Formula One | Belgium, Spa-Francorchamps
OTHER: It has already became tradition. That Belgium has the race after the summer break from the teams/drivers. And it is also a tradition that around this time the driverseat-parade is going to start/underway. This year it ain't different from other years. In the last couple of days the deal with Max Verstappen has been made official, he will drive for Scuderia Toro Rosso next year. In Melbourne next year he will be 17 years old. Some say it's too young. For example Villeneuve and Eddie Jordan. Am I mad at them just like other dutch journalist are ? No, I'm not ! They tell the truth for most part. Let them drive an extra series. If they are really that good they won't drop down with an extra year before F1. Like Villeneuve says: they have to earn there place. O'course Max Verstappen has earned it (otherwise Red Bull wouldn't be on his tail). But let him drive for it as well. But all this a side, I think he will do a good job. I guess he is an exception to the rest. Then the seat-struggle at Marussia: Rossi would drive this weekend instead of Chilton. But the contracts with Chilton had been discussed after first practice, and so Rossi was back on the sidelines again. Too bad for him, cause in sport cars he is doing pretty solid work. At Catherham they had another scenario for the same thing. Kobayashi was the unfortenate one to miss out this weekend. He was being replaced by sports car and super formula driver: Andre Lotterer. I've seen him in action at Le Mans, and he is doing great work. If you only just see him, you would think it's Alexander Wurz (but it isn't). Personally I would rather have seen them replace Ericsson for a weekend instead of Kobayashi. But I guess Ericsson brings in more money. All of these changes makes a hard-case for: v.d. Garde / Frijns / Vergne and others.
QUALLY: It was wet, like we now from Spa. If it isn't wet during the race it will be during qually. This year it ain't that much different. And to be honoust the race weekend in Spa is more fun when there is at some point some rain. We saw some nice suprises. Lotterer has beaten Ericsson on his first international single-seater appearance. Gutierrez had a car problem, which he also had during practice #2. And Hulkenberg made a couple of mistakes, which meant end of qually for him, after a short amount of time. Bianchi however came trough, to Q2. And Chilton stayed behind just, on P19. Q2 saw only one big suprise: Sutil on 14th, were he would normally join Guiterrez he was now for once quicker. The Force India from Perez came to 13th spot in qually. It quiet hactic for Q2 results in the last couple of minutes/seconds, which made it interesting. Then Q3: Both Toro Rosso's were out. But McLaren, Williams, Ferrari, Red Bull and o'course Mercedes were still in. For McLaren it was soon clear they would not make a perfect Q3, but place 10 (Button) and 7 (Magnussen) is still a good result. Williams struggled with traffic during the rain, as did Ferrari. The Red Bull from Vettel came in to 3rd. The both Mercedes drivers in to P1 and P2 (read: Rosberg - Hamilton).
RACE: Most part of the race was just fun to watch. But the start and the end of the race was quiet exciting. So I fix my point of view on that. So if you want to know the rest as well look up the race review on sites like GPupdate.net or the official Formula 1 site... So the start was solid, no big shunts in the first corner. Only minor touches, here and there. Hamilton had a brilliant start, Vettel as well. Alonso had a problem tough, his team was still with the car at the '15 seconds mark'. Which meant a stop & go penalty of 5 sec. for him/the team. Vettel tried to overtake Hamilton at the end of the straight after Eau Rouge, but his attack didn't stick and he needed to bounce of track to come back behind Rosberg. Rosberg didn't learn from that appearently cause he went for the same move on his team-mate a lap later only with different outcome. Rosberg lost a bit of wing on the tyre from Hamilton. Appearently Rosberg thought he was in Lewis his view. But he clearly wasn't in front / near the front (nor the middle) of Lewis his car. That meant a P19 for Lewis after changing tyres. And for Rosberg a change of front wing (P15). Unfortantly for Hamilton it came to an hold near the end of the race. (Lewis already announced it a couple of times during the race). The race from Lotterer was even sooner ended. After 2 or 3 laps it was over-and-out for the German. Too bad because he could have shown the potential of the Catherham (I recon). At the end of the race there was no further announcement of rain (it never showed up), so they could go full in to it. Bottas, Ricciardo, Vettel were in front. But Rosberg came back strong. But the last couple of laps were a fight for place 5, 6, 7 and 8. Both McLaren's, Alonso and Vettel battled for the places behind the podium. Which saw Magnussen going a bit too far on Alonso (which he got a penalty for after the race). Too be fair we didn't see much of it on television, but it was there appereantly. We saw Alonso went on to the grass for a slight moment. And some: "where 2 dogs fight for a t-bone, the 3rd dog will win and take the t-bone with him". In the end Ricciardo got his 3rd victory of the season. Rosberg on 2nd, getting shouted at by the public (some how imagineable, but also not-mature). And Bottas again in 3rd spot on the podium. Behind hime a solid performance (if not the best) from Raikkonen, Vettel and Button.
OTHER #2: Lauda was quiet clear which one was to blame. Wolff wouldn't go that far. But the end result is they aren't allowed to battle on track anymore. And I think that is a bit too harsch. They should put harsch words on Nico. The way they did with Hamilton before. But now they are both not allowed to fight between each other. Shame ? Yes, it is ! Thanks Nico ! Now he will hear much more shouting when he is on the podium, I recon. It hasn't been 100% confirmed but it seems to be the case... It wasn't really clear why Lotterer came to and hold on track during the 2nd or 3rd lap of the race. Afterwards he told that he lost drive on his car, which meant end of the race. A real shame. It seems that the fight between Hamilton and Rosberg had some down-side effects for Massa. Which got a piece of Rubber underneath his car. (You could also see some rubber went in the direction of Rosberg head when he drove behind Vettel (I think it was)). Which meant a terrible race for Massa. During his second pit stop the remains could be removed. Which meant a 3 second per lap quicker Massa. But at that point it was too late. Furthermore it seems now that Rosberg went on purpose to pass Hamilton in that corner to make a point for himself towards the team in a reaction to Hungary. What's real/serious about that ?! I don't know. I guess we will hear more in 2 weeks time during the race in Monza.