NOTEBOOK – Belgian Grand Prix – Review

Features Notebook

Nico Rosberg took victory at the Belgian Grand Prix a race with drama from the very start of the race. Plus fabulous recoveries drive from Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso.

The start

Nico Rosberg made a great start as did the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen which allowed Verstappen to go down the inside. By that point Sebastian Vettel was on the outside of Raikkonen so when he was giving space to Verstappen he hit his team-mate.

Raikkonen made contact with Verstappen causing his puncher. But behind it was a clean start for the midfield. I feel the Verstappen was right from that point to take avoiding action and Raikkonen had nowhere to go so contact was not avoidable.

Raikkonen & Verstappen

Raikkonen and Verstappen also had another contact later in the race following the Turn One collision. Verstappen was leading going into Les Combe with the Ferrari closing using the DRS to pass. Then Verstappen came back at Raikkonen forcing him off the road.

But Verstappen was off the track. On the next lap Verstappen had the lead but Raikkonen closed up then Verstappen closed him off. Raikkonen and Verstappen had another incident in Budapest but from watching this back I feel it was a racing incident.

Verstappen said “”My start wasn’t great but then I dived inside, didn’t lock a wheel and was easily making the corner, but they kept squeezing me.”

“Seb turned in on both of us and that took my front wing and destroyed the floor. From there your race is gone. He [Vettel] knows he is on the outside and suddenly turns in when there are two others cars. I think that’s pretty illogical.”

Raikkonen said “I’m all up for fair battles and close racing, but when I have to brake on the straight so as not to hit him, because he moves after me, that’s not correct.

“The first corner is hard to say, I got stuck between two cars. I haven’t seen the replay. But [in the second incident] if I have to brake from full speed… I haven’t had that from any other driver.”

This story will run across Europe to Monza this week we will have this debate.

Magnussen crash

Magnussen came out of the top of the hill when he lost the rear of the car spinning off across into the wall shattering his car across the track. This brought the red flag out following his 150mph crash escaping with only an ankle injury.

This crash was unlucky but he has been to the hospital and he tweeted “Thanks for all your messages folks! On my way home now with a sore ankle but will be ready for Monza ??”

Hamilton’s race

Lewis Hamilton made a good start which was key because he needed a race of damage limitations. He did far better than I thought coming through the field before the red flag. At the red flag he was fifth which when the race was stopped it good position for him to re-evaluated his strategy.

Like everyone he changed tyres and the more endurable soft tyre he switched two and stayed on it at his ‘first stop’ on lap twenty one until lap thirty two being the last to switch from the soft to the medium.

He told the press conference “I really can’t believe that we came up so far to be honest. I really had no… I woke up this morning knowing how difficult it would be on these tyres, y’know, lots of blistering.”

“But you can never predict what’s going to happen in the race. The great thing about motor racing is that, since I was eight years old, every Sunday has been different.”

Alonso’s race

Like Hamilton Fernando Alonso came through from the back to finish sixth. Alonso was also a major benefactor from the red flag when he was ahead of Hamilton at the point. But yes its arguable that he could of got more from the race however he held off both Williams which is great because it shows progress on a fast circuit over Mercedes power.

Alonso said “It was an exciting race to drive and I had a good feeling throughout. We had good pace this weekend; we did better than expected on this track; we were in the top 10 with Jenson yesterday in qualifying; and we’ve scored points today.

“Believe me: a few months ago that would have been unthinkable on a circuit like this. That’s progress – real progress. And, after all the bad luck we’ve had so far this weekend, we finally got some good luck today.”

Monza just seven days away!

Monza is another high speed fast flowing circuit but it has a shorter lap which means the lap will be faster as there are less corners. Monza has the speed and we know Mercedes will be the favourites and based on  Hamilton’s fansitc races I expect a good fight with Rosberg.

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Jack

Jack is responsible for the day-to-day running of Formula One Vault. He brings you all the brilliant content. Has an obsession with all things Formula One and anything with an engine.

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