Close

    • 2011 Formula 1 Belguim Grand Prix: Mercedes GP Preview

      Finally after a long month break, F1 returns to one of the if not the best circuit in racing: Spa-Francorchamps. The mix of long straights and fast corners, combined with a picturesque setting and notoriously changeable weather keeps it at the top of both drivers and spectators favourite circuits. Part of the magic of Spa is that it is known and respected as one of the most challenging in the world, and to prove that fact only six drivers have managed to win the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa more than twice: Juan Manual Fangio and Damon Hill both have three wins to their name, Jim Clark and Kimi Raikkonen managed one better with four wins and Ayrton Senna won the race five times. The undisputed Spa master though, is Michael Schumacher who has won a record six times. This race is especially sepecial for him. Spa marks Michael's 20th year in F1 having made his debut in the 1991 Belguim GP.

      Michael Schumacher:


      Nico Rosberg:


      Ross Brawn:

      Norbert Haug:

      This article was originally published in forum thread: 2011 Formula 1 Belguim Grand Prix: Mercedes GP Preview started by Scourge82 View original post
      Comments 17 Comments
      1. Scourge82's Avatar
        Scourge82 -
        Qualifying for the Belguim GP was mixed bag for Mercedes GP again. Nico Rosberg was able to claim 5th place, but Michael Schumacher who is celebrating his 20th year in F1 at Spa, lost his right rear wheel approching turn 8 on his first lap and crashed into the barriers. He will start his 20th anniversary in 24th place.

        Sebastien Vettel in a drama filled session regained his form and snatched pole position with 1:48.298, just ahead of Hamilton by 0.4s. Mark Webber took third a full second behind his teammate as track conditions kept on improving. Massa claimed 4th, while Alguersuari and Bruno Senna who took Hiedfield postion finished ahead of 9th place Alonso With Petrov rouding up the top ten.


        Michael Schumacher:

        Well, obviously I would have wished for a different end to todayís qualifying, but it is difficult to drive on three wheels - even if I should have the experience to do so in Spa. Seriously, this is certainly something that should not occur, but then this is also Formula One; we are working at the highest level but still things can happen. At first, I wasnít sure what had happened, as I just felt myself lose the back end suddenly which is why I instantly apologised to the team. But then I saw the wheel off the car and understood the reason why I had lost control. Trying to find the good in the bad, I'd probably say that I still have some fresh sets of tyres left, and that there is only one direction to go tomorrow: forward.
        Nico Rosberg:

        We had a difficult situation out there with the conditions changing all the time. Wet, intermediates and dry tyres; we had everything today but we made the most out of it. Two cars from the top three teams are starting behind me which is nice to see. The team really got it right with the strategy, and everything that we did worked out well today. Iím confident for a good result tomorrow as we set the car up with the race conditions in mind, and the car has also been working well in all conditions.
        Ross Brawn:

        Nico drove intelligently, pushed when he had to, and the guys on the pit wall called the weather just right. I was really pleased with how things went for him today. Naturally, I am on the other hand disappointed for Michael, because the conditions would have suited him perfectly. We need to look at exactly what happened, but it would appear there was something amiss with the right rear wheel attachment, and we need to go through it carefully tonight to ensure there can be no repeat. Both cars were running a dry set-up, so we did not compromise anything for today's conditions and we are hoping it will stay dry for tomorrow. Time will tell if that is the right call.
        Norbert Haug:

        Thanks to the right timing and an excellent lap, we got the most out of the conditions with his fifth place - and Nico also qualified ahead of two of the current Championship contenders. It was a real shame for Michael that he lost his right rear wheel on the very first lap out of the pits. Our apologies go to him, and we need to investigate exactly what happened. Along with all the spectators, we and Michael are looking forward tomorrow to what we hope will be an attacking drive from the back of the grid in his anniversary race. Spa always has something special in store for Michael - just as Michael does for Spa.
        Full Results:
        Belgian Grand Prix 2011

        Qualifying

      1. DavidV's Avatar
        DavidV -
        And yet another win from Sebastian Vettel.
        This was another exiting race. so much hat in the first half of the race you hardly knew where to look.
        After a briljant start from Rosberg where he went from 5 to 1st the Mercedes cars stayed in the race fairly well.
        Schumacher, starting from 24th place, finished 5th, passing his teammate 3 rounds from the end.
        But the best overtaking was done by Button IMO.
        Briljant drive, coming from 13th, having to change the front wing in lap 5 after being hit by debris of someone elses front wing in la Source. A lot of overtaking left and right at the bus stop chicane. And passing Alonso 3 laps from the end as well, finishing 3rd.
        A very enjoyable race to watch. Epic circuit, exiting racing.
      1. DavidV's Avatar
      1. Scourge82's Avatar
        Scourge82 -
        The Belgium GP has always thrilled everyone and this years race solidifies that notion. From Senna's crash at the beginning to Schumacher starting last and finishing 5th. Mercedes GP started strong with Rosberg moving from 5th place to overtake Vettel and take 1st place at the end of Spa's straight away and last place Schumacher finished the first lap in 15th place. Like every race though, Mercedes GP began to lose it's overall race pace to Redbull and Mclaren and saw Rosberg fall to 5th place. With 3 laps left, Michael Schumacher with soft tires and DRS stormed past Rosberg on the harder compound on the straight away to claim 5th place.

        With Vettel winning Spa, extended his championship lead to 92 points ahead of Webber who finished the race in second place. Webber displayed his outstanding racing abilities when was wheel to wheel with Alonso on the Eau Rouge uphill corner and passing him. Button finished third from 19th place on lap 2, after having to stop for a new wing when debris from Senna's crash struck his car damaging his wing and taking his right mirror, inches from his head. Button stormed the pack with his best move coming against Massa, when he passed him on the outside of the chicane. His teammate Hamilton saw his hopes for chasing the title blow right by him after crashing out following his contact with Kobayashi.

        Alonso, who started 8th finished in 4th place. Adrian Sutil had a quiet race finished 7th and Massa recovered from a puncture on lap 8 to claim 8th spot. Petrov and Maldonado round up the top 10.

        Michael Schumacher:

        I think more than fifth place would not have been possible today but making up 19 places was a good feeling. With all my family, friends and fans here, it was an extra motivation, and I would like to thank all of them for their support. They saw an exciting race with a great strategy from our team. So all in all, for me, there was a lot of emotion and a lot of overtaking today. At the beginning I was a bit afraid that some of the flying parts might hit and damage my car, but I was lucky that nothing happened. After that, I had big fun hunting and making my way forward.
        Nico Rosberg:

        It was a special feeling to be leading the race in a Silver Arrow at this amazing circuit. It was great to see the traffic jam behind me with the Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari cars, but it was hard to realise that we just donít have the pace to stay at the top. However we have made progress this weekend and today was a good result for the team. I had to push quite hard at the start and in the middle which cost me a little towards the end, which combined with Michael being on the faster soft tyres, meant that I wasnít able to keep him behind me. Now Iím looking forward to Monza and Iím confident that we can improve further.
        Ross Brawn:

        It was nice to remember what it's like to be at the front again, after Nico's excellent start and early laps in the lead. Both drivers did a great job this afternoon on quite different strategies. Michael began the race on the medium tyre and got that stint of his race out of the way quickly by stopping on lap four and changing to the soft compound. The Safety Car then worked in his favour by allowing him to catch up to the cars in front, and he was obviously on the better tyre in the final laps when he was catching Nico. It's a very nice result for him on this anniversary weekend, and especially after starting from dead last. Nico ran a two-stop strategy and, although it was a little marginal with tyre performance at times, he drove an excellent race to sixth place. Towards the end, we told him to trim his fuel: although we had a Safety Car period, one doesn't use this to save fuel under the current rules because any fuel saved is simply extra weight carried through the rest of the race, and at that point his fuel consumption was on target. In any case, it didn't cost him a significant amount of lap time, and the decisive factor was that Michael was on the soft tyre at the end while Nico was on the medium, which was around a second a lap slower. Overall, it was a very good team result and our best points score of the season so far.
        Norbert Haug:

        Coming from last to fifth place is excellent and well deserved. Michael drove impeccably and the team had a great strategy in starting with the slower medium tyres to get them out of the way at an early stage. Being in a position to use the softs during his last stint, whilst Nico was on mediums, was crucial for the outcome of their races. Nico had a great start and was leading for a couple of laps but of course the speed of our current package is still not good enough to stay at the top of the field. A satisfying result for the team after the summer break; well done guys. We will try very hard in a fortnight in Monza.

        Full Race Results:
        Belgian Grand Prix 2011


      1. Scourge82's Avatar
        Scourge82 -
        It was a great race man. The move Webber pulled on Alonso on the uphill corner was amazing, an inch or two mistake would have put both of them in a hospital. It takes a real driver to be able to take that corner flat out over and over again.
      1. Scourge82's Avatar
        Scourge82 -
        I missed the first part of the race because of work. I finally saw the highlights, holy crap Button was lucky at the start to only loss his right mirror, 2 more inches and he might not have been around to talk about it.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Scourge82 Click here to enlarge
        I missed the first part of the race because of work. I finally saw the highlights, holy crap Button was lucky at the start to only loss his right mirror, 2 more inches and he might not have been around to talk about it.
        Any vid of what happened?
      1. Scourge82's Avatar
        Scourge82 -
        I wish I could, all videos are blocked here at work. Hopefully someone else can.
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Scourge82 Click here to enlarge
        I wish I could, all videos are blocked here at work. Hopefully someone else can.
        I can't seem to find one.
      1. DavidV's Avatar
        DavidV -
      1. DavidV's Avatar
        DavidV -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        Any vid of what happened?
        Bruno Senna loses his front wing, and Button's car catches the debris after la Source

      1. DavidV's Avatar
        DavidV -
        Some of Button's overtaking yesterday. Epic.

      1. Sorena's Avatar
        Sorena -
        Superb race it was.
      1. DavidV's Avatar
        DavidV -
      1. Sticky's Avatar
        Sticky -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DavidV Click here to enlarge
        Bruno Senna loses his front wing, and Button's car catches the debris after la Source

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJeqKCoO6IU
        Thanks.
      1. LZH's Avatar
        LZH -
        Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sticky Click here to enlarge
        I can't seem to find one.
        Don't think for a minute that Weber could have made that stick without ALOT of help from Alonso. Weber caught him off guard and got his nose in there and made Alonso let him by. I'd give most of the credit to Alonso for that pass. Great race nonetheless. Too bad Hamilton got taken out (hard) by a crappy backmarker.
      1. LZH's Avatar
        LZH -
        On a separate note...I'm really beginning to hate the DRS this season. It's really skewing the results and totally unfair in my opinion.