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
Hamilton braced for further penalties (Wednesday May 4 2016)
What was Sebastian to do? Fly? (Wednesday May 4 2016)
The messiest start of Kvyat's career (Tuesday May 3 2016)
Ecclestone fires warning shot to teams (Tuesday May 3 2016)
Hamilton in 'no doubt' he could have won in Russia (Monday May 2 2016)
Rosberg record setting in Russia (Monday May 2 2016)
Russian roulette (Monday May 2 2016)
Blog: Russian GP Report (Monday May 2 2016)
2016 Russia GP - Race (Sunday May 1 2016)
2016 Russia GP - Qualifying (Saturday April 30 2016)
2016 Russia GP - FP3 (Saturday April 30 2016)
2016 Russia GP - FP2 (Saturday April 30 2016)
2016 Russia GP - FP1 (Friday April 29 2016)
Hamilton has one eye on retirement (Friday April 29 2016)
Horner praise for Renault (Thursday April 28 2016)
Booth returns to Formula One (Thursday April 28 2016)
Ferrari bring major upgrades to Russia (Thursday April 28 2016)
Alonso believes he's still the best (Wednesday April 27 2016)
Hamilton can re-use China engine (Wednesday April 27 2016)
What tyres have been selected for Russia? (Tuesday April 26 2016)
Blog: Sochi Preview (Tuesday April 26 2016)
Who will win in Russia? (Monday April 25 2016)
F1 Prediction Competition open for round 4 (Monday April 25 2016)
Wolff backs Hamilton to close gap to Rosberg (Friday April 22 2016)
Pressure from the top mounts at Ferrari (Friday April 22 2016)
Red Bull's wings no longer clipped? (Thursday April 21 2016)
Vettel concedes it was just 'a racing incident' (Thursday April 21 2016)
Hamilton is the benchmark says Rosberg (Wednesday April 20 2016)
Grosjean slams 'idiotic' Ericsson (Wednesday April 20 2016)
Ricciardo is all smiles (Tuesday April 19 2016)
Hamilton philosophical after race to forget (Tuesday April 19 2016)
Four take maximum points in China (Monday April 18 2016)
Embarrassed Vettel slams Kvyat (Monday April 18 2016)
Lady luck continues to shine on Rosberg (Monday April 18 2016)
Blog: Chinese GP Report (Sunday April 17 2016)
2016 China GP - Race (Sunday April 17 2016)
Blog: Shanghai Qualifying (Saturday April 16 2016)
2016 China GP - Qualifying (Saturday April 16 2016)
2016 China GP - FP3 (Saturday April 16 2016)
2016 China GP - FP2 (Friday April 15 2016)
2016 China GP - FP1 (Friday April 15 2016)
Kimi positive over Ferrari improvements (Thursday April 14 2016)
There is a question mark on Sauber's future (Thursday April 14 2016)
Kick in the goonies for Hamilton (Thursday April 14 2016)
Good things can happen for Renault (Wednesday April 13 2016)
Has Hamilton lost his spark? (Wednesday April 13 2016)
Blog: Shanghai Preview (Wednesday April 13 2016)
Tyre chaos in China? (Tuesday April 12 2016)
No change to F1 prize money until 2020 (Tuesday April 12 2016)
F1 Prediction Competition open for Round 3 (Monday April 11 2016)
Who will win in China? (Monday April 11 2016)
Pirelli announce driver tyre choices for China (Friday April 8 2016)
F1 drops elimination qualifying format (Friday April 8 2016)
Red Bull and Renault building bridges (Thursday April 7 2016)
Ferrari deserve larger slice of the pie (Thursday April 7 2016)
Haas targeting points from every race (Wednesday April 6 2016)
Missed opportunity for McLaren in Bahrain (Wednesday April 6 2016)
Turn 1 crash was racing incident says Hamilton (Tuesday April 5 2016)
Mercedes seeking fix for poor starts (Tuesday April 5 2016)
Defending champ scores zero points (Tuesday April 5 2016)
Vettel unconcerned with Ferrari engine woes (Tuesday April 5 2016)
Rosberg equals Sir Stirling Moss (Monday April 4 2016)
Blog: Bahrain GP Report (Monday April 4 2016)
2016 Bahrain GP - Race (Sunday April 3 2016)
Blog: Sakhir Qualifying (Saturday April 2 2016)
2016 Bahrain GP - Qualifying (Saturday April 2 2016)
2016 Bahrain GP - FP3 (Saturday April 2 2016)
2016 Bahrain GP - FP2 (Friday April 1 2016)
2016 Bahrain GP - FP1 (Friday April 1 2016)
Toro Rosso will be quick in Bahrain (Friday April 1 2016)
Alonso not cleared to race in Bahrain (Thursday March 31 2016)
Blog: Sakhir Preview (Thursday March 31 2016)
CVC contemplating selling stake in F1 (Wednesday March 30 2016)
Bernie not gambling on Monza but agrees Vegas race (Wednesday March 30 2016)
Not a fan of F1's new qualifying rules? Tough (Tuesday March 29 2016)
Enter now for Round 2 - F1 Prediction Comp (Tuesday March 29 2016)
Who will win in Bahrain? (Tuesday March 29 2016)
F1 to drop behind paywall in 2019 (Monday March 28 2016)
Verstappen 'doesn't care' about team orders (Friday March 25 2016)
Force India rues red flag (Friday March 25 2016)
Rookie of the day goes to Jolyon Palmer (Thursday March 24 2016)
Ferrari play down strategy error (Thursday March 24 2016)
Revamped Qualifying Rules for Bahrain? (Thursday March 24 2016)
Haas enjoy amazing debut (Wednesday March 23 2016)
Hamilton pleased with damage limitation (Wednesday March 23 2016)
F1 drops new qualifying format (Tuesday March 22 2016)
Alonso thanks FIA and McLaren for staying safe (Tuesday March 22 2016)
Rosberg thankful for Merc tyre call (Monday March 21 2016)
11 take maximum points in Australia (Monday March 21 2016)
Blog: Australian GP Report (Sunday March 20 2016)
2016 Australia GP - Race (Sunday March 20 2016)
Blog: Melbourne Qualifying (Saturday March 19 2016)
2016 Australia GP - Qualifying (Saturday March 19 2016)
2016 Australia GP - FP3 (Saturday March 19 2016)
2016 Australia GP - FP2 (Friday March 18 2016)
2016 Australia GP - FP1 (Friday March 18 2016)
Renault reveal yellow and black livery (Thursday March 17 2016)
Alonso admits he could regret quitting Ferrari (Thursday March 17 2016)
Australian Grand Prix could be messy (Thursday March 17 2016)
Aston Martin enter F1 with Red Bull (Thursday March 17 2016)
|7.||Push The Button||472|