Belgian GP: Winners and Losers

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Belgian GP: Winners and Losers
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

WINNERS

Lewis Hamilton

Naturally, the triumphant Brit heads the list of winners after a superb display of car control, ability under pressure, and calmness. Aside from his excursion into the gravel trap at Rivage as the rain got heavier, Hamilton drove the perfect race.

Taking full advantage of Webber’s poor start, he controlled all 44 laps and held on stoically after the safety car pulled in with three laps to go. The McLaren driver is evoking memories of Michael Schumacher in the late 90’s, winning races and challenging two cars that are fundamentally faster than his own.

Can he go one step further and become the first British double World Champion since Jackie Stewart?

Robert Kubica

Whilst many think that the remaining races are a straight fight between McLaren, Red Bull, and Ferrari, there is a spanner in the works which might alter that assumption.

This years R30 has proven itself able on short, twisty layouts thanks to the excellent traction and medium wheelbase that it possesses, yet it was never more than a few seconds behind the supposedly dominant Red Bull for the entirety of the Grand Prix, one which is considered one of the fastest and longest races on the calendar.

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The new F-duct device that Renault had honed over the summer worked immediately and should go even better in two weeks at Monza. 

Mark Webber

A weekend of mixed emotions for the veteran Aussie. To win pole at a circuit such as Spa Francorchamps is always a cherished memory. That was made obsolete within three seconds of the lights going out, however.

Webber enjoyed his second portion of luck in as many races when his team mate helpfully put himself and one of his championship challengers out of the running, as well as a third putting his car in the wall.

The first seeds of a Hamilton vs. Webber title fight have been sown, yet it is the Aussie who is ominously getting the rub of the green, something that his competitors should be wary of as the F1 fraternity heads to a number of circuits that should theoretically suit the Red Bull.

Spa-Francorchamps

Another year, another unpredictable weather situation, another classic. Long live Spa.

 

LOSERS

 

Sebastian Vettel

Where does one start. It was seen as to be expected that 2009 did not yield a maiden championship for the young German; he was still learning, developing, maturing they said. What improvement have we seen in 2010? Very little in terms of race craft, ability to handle pressure and maturity.

Whilst his incident with Button was in no way intentional, it was reminiscent of a young charger who does not possess the patience or the level-headedness to become a champion.

At the point of impact Button confessed that the track was bone dry and that he had covered his line. Vettel, in his haste, tried to wrestle the car across the circuit, not expecting such heavy-handed action to yield such a result.

The prevailing feeling is that Vettel cannot deal well with being in a racing situation with another driver who will not make life easy for him. Fast as he may be, but no title will be forthcoming until the Heppenheim native learns patience and precision in the car.

Fernando Alonso

Looked very strong throughout Friday, which is as good as it got for the double World Champion. Saturday saw a gamble on a wet setup which didn’t really work, leaving him 10th for Sunday’s race.

He was unlucky to be on the end of a Rubens Barrichello kamikaze effort, but never really recovered and eventually put himself out of his own misery by getting on a white line at Malmedy and pitching into the tyre wall.

The Spaniard is now 41 points behind the championship leader, yet has back up in the form of his subversive team mate. It’ll be a tough road to a third World Title this year, but it’s not over yet.

Virgin Racing

Timo Glock was one of the first to switch onto full wets once the second band of rain had come, which proved to be a fatal mistake.

The extreme wet tyre was graining horribly within four to five laps due to the intermittent nature of the rain, so much so that more than one driver had to stop immediately afterwards, reminiscent of Kimi Raikkonen’s ill-fated decision in Malaysia last year.

Had the German taken intermediates before anybody else, his best result of the season was on the cards.

As it was, a despondent looking Glock sent an open hint to his superiors whilst being interviewed during the BBC F1 forum, saying that, “If our development isn’t good enough or in the right direction, I will not be a happy man”.

Welcome to F1, Virgin.

 

Medium-term - The F1 fans

It almost feels like robbery that there are only six races left. A winter championship, Bernie, please!

 

Please visit http://www.yallaf1.com for more daily F1 updates, features and analyses.

 

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