Well, let’s start with Qualifying. We learned that despite all the millions of dollars swallowed up by the professional teams, sometimes they appear as incompetent as a new amateur race team. Just how can Mercedes have a rear wheel fall off on Schumacher’s first lap of practice (and it’s not the first one either)? Leaving their driver to start on the 24th grid spot. Just how can McLaren forget to tell their driver Jenson Button that he has only one lap left to set a time in qualifying, leaving him 13th on the grid?
What did come out of Qualifying was that Bruno Senna (Renault) turned in an incredible performance to claim 7th on the grid, when everyone was deriding his seat in the team as being merely a ‘pay driver’. Everyone had to eat their words (on the Saturday at least). The other brilliant Saturday performance was from Jaime Algywotsit in the Toro Rosso to bag 6th on the grid. Having been threatened with the sack a couple of months ago, Jaime has woken up and is returning to excellent form.
And so to the race, one with plenty of action from beginning to end. Spa remains a fantastic circuit that encourages fantastic racing, and not one of these dreadful new Herr Tilke boraramas. Are you listening Bernie (the patron saint of golden garden gnomes)?
A brilliant start by Rosberg saw a Mercedes lead a Grand Prix, something that hasn’t happened since 1955 or thereabouts. Schumacher in the other Mercedes was up to 15th from his 24th starting position by the end of lap 1. Schumacher continued his relentless push, eventually passing Rosberg to finish 5th and silence his critics.
Eventual winner Sebastian (the finger) Vettel was not threatened after he got past Rosberg, and again deserved the win. Webber in the other Red Bull did his usual start taking him from 3rd on the grid to 10th by the first corner. Will Red Bull please take him out to a vacant field somewhere and teach him how to start. Currently he is hopeless. However, his pass on Alonso through Eau Rouge to take second place showed he must have cojones the size of coconuts.
Third was Button, in another of his exemplary clean drives. If he started somewhere further up than 13th he could even have been on the top step of the podium. His team mate, Hamilton the feisty, seems to attract trouble. His crash after hitting Kobayashi occurred because he forgot that the Sauber was still there after his pass down the straight. He moved over and hit Kobayashi (sorry all you Hamilton fans), and he even admitted it later after viewing the video evidence, writing, “After watching the replay, I realize it was my fault today 100 percent. I didn’t give Kobayashi enough room though I thought I was past.”
Alonso (Ferrari, the faster one) was not himself all weekend, but did finish 4th, but was not a happy little Spaniard, though he was in the action for a while. Massa? Bringing up the rear as usual. (“Fernando is quicker than you. Do you understand?” That (in)famous communication from his engineer.)
And what about the ascending ‘stars’ of Jaime and Bruno? Unfortunately Bruno in his excitement forgot which pedal was the brake and center-punched Jaime on the first corner. End of the race for Jaime’s Toro Rosso and the first ‘drive-through’ penalty for Bruno Senna.
The next GP is Monza on the 11th September.