What did we learn from the Spa GP?


Well, we learned that it doesn’t always rain for the race, though the showers in Qualifying certainly sparked up the attempts at pole.  Five different pole sitters in the last 60 seconds of Qualifying was edge of the seat stuff.

So to the race itself.  The Finger (Vettel, Red Bull) passed Hamilton (Mercedes) on the first lap, as if the Brit were standing still.  I have never seen such a straight line speed differential.  Booster rockets perhaps?  However, once Vettel hit the clear air, he just romped away and won at a canter.  There was nobody near him.

A very well deserved second place for Alonso (Ferrari) to come from ninth on the grid.  Storming starts seem to be Alonso’s strength these days; however, he conceded that the race was not of stellar quality, with him saying, “But today it was a little bit boring, we get second place but no threat to Sebastian Vettel and had no threat from behind.”  The viewing public agreed with you Fernando.  It was a processional boring race, despite two DRS zones.

Third was Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) and 30 seconds behind Vettel.  This was not what we expected to see of the pole-sitter and acknowledged street fighter Hamilton.  Spa certainly showed up some deficiencies in all the teams, other than (half of) Red Bull.

Following Hamilton was his team mate Rosberg who seems to have reverted to his previous position of always being somewhere in the middle of the front runners but never doing anything outstanding.

So to the other (unreliable) half of the Red Bull team and Mark Webber.  It is difficult not to be swallowed up by the conspiracy theorists, but once again Webber’s car was not 100 percent before the race even began, something that never seems to happen to The Finger.  Webber said, “The two practice starts before the race weren’t great and so we were a bit worried about the clutch going to the start, which put us on to the back foot.  We tried our best, but lost a couple of rows off the line which is not good.  We then had to try and clear people on the track, which was difficult, as we had set up the top gear to race in clean air, rather than to pass.  The bad start put us out of position and it snowballs from there, as you use up the tyres trying to getting to back into position.”  There you are – from the horse’s mouth.  The world champion constructors can get one car right, but not the other.  Hmmmm!

Is McLaren back?  Jenson Button’s sixth would seem to indicate that McLaren is on the way back, but not there yet.  His excitable team mate, “Checo” Perez tangled with the excitable Frenchman Grosjean (“Lotus”) and came off the worst after the stewards decided he did not leave enough racing room.  Personally, I think the Mexican was hard done by, but the mixture of Hispanic and Gallic will always produce fireworks.

More than one person is questioning the future of the little Brazilian Massa.  Always lagging compared to his team mate Alonso, who in the post-race interview publicly skewered Massa saying, “I’m 8-3 against my teammate, I think.  Yesterday was about qualifying but I was 0.6s quicker than my teammate.”  Alonso obviously knows more than the Ferrari team is saying!

What else?  Maldonado (Williams) is a clot, hitting Paul Di Resta (Team Poppadum) while supposedly trying to enter the pits.  However, Spa should change the pit entrance so that this type of crash does not happen again (but with Maldonado, it will)!

The next GP is next week at Monza.