Belgian GP review

Posted by topgear at 08:23 am on Sunday August 19, 2012

After three races without a win, Sebastian Vettel was back on top of the podium at today’s Belgian Grand Prix, leading home Red Bull’s second one-two finish of the season ahead of Jenson Button and Fernando Alonso. Michael Schumacher put in an incredible drive to finish fifth after starting 24th on the grid, just ahead of team-mate Nico Rosberg who, despite leading the first few laps of the race, was unable to fend off the blisteringly quick Red Bulls. Adrian Sutil, Felipe Massa, Vitaly Petrov and Pastor Maldonado also scored points, while Lewis Hamilton had another awful afternoon, crashing out of the race on lap 13 after a clumsy tangle with Kamui Kobayashi that brought out the safety car.

So that’s it – the title’s in the bag. Well obviously it’s not quite – not mathematically speaking – but it is though, isn’t it? After all, it’d take a really special kind of idiot to throw away a 92 point lead. But even if Sebastian Vettel did somehow manage to fall down a well, he’d probably still finish the season as champion since there’s such a fierce battle going on behind him – a battle that’s now likely to be the best source of the season’s remaining drama.

So while this season will ultimately be remembered for Vettel’s dominance, if you forget he exists for a moment (not easy given that his sweaty, grinning mug is plastered over the back pages every other weekend, but bear with us) you’ve got a rather intriguing fight for second place. Four men could realistically finish 2011 as runner-up, and they’re currently covered by just 21 points – that’s less than a race win.

For our money, Webber looks the most lively candidate. He may be the only one of the four not to have won a race yet this season, but he’s been easily the most consistent and, if he can only learn how to start a race (we’re genuinely concerned that no-one’s told Marko that green means ‘go’) he’d even be challenging for the title himself. And anyone who says he’s not got the dedication should be reminded of the moment he slammed past Alonso at Eau Rouge this afternoon – a move that could easily have seen the pair eating their dinner through a straw.

Alonso didn’t flinch, of course, so maybe he’s our silver medal man. Currently sat third in the championship, he’d undoubtedly be higher if Ferrari hadn’t waited until Monaco to give him a decent car, and, with Felipe Massa still looking out of sorts, he hasn’t got to worry about his teammate getting in the way of his points.

The team dynamic is less clear at McLaren – a fact that could either make or break Lewis and Jenson’s bids for second place. With two wins apiece, two retirements apiece and now just three points between them, Jenson and Lewis still haven’t decided who’s the number one driver – a situation that could either mean they push each other to glory or provoke desperate moments of suspension-snapping self-destruction.

What do you lot reckon – who’s the best of the rest? Can Lewis bounce back from another clanger? Has Vettel even got it in the bag?

1. Sebastian Vettel
2. Mark Webber
3. Jenson Button
4. Fernando Alonso
5. Michael Schumacher
6. Nico Rosberg
7. Adrian Sutil
8. Felipe Massa
9. Vitaly Petrov
10. Pastor Maldonado
11. Paul Di Resta
12. Kamui Kobayashi
13. Bruno Senna
14. Jarno Trulli
15. Heikki Kovalainen
16. Rubens Barrichello
17. Jerome d’Ambrosio
18. Timo Glock
19. Vitantonio Liuzzi
20. Sergio Perez (DNF)
21. Daniel Ricciardo (DNF)
22. Lewis Hamilton (DNF)
23. Sebastien Buemi (DNF)
24. Jaime Alguersuari (DNF)


TAGS// f1, formula one, belgian gp

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