BELGIAN GRAND PRIX REVIEW
The silly season of F1 came to a halt in the month of August, when the drivers went off to Narnia and spent their time on the moon. But it wasn’t forever, before all of them returned back onto the asphalt to burn Pirelli tires and screech past at 300kph around the Spa Francorchamps.
After three weeks of isolation, the beats of the air guns and the power of the V8’s roared around the locality for the last time, for after this year, the high pitched lower powered V6’s come into play. Pirelli brought the hard and the medium compounds to the race, but the allocations were never used until the 2nd practice. Once again, the Spa weekend started off with a bang from the cumulus keeping its eye all over the track, which played into the hands of Fernando Alonso. But only 2 hours later, did the track dry up, and make a dry line for Sebastian Vettel to breeze past the corners to settle at P1, despite a tire blow.
Worried much? No, the problem was caused by some pieces of metal on the track. Right before qualifying, the track once again suited the well rounded RB9, with both their drivers setting fast laptimes. But the Mercs weren’t far behind. In fact, qualifying is just what they needed to get the job done.
Once again the unpredictable weather played its cards, making it a wet qualifying. Exactly what Mercedes needed. and it pretty much was their game now, with Lewis Hamilton on pole. The surprise of the weekend were Geido Van Der Garde, Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton. These under-rated back markers put on a phenomenal qualifying for the Grand Prix on Sunday. Geido in 14, Jules in 15 and Max in 16. It was a bigger disappointment for Daniel Ricciardo, now an official 2014 Red Bull Racing driver, as he started P19.
In the grid further up, Hamilton was trailed by Vettel in a classic last minute pole lap and Vettel was ahead of his retiring teammate, Webber, beating him 11-0 this season. The main title contenders, Raikkonen and Alonso were down at P8 and P9 respectively, because both of them did not set a time on the drier track like Hamilton and Vettel.
The race wasn’t the most exciting one to watch this season. Sebastian Vettel came, saw and conquered. He lead the race and won with a margin of 17s ahead of Fernando Alonso, who drove remarkably well to surge from P9 to finish P2 to keep his championship hopes alive. On the other hand, there’s Lewis Hamilton who fell back to P3 because of an unknown reason. Kimi Raikkonen had to say good bye to points this weekend, as it was the end to the number of point finishing races that Kimi held record for. Mark Webber’s woes continued this weekend as his disagreement with his clutch haunts him even after 200 grands prix. Jenson Button also made a competitive run for McLaren as he finished in P6 after qualifying one position above.
Overall, the biggest winner during this weekend was Vettel, who now sits on top of the leaderboard with a 46 point lead over Alonso. Though, saying that the Red Bull will show the same dominance in Monza is uncertain, it can be said that it’ll have the ability to finish comfortably at P6, maybe. And after Monza, the next 4 races are Seb/Red Bull territory.
I reckon Seb might win the title in Austin or Abu Dhabi, with a race or 2 to spare.