Formula 1 2013 - Belgium, Spa Francorchamps

The Spa Grand Prix is the longest track in the F1 calendar with a total length of 7km per lap. Spa is famous for it's multiple overtaking spots and famous corners such as Eau Rouge and Blanchimot. I personally love the Spa circuit as it always provides an exciting race. Qualifying The qualifying this year was a wet affair with some discrepancies in the usual starting order. Both Marussias and Giedo van der Garde managed to get into Q2 because of excellent tyre choices in the wet weather. This meant that both Williams and Toro Roso drivers were out along with Caterham's Charles Pic and Sauber's Esteban Gutierrez. Q2 saw the exclusion of the other Caterham driver Giedo van der Garde in 14th, a career best for him, along with the two Marussias of Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton in 15th and 16th place respectively. Sergio Perez in the McLaren qualified a slightly disappointing 13th with Adrian Sutil in 12th and Nico Hulkenberg just missing out on Q3 with 11th. The rain started to fall again in Q3 as everyone wanted to be last out on track to take advantage of a drying track. The two Ferraris were 9th and 10th with Alonso ahead of Massa. The Lotus' of Grosjean and Raikkonen were 7th and 8th respectively behind the McLaren of Jenson Button who was taking advantage of the wet conditions. Paul Di Resta was sitting in provisional pole but ended up in 5th after a last minute flurry of action over the line. Nico Rosberg took 4th behind Mark Webber in 3rd, Sebastian Vettel in 2nd and Lewis Hamilton stealing pole position with his last lap of the race.

Spa 2013

The Race Sunday saw a dried track but had a high possibility of rain later on in the race. The start was the complete opposite of last year as every driver managed to get through the first tight right hander and accelerate down to Eau Rouge. Vettel got in the slipstream of Hamilton through Eau Rouge and managed to pass him in the straight down to Les Combes. Alonso made his normal fantastic start climbing four places in the space of half the lap. Hamilton tried to keep up with Vettel but he was off and away and never challenged again throughout the whole race. The other large movers at the start were the two Toro Rossos who swiftly dispatched the out of place Caterham and Marussias and Mark Webber who seemed to go backwards and ended lap one in 6th when he qualified 3rd. Charles Pic was the first of the retirements when he suffered from engine problems on lap 8. Kimi Raikkonen was the 2nd person to retire as he had a braking issue. Throughout the race it was clear to see that his brakes were significantly overheating as brake dust was pouring out of his front wheels at every large braking point. On lap 25 he was forced to retire as he overshot the last chicane and he returned to his pit garage. The third and final retirement was Force India's Paul Di Resta. He was involved in an accident with Pastor Maldonado on lap 26. Pastor was just overtaken by Esteban Gutierrez and had both Force Indias in close pursuit heading into the final chicane before the start/finish straight. Maldonado misjudged his breaking point and as he turned for the corner late he turned too sharply and collided with the rear of Di Resta's car destroying the left rear suspension and rear spoiler. Maldonado managed to weave into the pits to change his front nose and he was subsequently giving a 10 second stop and go penalty. Max Chilton was also given a drive through penalty for ignoring the blue flags indicating a faster car behind him. Throughout the race Vettel was untouchable and controlled the race with a healthy lead at all times. Alonso raced superbly to elevate himself to second from his 9th place grid start. The other large mover was Daniel Ricciardo who started 19th and finished 10th after he passed Sergio Perez with four laps to go. The Red Bull car is at the moment fairly unstoppable. Alonso was able to keep up the pace with Vettel, but because he qualified out of position, it really hampered his progress to a possible win as his Ferrari has excellent race pace. Full Spa Race Results 1 - Sebastian Vettel 2 - Fernando Alonso 3 - Lewis Hamilton 4 - Nico Rosberg 5 - Mark Webber 6 - Jenson Button 7 - Felipe Massa 8 - Romain Grosjean 9 - Adrian Sutil 10 - Daniel Ricciardo The Awards! Who also Won this weekend The Untouchable Award Sebastian Vettel As soon as he got past Lewis he was away into the distance. Drove a faultless race to guarantee the win The Overtaker(s) Fernando Alonso & Daniel Ricciardo Both of these drivers managed to make up nine places throughout the race and showed excellent race pace throughout. Alonso especially drove excellently to make up so many places so quickly The "Not Again" Award Pastor Maldonado Poor old Pastor. Accidently bumped into Di Resta causing him to be taken out of the race and given yet another penalty to add to his record He's Finally not finished! Award. Kimi Raikkonen After 38 consecutive races without retirement his record breaking end came to an end at the hands of overheating brakes. It would have been unsafe for him to continue so he made the wise choice of retiring the car. Next up is the legendary Monza racetrack, home of Ferrari and an overall very fast track hidden in the Italian trees. The Italian Grand Prix will be live on the BBC and Sky on September the 8th. Full Race ResultsCurrent Championship Table
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