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
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Lowe to become shareholder in Williams (Monday March 20 2017)
Renault can improve - Hopefully (Friday March 17 2017)
Red Bull can catch Mercedes, but not yet (Thursday March 16 2017)
McLaren looking shaky (Wednesday March 15 2017)
Surtees dies aged 83 (Tuesday March 14 2017)
F1 prediction competition returns for 2017 (Monday March 13 2017)
Ferrari end second test on top (Monday March 13 2017)
Alonso bigs up McLaren but lambasts Honda (Friday March 10 2017)
F1 ratings in UK collapse (Friday March 10 2017)
Mercedes sitting pretty on day two of second test (Thursday March 9 2017)
Canada sign new race deal with Formula One (Thursday March 9 2017)
Williams rule on first day of second test (Wednesday March 8 2017)
Brawn pushing for cash race for teams (Wednesday March 8 2017)
Bottas is my best teammate ever says Hamilton (Tuesday March 7 2017)
Sauber announce Columbian as development driver (Monday March 6 2017)
Ferrari on top in the wet (Friday March 3 2017)
New deal for Russian Grand Prix (Friday March 3 2017)
Merc and Ferrari pick up the pace (Thursday March 2 2017)
Teams set for wet weather test in Barcelona (Thursday March 2 2017)
Ferrari faster than Mercedes? (Wednesday March 1 2017)
Bottas sees Hamilton as great challenge (Tuesday February 28 2017)
Horner calls for shark fin ban (Tuesday February 28 2017)
Hamilton and Mercedes happy on test day one (Tuesday February 28 2017)
Alonso held talks with Mercedes (Monday February 27 2017)
Some drivers don't deserve to be in F1 says Lewis (Friday February 24 2017)
Bottas targets F1 title (Friday February 24 2017)
Renault take Red Bull aero expert (Thursday February 23 2017)
Pirelli already making excuses? (Thursday February 23 2017)
Williams adds new head of aerodynamics (Wednesday February 22 2017)
Renault engine can beat Mercedes (Wednesday February 22 2017)
Allison announced at Mercedes (Tuesday February 21 2017)
McLaren heading into another year of the unknown (Tuesday February 21 2017)
New deals for Wolff and Lauda (Monday February 20 2017)
Wehrlein sidelined due to back injury (Monday February 20 2017)
Williams backs F1 budget cap (Monday February 20 2017)
Sauber launch 2017 car (Monday February 20 2017)
Hamilton sends warning shot to Bottas (Friday February 17 2017)
F1 to break the US market (Thursday February 16 2017)
Rosberg doesn't agree with his replacement (Wednesday February 15 2017)
F1 pecking order unlikely to change (Tuesday February 14 2017)
Important Pirelli tyre test ends early (Monday February 13 2017)
Red Bull confidence builds as momentum grows (Friday February 10 2017)
Todt believes F1 doesn't need changing (Thursday February 9 2017)
Bahrain & Hungary to host 2017's in-season tes (Wednesday February 8 2017)
Ford not interested in joining F1 (Tuesday February 7 2017)
Wolff backs Bernie's influence (Monday February 6 2017)
Ecclestone will not attempt to destroy F1 (Monday February 6 2017)
2017 Formula One Calendar (Friday February 3 2017)
Brawn becomes F1 director (Thursday February 2 2017)
Ecclestone still welcome (Wednesday February 1 2017)
F1 shake up (Tuesday January 31 2017)
Manor collapse (Monday January 30 2017)
F1 is what I love to do says Massa (Tuesday January 24 2017)
Rosberg lacked passion for F1 (Monday January 23 2017)
Ecclestone wants to tear up the rulebook (Friday January 20 2017)
Renault bidding to match Mercedes (Thursday January 19 2017)
How long has Bottas joined Mercedes for? (Wednesday January 18 2017)
New optimism for McLaren (Wednesday January 18 2017)
British GP fate being discussed with F1 bosses (Tuesday January 17 2017)
Bottas announcement expected (Monday January 16 2017)
Australia prepares for 2017 F1 (Friday January 13 2017)
F1's new owners could save British Grand Prix (Thursday January 12 2017)
Paddy Lowe leaves Mercedes (Wednesday January 11 2017)
Pirelli uncertain over new 2017 tyres (Tuesday January 10 2017)
Silverstone considers dropping British Grand Prix (Monday January 9 2017)
Formula One to lose 1 team from the grid (Monday January 9 2017)
Sky and Channel 4 announce F1 races for 2017 (Monday January 9 2017)
Ricciardo would not swap Red Bull for Merc (Friday January 6 2017)
Expect field to be spread in 2017 says Newey (Thursday January 5 2017)
Red Bull can provide a benchmark for Renault (Wednesday January 4 2017)
Haas just a stepping stone for Magnussen? (Tuesday January 3 2017)
Hamilton against another reshuffle of mechanics (Monday January 2 2017)
Renault project will take time says Hulkenberg (Friday December 30 2016)
Toro Rosso to rebrand engines? (Thursday December 29 2016)
Williams pays tribute to Symonds (Wednesday December 28 2016)
Marko mocks Mercedes (Tuesday December 27 2016)
Merry Christmas from Vital F1 (Sunday December 25 2016)
Renault building for 2017 (Friday December 23 2016)
Honda wants to supply second team in 2018 (Thursday December 22 2016)
Gasly building bridges with Marko (Wednesday December 21 2016)
I'll take on anybody says Hamilton (Tuesday December 20 2016)
Massa to return from retirement with Williams? (Monday December 19 2016)
No room at the Red Bull Racing Inn (Friday December 16 2016)
Mercedes now regret Hamilton instruction (Thursday December 15 2016)
Mercedes to take no action on Hamilton (Wednesday December 14 2016)
Aston Martin continue Red Bull partnership (Tuesday December 13 2016)
Ferrari, Mercedes and Williams merry-go-round (Monday December 12 2016)
Mercedes offer €10million for Bottas (Monday December 12 2016)
Formula One to return to France (Monday December 12 2016)
Red Bull Racing to take advantage of Merc turmoil? (Friday December 9 2016)
Straight fight - Wehrlein or Bottas for Merc? (Thursday December 8 2016)
Vettel's future is clear (Wednesday December 7 2016)
Wolff rules out big name driver for Mercedes (Tuesday December 6 2016)
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