Jenson Button has won an eventful Belgian GP ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Räikkönen. A scary crash at the start of the race took out championship leader Fernando Alonso along with Lewis Hamilton and Romain Grosjean, and throughout the race the stewards were kept busy investigating various incidents. The weather remained dry for the race and the only safety car was brought out for the melee at the start, allowing Button to build up a significant lead and make a one stop strategy work.
My race highlight was the battle between Michael Schumacher and Räikkönen – the two most successful current F1 drivers around the Spa-Francorchamps circuit. Schumacher was also celebrating his 300th GP and so was obviously hoping for a good result at a circuit that holds so much significance for him, as it also where he made his debut back in 1991. With about fourteen laps to go, after Räikkönen’s second stop, the pair were close and Räikkönen found a way past the German at the Bus Stop Chicane, however Schumacher got straight back past. Eventually Räikkönen made a move stick at Eau Rouge, an unusual overtaking spot, and was able to break away from Schumacher and continue on his way to third, while Schumacher was forced to make a late stop and finished in seventh. And of course, Button’s win was a highlight.
The first corner accident was a big one, and the drivers involved were lucky to walk away. The blame is being apportioned to Grosjean, who moved right across the track into Hamilton, leaving the McLaren driver with no-where to go. As the pair touched, Hamilton lost control of his car and went into the back of Alonso’s car, sending him into a spin. Grosjean’s car was sent airborne across Alonso’s, perilously close to his head and ended up coming to a stop at the barrier, while Hamilton’s car went across the top of Kobayashi’s front right of the car. Amazingly, despite having a hole in his car, the Sauber driver was able to continue and finish the race. Hamilton was then shown gesticulating towards Grosjean, while commentator Martin Brundle and analyst Anthony Davidson both said they felt Grosjean was to blame. The Lotus driver clearly moved across on Hamilton – and has now received a one race ban as a results. Is the penalty right or is it too harsh? It has also re-opened the debate on closed cockpits in Formula One – are these necessary or should it remain an open-cockpit formula?
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