Rate the race – Round 12 – Belgian GP , Spa Francochamps 2017
Rate the Race reader score 6.38
Well, you thought this was nowhere near as good as last year’s race (7.28) and marginally better than 2015 (6.32.)
Last year’s race saw Vettel, Verstappen and Raikonnen collide into turn 1, KMag ‘s crash on Lap 6 had the race red flagged and we then had another two rounds of Verstappen v Raikonnen to keep us entertained.
Not so this year: It was a pretty uneventful race, with very little racing going on. There was some to-ing and fro-ing between Alonso and Hulkenberg who were yo-yoing between P7 and P8 for quite a few laps. Raikonnen was given a harsh 10 second stop go penalty for failing to slow during the miniscule yellow flagged segment of the track which housed Verstappen’s clapped out Red Bull (oh dear, Verstappen’s SIXTH DNF of the season.) Perez and Ocon had a coming together at the start of the race (in pretty much the same spot as a later, more significant event) but that was due to Ocon ‘optimistically’ going for a gap which wasn’t big enough for him to get into. Perez also kept us entertained by attempting a double overtake on Grosjean and Kvyat, but overshot the track , came back onto it having gained a significant advantage over his fellow drivers, refused to give the place back and took a five second penalty for his efforts. Perez then got off Scott-free for squeezing his team mate into the wall near Eau Rouge, picking up a puncture and de-laminated rear tyre, taking off Ocon’s front wing and generally making a nuisance of himself by driving very slowly on three wheels trying to make it back to the pits bringing out the safety car. He did retire eventually but not umtil he’d done a few more laps.
Alonso was practicing his stand up routine for when his F1 career finally comes to an end by giving us a few ideas for tee shirt quotes with ‘ No more talking this race’ and ‘He’s going to overtake me on the next lap but it won’t change my life’ before retiring a perfectly healthy car which was ‘embarrassing’.
There was one scrap between Vettel and Hamilton after the re-start and one overtake by Ricciardo on Bottas to take P3 which we (that is to say, I) missed because the cameras were focused on the battle between the race leaders, and that was pretty much it for the rest of the race.
Driver of the Weekend: Lewis Hamilton 37.97% of reader vote
Breaking the track record during free practice and again in qualifying, taking pole (which equalled Michal Schumacker’s record of 58), controlling the race from the front and winning saw Lewis taking the even grater accolade of winning our Driver of the Weekend award (and unlike Vettel, didn’t have to pee into a cup at the end of the race.) Lewis also reduced Vettel’s lead in the driver standings to seven points…..Well done Lewis!!
Monza next weekend.
Apologies for the typos (especially the numbers which should read 68 poles not 58)
This GP illustrates perfectly the problem that Liberty has with promoting F1.
The race is the most boring part.
Try explaining to a casual observer that a great “battle” between the best drivers in best cars involves them driving in unison around track a couple of car lengths apart for 40-odd laps.
“I was waiting for him to make a mistake”
I turned to my spouse the other night and said ‘You know, test cricket is more exciting than formula one,’ and she agreed. It’s all there, tension, passion, aggression, triumph and failure, and all the grace and beauty of the stroke play. And you get five hours of highlights over five days. I shall still watch both sports, but I think I shout more at the TV when a Test Match is on.