2010, 11:03 AM
it ll be blacked out on Speed Sunday morn. Where r u guys gonna watch it from?

08-28-2010, 12:34 PM
TSN, same as always. If I get up in time. I've got money on this race to try and make it a little more exciting. We'll see if it works.

EDIT: And I just realized I missed the last race in the pool. Godamnit.

DJ Lazy
08-28-2010, 04:01 PM
I fuckin KNEW RBR would pull another pole position out of their ass! :whipped:

Hamilton is on top form this weekend though.. I think Webber just got lucky with a quick lap, as RBR haven't really had much pace until then. Hamilton will get Webber through Eau Rouge :thumbsup:

08-28-2010, 06:29 PM

As long as one of these guys wins, I'll be happy. So glad I placed my bet before qualifying.

08-29-2010, 06:57 AM
Some one needs to inform Vettle that he's not partaking in a demolition derby :nut:

08-29-2010, 07:33 AM
Flag to Flag! What a race!

08-29-2010, 10:51 AM
What is it with Hamilton and late in the race beach parties !! :)

DJ Lazy
08-29-2010, 03:02 PM
Should have been a Mclaren 1-2.... Fuck you Vettel!

08-29-2010, 10:08 PM
what a race indeed. I dunno what will happen if Vettel keeps fukin up.

08-30-2010, 09:14 AM
wow that was an awesome race! entertaining from start to end! Hamilton had me on the edge of my seat when he went off course into the gravel, thank god he recovered from that, but that was waaaay too close for comfort. Overall great race and a great win for hamilton, too bad about button though.