August 29, 2011

2011 Belgian GP: Blistering Speed

Let's get one thing out of the way, if the Red Bulls did not have that blistering issue they most likely might have lapped the field in Belgium. That said, I don't want to fall into the "it's just the car" trap, Vettel drove the way only a great driver perfectly in tune with a machine designed around him can. He managed the tire issue without panic and was just stunning. That outside pass on Rosberg is proof enough. Yes he caught a break with the safety car but do you really believe this would have ended any other way?

Sebastian Vettel - Red Bull Racing - RB7

Red Bull got a 1-2 with two cars on different strategies even with Webber once again totally blowing the start. Now I don't believe Webbo is a retard who can't use a clutch so once again I have to raise the question of why exactly it's always his that will not work....

Hamilton is the opposite of Vettel, he does not seem to be capable of playing it cool and many of his accidents are the result of his inability to look past what's immediately in front of him. It is the fatal flaw in his character and something he will need to conquer if he ever plans to be World Champion again, barring a completely dominant car.

Jenson Button on the other hand seems to be conquering his own flaw, inconsistency. He drove a hell of a race again, coming from behind, using his head and staying cool. Big props to Jense once again.

Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari 150° Italia at the 2011 Shell Belgian Grand Prix Free Practice

Alonso was the usual pit bull, He had a lucky escape in turn one and a stellar first part of the race but the Ferrari just does not work with low track temperatures so there is not much he could do on the harder tires.

Awesome start by Rosberg who read the start melee perfectly only to come up against the limitations of the Mercedes in a couple of laps.

If there was a star of the race it would have to be Schumacher, 20 years after his F1 debut, when Jaime Alguesaury was feeding from a bottle, "grandpa" Michael shut his critics up once and for all, 24 th to 5th place, consistently faster than Nico, you got to love it, oven if you're a hater.

Senna, well, I think he did himself much harm in just one braking zone.

One last word about DRS, I'm still very conflicted. It's nice to mix it up but I want to see passes under braking, not artificial assists on the straights, do you feel the same way?

Check out the clip after the jump.


  1. I wouldn't have a problem with DRS if DRS was allowed everywhere. Having DRS zones makes it feel a bit artificial...having said that, I'm not sure DRS is playing as big a role as the tires are. In fact, if compared to seasons pass, the cars can actually follow each other in the corners now...the cars are slipstreaming each other through Eau Rouge. See if an early-mid 2000s F1 could do that!

  2. I believe its the CAR; its winning everything!!.
    We all know Mr. Newey is a genius. and I'm sure many people in the paddock would guess (cause who really knows?) that any good driver would win in that car.

    devils advocate here... Schummy went from 24th to 5th on lets say a 'good car'. What would Hammy/Alonso do starting also 24th and driving what is now Vettels car?

    Tough question; Tougher answer...

  3. I couldn't help but feel bad for both Torro Rosso drivers. After Senna's performance during qualifying I thought he would have done much better than P13. Hell, I can't believe he managed to out brake himself at La Source and use his car as a battering ram into Alguersauri's Torro Rosso.
    But the best part of the race had to be Hamilton's responses after his incident.
    Reporter: "Talking about the championship, what do you lose now?"
    Lewis Hamilton: "The championship wasn't ours any ways so..."

    Quote of the race weekend!

  4. I continue to question what's going on with Webber's car. I think he's a solid driver and astonishingly, having the most success, later in his career. I'm encouraged to see that he's resigned with Red Bull but I still don't think he's treated fairly by the team. Vettel is without a doubt the favorite son and I find Webber to be tossed aside a lot of the time. I think that's apparent with the team's lack of urgency with his car. I'd like to know what was going on with his KERS at the beginning of the season and why no one has discussed it, in depth since.

    With that said, I can't help but think that Red Bull's greatest advantage are their cars and not Vettel. I'd love to see what kind of driving chops he has in a different car. He's displayed great skill when starting from pole, but it's easy for an F1 driver to do well when there's no one in front.

    McLaren is sort of all over this season. Button has been inconsistent until recently. I'm pleased he's found his pace with the car and has earned every podium this season, without a doubt. Hamilton on the other hand is a ball of fire. It shows a lack of maturity, his unwillingness to let anything go. Then he has to spend the weeks following every race, doing damage control in the press. Playing it cool would definitely serve him better and improve his driving. That way he could focus on future races, rather than apologizing for the past. At this point he seems to be in another funk, so I'll be interested to see how Monza plays out for him.

    All in all a fantastic race at Spa. Schumacher was without a doubt the star of the show.

  5. I saw all the race from in-car and with the hud in the left sight of the screen.
    Alonso, Webber used the 50%of the KERS throught
    Eau-Rouge without leaving the gas pedal.
    And the front wheels was bumping on the kerbs.
    In the middle '00 you can even pass full throttle the Eau-Rouge.

  6. Hey that's cool, my picture of Vettel made it to your blog.

  7. @Niels, great shot, hope you don't mind!

  8. @AC, no problem at all. Just funny to find my picture here as check your blog from time to time.

  9. an idea: what about TURNing OFF DRS after coming alongside the car ahead? I know this would imply advanced car-to-car communication and that would probably make it a nightmare to implement and steaming ahead with whatever momentum left is another issue regardless. but I hate these trigger zones.
    I mean the whole point of DRS was to catch up with the car ahead, (then duel it out), not creating these pass-trailertruck type zones.
    Ideal if DRS was used everywhere, but LIMITED by seconds its used for- then drivers will start using it tactfully.

    Then again, if tracking and enabling /disabling contraptions cost too much does DRS have to be implemented at all? Kers is good enough esp with more power in the years to come.

    I suspect Kobayashi kept up with LH before crash because LH had drs, but I suspect Kob was using up all KERS and significant drafting.
    vettel vs Alonso -the former was tactful using kers too, using just enough even though the greatest effect of kers is visible when used fully early on -eg. right at exit of Eau Rouge like Button did when passing cars force India - sure, it was all about a stable car (Mclaren), allowing him to do so, but u get my point.. the stabler car can use kers earlier, making passes by itself.


  10. Totally agree with AC in the original post, I can't stand that DRS + drafting meant that the car in front could do almost nothing to prevent being passed. Alonso probably could have kept the podium, or we would have seen more effort for Webber and Jenson to make it around him.

    It was a great race to watch though, lots of fun and lots of drama. At least Lewis was less of a douche about the incident this time, he must have been shaken up from it otherwise I suspect he would have been more colorful about it.

  11. DRS is unworthy of F1. It's a solution to a problem that shouldn't exist: boring sterile circuits that don't let the drivers race. Spa just shows up the phoniness of creating a sitting-duck zone to make the TV show more entertaining. If they must have DRS, then cut our the zones, let 'em use it wherever they dare.

    Other than that... wish Ferrari would stop wasting Alonso.

  12. How many botched starts has Webber had this season? Some commentors have said they pin it on Webber but, come on, he's been around ages and knows a thing or two about dropping the clutch at the right time. These guys practice the start procedure at least a dozen times over each race weekend, in addition to the simulator time, so you'll have to excuse me if I'm suspicious that something else is going on with the car. As I said in another post, I'd lean towards some idea that Webber is the only real threat to Vettel over the race weekend and somebody wants to ensure that he's the favorite to win. Given equal cars (once again, are they equal?) and a decent start Webber could put the hurt on finger man's chances if only he'd get a decent drop and getaway. It just doesn't add up.

    Analysis of Hamilton is pretty accurate I'd say. More than once this season I find myself asking my pancakes 'WTF IS HE DOING?!?' before crying in my coffee after LH stuffs his car into (another car, the wall, etc.). It's gotten so I don;t want to make breakfast for the race b/c I'll just lose my stomach watching my guy drop the ball. AGAIN.

    Alonso and Ferrari are just...waiting for something to happen the RBR and McLaren. Like last year, they're hoping for a monumental screw up from RBR and by all accounts Hamilton will be parked on the side of the track somewhere leaving Button to slog along hoping for others' tires to wear out towards the end of the race. I've despised Alonso since...forever (I blame an ex GF who cheered him and his hair on. We broke up after the whole stepneygate scandal) so I just cannot bring myself to give him the credit he deserves for jumping the sinking Renault ship and sailing over to the SF. Part of it is that he seems content to let the team do the work - I find his driving uninspired most of the time, at least LH is in attack mode from 5th light on.

    And, hey, talk about depressing: this weekend the beeb finally talked about the fact that Vettel can snag the title by simply finishing in the points for the rest of the races this season. He could still screw up and lose it, but only through complete malfeasance. Maybe if Webber just says 'screw it golden boy' and takes him out for every remaining race.

    A guy can hope, aye? Otherwise the rest of the season could be pretty freaking boring. I can only hope he'll sprain that damn finger. I find myself uncomfortably angry whenever I see it...

  13. Oh and...what about that loose tire on MSC's Benz? That one had me laughing for a good long while. I had just barely settled in to watch quali and that one caught me off guard. Given his overall performance and finish, what might have been for Schumi?

  14. DRS robbed us of a lot of great fights that could have been had on the straight after Eau Rouge, but instead we got to see one driver move over to defend just to get overtaken with no skill needed. Fuck DRS and what it has done to the racing at Spa....

  15. Eric Clapton said it best when Martin Brundle queried him about DRS during his grid walk. 'It's in the hands and maybe up in the head, not necessarily in the car.' Having said that, it certainly makes it easier for the top runners to catch up to the rest of the front and not get stuck behind slower cars. Maybe if they had had DRS last year, Fernando Alonso wouldn't have gotten stuck behind a factory Renault, while challenging the Renault-powered championship leader the very last race of the season!


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