August 30, 2009

It was Ferrari by a KERS

Ferrari did in fact win the race though it might be hard to tell with all the excitement about Giancarlo Fisichella's great second place.

In fact both Fisichella and Raikkonen drove great races at Spa, neither making any mistakes. Fisichella was simply "in the zone" the whole week end, his team mate Sutil was nowhere so it was not simply the case of the team bolting on a trick new aero bit.

Raikkonen used KERS to perfection and made no errors, enough to just stay ahead to the end. You will inevitably read about how "he did not deserve the win because he cheated on the first lap....yada yada". Rational people will agree with David Coulthard's view that going out wide at the La Source hairpin is not really much of an advantage at all as you pick up all sorts of crap on your tires. Going out wide does get you out of traffic but this has been done by drivers on the start of the Belgian GP for as long as I can remember ( In fact Jenson Button did precisely the same thing yet not a word was said) and it surely is something discussed with the stewards before the race.

As most of the race was decided on the first lap, let's look at some on board shots of the start. Note the absolutely demon start Barrichello had after he finally got going, that is an amazing piece of driving!

Hamilton also had a bad start. He was completely without fault in the accident that took him out and from the video it seems quite clear that it was not Jenson Button's fault either, Grojean had his wheel locked and was going straight when he collided with the BrawnGP. The first lap also took out Trulli and, as it turned out, Alonso who came out of the first corner with a front left damaged enough for the team not to be able to properly change the tire later on.

A final word about Webber, not sure where he was at but one could argue he made some dodgy blocking moves during the race, on Vettel during the first lap and later on Nakajima. Maybe he's channeling Black Jack Brabham!


The Belgian Grand Prix
Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium;
44 laps; 308.052km;
Weather: Sunny.


Pos Driver Team Time

1. Raikkonen Ferrari (B) 1h23:50.995
2. Fisichella Force India-Mercedes (B) + 0.939
3. Vettel Red Bull-Renault (B) + 3.875
4. Kubica BMW Sauber (B) + 9.966
5. Heidfeld BMW Sauber (B) + 11.276
6. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes (B) + 32.763
7. Barrichello Brawn-Mercedes (B) + 35.461
8. Rosberg Williams-Toyota (B) + 36.208
9. Webber Red Bull-Renault (B) + 36.959
10. Glock Toyota (B) + 41.490
11. Sutil Force India-Mercedes (B) + 42.636
12. Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) + 46.106
13. Nakajima Williams-Toyota (B) + 54.241
14. Badoer Ferrari (B) + 1:38.177

Fastest lap: Vettel, 1:47.263

Not classified/retirements:

Driver Team On lap

Alonso Renault (B) 27
Trulli Toyota (B) 22
Button Brawn-Mercedes (B) 1
Grosjean Renault (B) 1
Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes (B) 1
Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari (B) 1

World Championship standings, round 12:

Drivers: Constructors:

1. Button 72 1. Brawn-Mercedes 128
2. Barrichello 56 2. Red Bull-Renault 104.5
3. Vettel 53 3. Ferrari 56
4. Webber 51.5 4. McLaren-Mercedes 44
5. Raikkonen 34 5. Toyota 38.5
6. Rosberg 30.5 6. Williams-Toyota 30.5
7. Hamilton 27 7. BMW Sauber 18
8. Trulli 22.5 8. Renault 16
9. Massa 22 9. Force India-Mercedes 8
10. Kovalainen 17 10. Toro Rosso-Ferrari 5
11. Glock 16
12. Alonso 16
13. Heidfeld 10
14. Kubica 8
15. Fisichella 8
16. Buemi 3
17. Bourdais 2

All timing unofficial



  1. Yes going wide is a disadvantage. Every other driver who went wide lost places. Watch at about 1:40 in the clip and you can see Alonso, Rosberg, and Hamilton all passed Button as a result of Button's excursion into the runoff area.

  2. Both Fisichella and Kimi drove perfect races, KERS made the difference.

    Going wide was a smart and fair move by Kimi, if he hadn't, the crash could have been a lot bigger.

    Let's hope the next GP is as good as this one.

  3. What a weekend and what stellar performances from Kimi and Giancarlo. They both drove magnificently. Personally, I was elated to see Kimi avenge his '08 race today.

  4. Kimi made the initial mistake at Les Combes, coming back on track infront of Kubica who did hit him, which i think backed everyone else up a bit and IMO had a part to play in 4 drivers races ending there!

    Why cant more race tracks be like spa, lots of room for spectacular action, not a parade like some of the newest tracks.

    BBC were saying that the McLaren wasn't suited to Spa, so will it be suited to Monza?

    Also Ted Kravitz said that the wheel spinners are banned from next year, about time too!

  5. if you watch the replay, jenson button went wide at T1, but then gave the places back. kimi went wide, took two places and then a third using the slipstream.

  6. Interesting quote from Romain Grosjean: "I made a very good start, moving up to thirteenth place and I was keeping a good pace but then Button took me out at turn five and it was the end for me."

    Straight out of the Renault handbook of race driver excuses i think...

  7. @sidepodcast "button...gave the places back" Who exactly did Button pass and let back in front?

  8. It was a good race to watch, not as exciting as the 2008 Spa GP was but still good, I was just happy to see BMW in the points range and Raikkonen being competitive. Can't believe a Force India made it to the podium.

    Is Giancarlo really moving to Ferrari for Monza?

  9. Last year you put up the whole race from onboards with no commentary. Any chance of that happening again this year?

  10. Just came accross your blog, I love it! keep it up.

    I would like to ask where you get your video clips from?



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