Date:Sunday August 28 2011
The Belgian Grand Prix started with a dry track and blue sky, something that the teams had not been used too since turning up at Spa this weekend.
All the teams had completed limited dry running throughout Friday and Saturday which left a huge question mark over how long the tyres would last throughout the race.
Rosberg's car was smoking on the grid and he was red hot going into the first lap jumping Lewis Hamilton on the grid before taking Sebastian Vettel for the race lead.
Hamilton was struggling for pace over the first two laps initially losing out to Rosberg, Massa and then Alonso.
The pace of the Mercedes didn't last though as Vettel re-took the lead on lap three before his mirrors were then full of the two Ferrari's of Massa and Alonso.
Further back and Mark Webber had a terrible start before dropping down the order and eventually pitting on lap four for a new nose, at the same time Jenson Button was also in for a new front wing after suffering some contact.
Back to the front of the race and Rosberg was heavily defending his position to Massa, which bunched up the pack and allowed Alonso to get alongside him to pass. It certainly wasn't a case of Ferrari ordering the manoeuvre as both drivers were battling hard, so hard that Lewis Hamilton managed to take advantage and despite Massa pushing him almost onto the grass the McLaren got past.
With Vettel pitting from the lead for a new set of tyres, Rosberg led once again for a short period before losing the lead to Fernando Alonso.
Just as Hamilton was discussing the state of his tyres Hamilton closed in on Rosberg and took the position on lap 8.
As Massa lined up a move on Rosberg, Alonso pitted for new tyres handing the lead to Hamilton. Alonso returned to the track in ninth behind Webber who had pitted very early.
Webber's team-mate Vettel who had also pitted was making his way back through the order and was now fourth and within just a few seconds of Hamilton in the lead.
Hamilton pitted from the lead on lap 11, dropping down to eighth and handing Vettel the lead, but the German was already discussing blistering on his tyres after just four laps!
Rosberg was next to pit, but he had a slow stop and out in fourteenth.
The race began to settle a little on lap 12. Pole position man Vettel was back into the lead with Alonso second and Webber had recovered well from his poor start to get back up to third with Hamilton fourth.
On lap 13, Hamilton who had already over taken the Sauber of Kobayashi earlier on the lap, slightly drifted out-wide while taking his normal line, Kobayashi began to take the corner early and made contact with Hamilton. The result was a heavy impact for the McLaren into the barrier, ripping the nose off of Hamilton's car leaving the 2008 F1 champion winded and the safety car being deployed.
Some drivers took advantage of the safety car to make pit stops with the Pirelli soft tyre not lasting very long. This left Alonso leading with Webber second and Vettel third, but of course Vettel was now on new tyres and would hold the advantage over the next few laps and it wasn't long before the championship leader was back in front.
Further back and Michael Schumacher who had started last in twenty fourth was now seventh, while Jenson Button who started thirteenth and on the harder compound tyre had got up to eighth.
The former champions enjoyed a battle over laps 20 to 22, with Button eventually coming out on top.
Button was now looking racy and on the following lap he was all over the Force India of Sutil, the McLaren driver bided his time and within half a lap, he took sixth and was beginning to home in on the back of Ferrari's Massa in fifth.
On lap 25 a brave move down the outside of the final turn on Massa saw Button get passed despite a bit of contact and now Button's attentions were turning to Rosberg.
One lap later and Button was again on the move getting passed Rosberg for fourth. The leaders of Vettel, Alonso and Webber were eight seconds ahead of Button, but they were now beginning to slow with blistering tyres, while Button was now the fastest man on the track.
On lap 30 Fernando Alonso made his second stop of the race switching to the medium compound Pirelli tyre. The Ferrari re-entered the race in fourth, 2 seconds behind Button who was now third.
On lap 31 Vettel was next to pit also switching to the medium tyres, slotting in behind Button and in front of Alonso after a clean stop.
Webber pitted the very next lap, handing the lead to Button, but within moments, Vettel over-took Button to re-take the lead once again.
The pass was so easy that McLaren reacted immediately pitting on lap 33 to take a new set of soft tyres, Button dropped down to fourth, while Massa also pitted after picking up a puncture and the Brazilian dropped down to twelfth.
On lap 37 Mark Webber got past Fernando Alonso to take second place, while Jenson Button was also catching the Ferrari in the final stages.
Behind them there was also a battle for fifth and that was between the two Mercedes drivers of Rosberg and Schumacher.
Conveniently the live feed flicked to the team radio which announced that the drivers were free to race for the final six laps of the race. Rosberg had the position, but Schumacher had the faster softer compound tyre and Rosberg was in fuel saving mode.
The inevitable happened with two laps to go with Schumacher taking the position.
On the same lap Button caught and passed Alonso for a hard fought for third position.
If there had been a few more laps the Red Bull's may have been nervous in regards to Button's end of race pace, but with just a lap and a bit to go, Webber still had a four second cushion over the Brit.
Overall an eventful Belgian Grand Prix thanks to the Pirelli tyres which saw Vettel return to winning ways and with Mark Webber coming in behind securing Red Bull another one-two finish.
Button came home third, Alonso fourth, Schumacher 20 years since his debut finished fifth ahead of team-mate Rosberg in sixth.
Sutil, Massa, Petrov and Maldonado completed the top ten.
Date:Sunday August 28 2011
Williams must improve (Friday August 29 2014)
Promotion for Rocky at Red Bull Racing (Friday August 29 2014)
Ferrari call for engine freeze to be lifted (Thursday August 28 2014)
If I have to retire so be it says Button (Thursday August 28 2014)
Ricciardo is a championship contender (Wednesday August 27 2014)
McLaren end 25 year association with Whitmarsh (Wednesday August 27 2014)
Rosberg doesn't deserve title says Button (Tuesday August 26 2014)
Rosberg refuses to comment (Tuesday August 26 2014)
Blog: Belgian GP Report (Tuesday August 26 2014)
Crash was deliberate claims Hamilton (Monday August 25 2014)
Finger of blame pointed at Rosberg (Monday August 25 2014)
2014 - Belgium - Race (Sunday August 24 2014)
Blog: Spa Qualifying (Sunday August 24 2014)
2014 - Belgium - Qualifying (Saturday August 23 2014)
2014 - Belgium - FP3 (Saturday August 23 2014)
2014 - Belgium - FP2 (Friday August 22 2014)
2014 - Belgium - FP1 (Friday August 22 2014)
Chilton to race in Spa (Friday August 22 2014)
Russia is ready (Thursday August 21 2014)
Force India boss slams double points plan (Thursday August 21 2014)
Kobayashi dropped by Caterham (Thursday August 21 2014)
Ferrari lucky to have 2 great champions (Wednesday August 20 2014)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 12 (Tuesday August 19 2014)
Introducing Max Verstappen (Tuesday August 19 2014)
Vergne to leave Toro Rosso at end-of-season (Tuesday August 19 2014)
2014 Ferrari doesn't suit Kimi (Tuesday August 19 2014)
Who will win the Belgian Grand Prix? (Monday August 18 2014)
New Ground For Mercedes (Monday August 18 2014)
Lowe rejects Newey claim (Friday August 15 2014)
Damage limitation for Red Bull in Spa & Monza (Thursday August 14 2014)
Sauber paying the price for 2013 ambitions (Wednesday August 13 2014)
Kimi targets race wins in 2015 (Tuesday August 12 2014)
Grosjean uncertain over future (Monday August 11 2014)
Williams target best-of-the-rest title (Friday August 8 2014)
Blog: Time for Bernie to go (Thursday August 7 2014)
Nico didn't get close enough - Wolff (Wednesday August 6 2014)
£60million payment ends Ecclestone's bribery trial (Wednesday August 6 2014)
Mercedes team orders were strange says Horner (Tuesday August 5 2014)
New deal for Australia (Monday August 4 2014)
Luck will turn for Vettel (Monday August 4 2014)
Newey critical of 'GP1' era (Friday August 1 2014)
McLaren made catastrophic error (Friday August 1 2014)
Ferrari confirm Marmorini departure (Friday August 1 2014)
Second felt like a victory for Alonso (Thursday July 31 2014)
Ericsson and Perez ok after crashes (Wednesday July 30 2014)
Vettel rumours are bull**** says Lauda (Tuesday July 29 2014)
Blog: Hungarian GP Report (Tuesday July 29 2014)
Mercedes will learn from team-orders row (Tuesday July 29 2014)
Lauda backing for Hamilton (Monday July 28 2014)
Ricciardo takes second victory of the season (Monday July 28 2014)
2014 - Hungary - Race (Sunday July 27 2014)
Blog: Hungaroing Qualifying (Sunday July 27 2014)
2014 - Hungary - Qualifying (Saturday July 26 2014)
2014 - Hungary - FP3 (Saturday July 26 2014)
2014 - Hungary - FP2 (Friday July 25 2014)
Formula One to visit Azerbaijan in 2016 (Friday July 25 2014)
2014 - Hungary - FP1 (Friday July 25 2014)
Vettel would consider leaving Red Bull (Friday July 25 2014)
Hamilton keen on new Mercedes deal (Friday July 25 2014)
Could F1 pull Russian Grand Prix? (Thursday July 24 2014)
F1 return to Mexico confirmed (Thursday July 24 2014)
McLaren and Mercedes target Vettel (Thursday July 24 2014)
FIA set interesting precedent says Horner (Wednesday July 23 2014)
Wolff predicts Abu Dhabi showdown (Wednesday July 23 2014)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 11 (Tuesday July 22 2014)
Who will win in Hungary? (Tuesday July 22 2014)
Blog: German GP Report (Tuesday July 22 2014)
Accident wasn't scary from cockpit says Massa (Monday July 21 2014)
Alonso loved Ricciardo tussle (Monday July 21 2014)
Button backtracks (Monday July 21 2014)
What a week for Rosberg (Monday July 21 2014)
2014 - Germany - Race (Sunday July 20 2014)
Blog: Hockenheim Qualifying (Sunday July 20 2014)
Hamilton bruised but ok following shunt (Saturday July 19 2014)
2014 - Germany - Qualifying (Saturday July 19 2014)
2014 - Germany - FP3 (Saturday July 19 2014)
2014 - Germany - FP2 (Friday July 18 2014)
Wolff enjoys fantastic practice session (Friday July 18 2014)
2014 - Germany - FP1 (Friday July 18 2014)
Mercedes play down FRIC ban (Friday July 18 2014)
Rosberg plays down importance of next race (Friday July 18 2014)
Possible change to unsafe release penalties (Thursday July 17 2014)
Video: Rosberg signs Mercedes extension (Thursday July 17 2014)
F1 title chase starts now (Wednesday July 16 2014)
Oh FRIC, teams fail to find agreement (Wednesday July 16 2014)
Force India confident for good German performance (Tuesday July 15 2014)
McLaren confident in upgrades (Tuesday July 15 2014)
Schumacher's health 'slowly improving' says wife (Monday July 14 2014)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 10 (Monday July 14 2014)
Who will win the German Grand Prix (Monday July 14 2014)
Red Bull have failed to close the gap (Friday July 11 2014)
Bianchi impresses for Ferrari (Thursday July 10 2014)
Blog: What a difference a day makes (Thursday July 10 2014)
F1 teams could face suspension systems ban (Wednesday July 9 2014)
Massa quickest at Silverstone test (Wednesday July 9 2014)
Rosberg plays down Hamilton row (Wednesday July 9 2014)
Bottas finish surprises Williams (Tuesday July 8 2014)
I'm at the top of my game says Button (Tuesday July 8 2014)
I was lucky says Chilton (Monday July 7 2014)
Raikkonen ok after horror smash (Monday July 7 2014)
|7.||Push The Button||432|