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
Bernie wants one wish (Friday January 30 2015)
Ferrari continue to beat the drum of F1 revolution (Thursday January 29 2015)
Force India looking to optimise wind tunnel time (Wednesday January 28 2015)
Could F1 lose German Grand Prix? (Tuesday January 27 2015)
Chilton lines up potential Indy Car switch (Monday January 26 2015)
New engines attract new fans (Friday January 23 2015)
Hockenheim to host 2015 German Grand Prix (Thursday January 22 2015)
Vettel's big gamble at Ferrari (Wednesday January 21 2015)
Honda allowed to make in-season changes (Tuesday January 20 2015)
Qatar bid for F1 scuppered? (Monday January 19 2015)
Spain and Austria to host in-season tests (Friday January 16 2015)
F1 introduce new Super Licence points system (Thursday January 15 2015)
More aggressive tyre strategy in 2015 (Wednesday January 14 2015)
Newey questions if anyone can catch Mercedes (Tuesday January 13 2015)
FIA confirm new virtual safety car procedures (Monday January 12 2015)
Robson swaps McLaren for Williams (Friday January 9 2015)
2015 Formula One Calendar (Thursday January 8 2015)
All change at Sauber (Thursday January 8 2015)
F1 teams to exploit engine rule loophole (Wednesday January 7 2015)
Korea dropped for 2015 (Wednesday January 7 2015)
Caterham's administrators will not fund testing (Tuesday January 6 2015)
Podromou is McLaren's master (Friday January 2 2015)
Long recovery for Ferrari (Thursday January 1 2015)
Red Bull Racing retain Buemi (Wednesday December 31 2014)
Bianchi's neurological status remains unchanged (Wednesday December 31 2014)
Talks to save Caterham continue (Tuesday December 30 2014)
Engine freeze is against the spirit of the sport (Monday December 29 2014)
Vettel had a great run at Red Bull (Friday December 26 2014)
Hamilton reflects on Rosberg rivalry (Wednesday December 24 2014)
Vergne joins Ferrari (Tuesday December 23 2014)
Clear & Bell to swap Mercedes for Ferrari (Monday December 22 2014)
Trio depart Ferrari (Friday December 19 2014)
Ecclestone to propose v8 return (Thursday December 18 2014)
20 stolen Red Bull trophies recovered (Wednesday December 17 2014)
Gutierrez joins Ferrari (Tuesday December 16 2014)
Hamilton wins SPOTY (Monday December 15 2014)
Best option for the future is McLaren says Alonso (Friday December 12 2014)
Dennis does not anticipate any issues with Alonso (Friday December 12 2014)
McLaren confirm Alonso return (Thursday December 11 2014)
McLaren confirm Button on multi-year deal (Thursday December 11 2014)
Button stays at McLaren (Thursday December 11 2014)
Ricciardo surprised himself (Wednesday December 10 2014)
Red Bull factory ram-raided (Monday December 8 2014)
McLaren board meeting fails to decide (Friday December 5 2014)
Force India to use Toyata's wind tunnel (Friday December 5 2014)
2015 - Formula One's biggest season yet (Thursday December 4 2014)
FIA file report on Bianchi crash (Thursday December 4 2014)
Virtual Safety Car to get debut in 2015 (Wednesday December 3 2014)
Vettel completes first day at Ferrari (Tuesday December 2 2014)
Caterham could run old cars in 2015 (Tuesday December 2 2014)
Toro Rosso announce Sainz Jr for 2015 (Monday December 1 2014)
Williams announce Wolff as test driver (Monday December 1 2014)
Teams fail to agree on engine regulations (Friday November 28 2014)
Formula One scrap double points round (Friday November 28 2014)
Vergne announces Toro Rosso departure (again) (Thursday November 27 2014)
Problems for McLaren Honda continue (Thursday November 27 2014)
Successful season for Williams (Wednesday November 26 2014)
McLaren Honda manage 3 laps (Wednesday November 26 2014)
Caterham takeover complete 'in weeks' (Wednesday November 26 2014)
Ferrari announce third team principal of 2014 (Tuesday November 25 2014)
Audio: Abu Dhabi Recap (Tuesday November 25 2014)
Mercedes and Hamilton to re-open contract talks (Tuesday November 25 2014)
Alonso's new project will challenge Mercedes (Tuesday November 25 2014)
Force India confirm Perez place (Tuesday November 25 2014)
Wolff praises Mercedes team-mates (Monday November 24 2014)
Greatest day for Hamilton (Monday November 24 2014)
Rosberg wins friends in defeat (Monday November 24 2014)
Blog: Abu Dhabi GP Report (Sunday November 23 2014)
Lewis Hamilton - 2014 Formula One World Champion (Sunday November 23 2014)
2014 - Abu Dhabi - Race (Sunday November 23 2014)
Blog: Abu Dhabi Qualifying (Saturday November 22 2014)
Red Bull DQ'd from Abu Dhabi Qualifying (Saturday November 22 2014)
2014 - Abu Dhabi - Qualifying (Saturday November 22 2014)
2014 - Abu Dhabi - FP3 (Saturday November 22 2014)
2014 - Abu Dhabi - FP2 (Friday November 21 2014)
2014 - Abu Dhabi - FP1 (Friday November 21 2014)
Audio: Hamilton v Rosberg - The Decider (Friday November 21 2014)
Caterham receive helping hand from Bernie (Thursday November 20 2014)
Grosjean to remain with Lotus (Thursday November 20 2014)
Bianchi 'out of coma' (Wednesday November 19 2014)
McLaren delay line-up announcement (Wednesday November 19 2014)
Ecclestone to hold talks with teams (Wednesday November 19 2014)
Force India hands Palmer chance to impress (Wednesday November 19 2014)
Chilton to join Caterham? (Tuesday November 18 2014)
Carlos Sainz Jr to test for Red Bull (Tuesday November 18 2014)
Kobayashi retains seat for Abu Dhabi (Monday November 17 2014)
Formula One Prediction Competition - Round 19 (Monday November 17 2014)
Who will win in Abu Dhabi? (Monday November 17 2014)
Caterham will return in Abu Dhabi (Friday November 14 2014)
Wolff plays down engine war fears (Friday November 14 2014)
Honda to debut new engine (Friday November 14 2014)
Ericsson terminates Caterham deal (Thursday November 13 2014)
Button not chasing big bucks (Wednesday November 12 2014)
Horner threatens engine war (Wednesday November 12 2014)
Alonso to sign £25million deal (Tuesday November 11 2014)
Crowd-fund project set to give Caterham reprieve (Tuesday November 11 2014)
Lowdon still fighting for former Marussia team (Tuesday November 11 2014)
F1 politics overshadow Brazilian Grand Prix (Monday November 10 2014)
Record setting day for Mercedes (Monday November 10 2014)
Hamilton reflective (Monday November 10 2014)
|7.||Push The Button||441|