Classic GP: Belgium 2012

With less than a week to go before the 2017 Formula One Belgian GP, lets relive the classic 2012 Belgium GP.

20/08/17

Stats coming into the weekend

Coming into the weekend, Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso was comfortably leading the championship on 164 points after the Hungarian GP. Red Bull’s Mark Webber led teammate Sebastian Vettel by 2 points on 124 and 122 points. After his 3rd Hungarian GP win, McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton was 4th on 117 points, just 1 point ahead of Lotus’s Kimi Raikkonen in 5th.

Qualifying

McLaren’s Jenson Button secured pole position ahead of Sauber’s Kamui Kobayashi and Williams Pastor Maldonado. Ironically, since joining McLaren in 2010, this was Button’s first pole position for the team. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, Red Bull’s Mark Webber and McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton line up in 6th, 7th and 8th while Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel failed to make the top 10 shoot-out in 11th. Mercedes’s Michael Schumacher qualified 13th ahead of his 300th GP.

Race

The lights go out and Jenson Button leads down into turn 1 as carnage ensues behind. Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Romain Grosjean are involved. Grosjean made a good start and moved towards the inside of La Source, squeezing Hamilton into the pit-wall. Contact was made with both drivers losing control. Grosjean speared into the back of Sergio Perez, becoming airborne and then crashing heavily into Alonso, narrowly missing Alonso’s head by a few inches. Hamilton crashed into Kamui Kobayashi and then Alonso.  Perez lost his rear wing when Grosjean hit him and touched Pastor Maldonado, sending the Williams driver spinning. The Safety Car has been deployed.

Lap 2, the order is Button from Kimi Raikkonen, Nico Hulkenberg, Di Resta and Michael Schumacher. Mark Webber sits 9th while teammate Sebastian Vettel is 12th. Lap 5, the Safety Car is in and racing continues. Lap 6, Hulkenberg has overtaken Raikkonen and is now up to 2nd while Schumacher overtakes Di Resta into La Source and up into 4th place. Lap 8, Vettel overtakes the remaining Ferrari of Felipe Massa for 10th place at the Bus Stop Chicane. Lap 10, Vettel has now overtaken teammate Webber for 9th into the Bus Stop Chicane.

Lap 11, Schumacher now overtakes Raikkonen for 3rd. Raikkonen pits the next lap along with Webber. Lap 14, Hulkenberg pits from 2nd and comes out behind Raikkonen on track. Lap 15, Vettel overtakes Jean-Eric Vergne and is now up into 4th place. Lap 17, it looks like Button is trying to make the one-stop work. Lap 19, Hulkenberg is now down to 5th. Lap 20, Schumacher pits and resumes on the Hard tyre.

Lap 21, Button finally pits from the lead. He resumes on the Hard tyre and is ahead of Vettel. Raikkonen is up to 3rd with Hulkenberg 4th, both on the two-stop plan. Lap 22, Vettel pits, he reappears ahead of Schumacher. Lap 26, Button leads ahead of Raikkonen and Hulkenberg.  Lap 28, Hulkenberg and Webber make their second stops. Lap 29, Raikkonen pits and resumes behind Schumacher. Lap 33, Webber is now right behind the scrap, now four cars with Schumacher, Raikkonen, Hulkenberg and Webber all fighting. Lap 34, Raikkonen finally overtakes Schumacher and up into 3rd.

Lap 36, Schumacher pits for a costly late change of rubber. Meanwhile, Button leads by 14.2 seconds over Vettel with Raikkonen a similar margin back in 3rd. Lap 40, Schumacher has told his team on the radio that he has problems with the sixth gear in his Mercedes. He is now 7th behind Massa and Webber. Lap 44, Bruno Senna posts the fastest lap of the race, with 1m52.822s.

Jenson Button wins the Belgium Grand Prix ahead of Sebastian Vettel. Both made the one-stop work with Kimi Raikkonen taking the final podium place in 3rd.

Race Result

1.Button  2.Vettel  3.Raikkonen  4.Hulkenberg  5.Massa  6.Webber  7.Schumacher  8.Vergne  9.Ricciardo  10.Di Resta  11.Rosberg  12.Senna  13.Kobayashi  14.Petrov  15.Glock  16.Pic  17.Kovalainen  18.La Rosa  DNF Karthikeyan, Maldonado, Perez, Alonso, Hamilton and Grosjean.

After the Race

Romain Grosjean was fined €50,000 and was given a one-race ban at the Italian GP for his role in the crash at the start.

Fernando Alonso’s lead in the championship had been significantly reduced with closest challenger, Sebastian Vettel picking up 18 point for 2nd. He was now only 24 points behind the Ferrari driver. After his win, Button moves to within 63 points of Alonso in  6th.

  1. Fernando Alonso 164pts
  2. Sebastian Vettel 140pts
  3. Mark Webber 132pts
  4. Kimi Raikkonen 131pts
  5. Lewis Hamilton 117pts

 

 

 

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