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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F1 musical chairs begins (Thursday June 23 2016)
Title looking good for Rosberg says Hamilton (Wednesday June 22 2016)
Williams hunting down new pit-stop record (Tuesday June 21 2016)
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Championship push back on track for Rosberg (Monday June 20 2016)
Blog: European GP Report (Monday June 20 2016)
2016 European Grand Prix - Race (Sunday June 19 2016)
Blog: Baku Qualifying (Saturday June 18 2016)
2016 European Grand Prix - Qualifying (Saturday June 18 2016)
2016 European Grand Prix - FP3 (Saturday June 18 2016)
2016 European Grand Prix - FP2 (Friday June 17 2016)
2016 European Grand Prix - FP1 (Friday June 17 2016)
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Pirelli reveal Baku tyre choices (Wednesday June 15 2016)
Williams looking forward to Azerbaijan (Wednesday June 15 2016)
Rosberg was p***** off (Tuesday June 14 2016)
Ferrari split on tyre strategy call (Tuesday June 14 2016)
Hamilton is keeping his head down and pushing (Tuesday June 14 2016)
F1 Prediction Comp open for round 8 (Monday June 13 2016)
Who will win in Baku? (Monday June 13 2016)
Blog: Canadian GP Report (Monday June 13 2016)
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2016 Canada GP - Qualifying (Sunday June 12 2016)
2016 Canada GP - FP3 (Saturday June 11 2016)
2016 Canada GP - FP2 (Saturday June 11 2016)
2016 Canada GP - FP1 (Saturday June 11 2016)
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Blog: Montreal Preview (Wednesday June 8 2016)
Ferrari spend three engine tokens on new turbo (Wednesday June 8 2016)
Red Bull & Renault agree new deal! (Wednesday June 8 2016)
A positive step for Red Bull Racing (Tuesday June 7 2016)
Ferrari considering engine upgrade for Canada (Tuesday June 7 2016)
Intriguing tyre selections for Canada (Monday June 6 2016)
F1 Prediction Comp open for round 7 (Monday June 6 2016)
Who will win in Canada? (Monday June 6 2016)
More criticism for Kvyat (Thursday June 2 2016)
Rosberg had no hesitation to pull over says Wolff (Wednesday June 1 2016)
Grid penalties in Canada for Kvyat & Ericsson (Tuesday May 31 2016)
Ricciardo screwed for second week running (Monday May 30 2016)
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Blog: Monaco GP Report (Sunday May 29 2016)
2016 Monaco GP - Race (Sunday May 29 2016)
Blog: Monaco Qualifying (Saturday May 28 2016)
2016 Monaco GP - Qualifying (Saturday May 28 2016)
2016 Monaco GP - FP3 (Saturday May 28 2016)
2016 Monaco GP - FP2 (Thursday May 26 2016)
2016 Monaco GP - FP1 (Thursday May 26 2016)
Blog: Monaco Preview (Thursday May 26 2016)
Pirelli announce tyre selections for Monaco (Wednesday May 25 2016)
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F1 Prediction Comp open for round 6 (Monday May 23 2016)
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Arrivabene receives vote of confidence (Friday May 20 2016)
Magnussen penalised for collision with team-mate (Thursday May 19 2016)
Merc boss declares neither driver at fault (Wednesday May 18 2016)
Red Bull threw Ricciardo's win away (Tuesday May 17 2016)
Lauda slams Hamilton (Tuesday May 17 2016)
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Blog: Spanish GP Report (Sunday May 15 2016)
2016 Spain GP - Race (Sunday May 15 2016)
Blog: Barcelona Qualifying (Saturday May 14 2016)
2016 Spain GP - Qualifying (Saturday May 14 2016)
2016 Spain GP - FP3 (Saturday May 14 2016)
2016 Spanish GP - FP2 (Friday May 13 2016)
2016 Spanish GP - FP1 (Friday May 13 2016)
Haas and Sauber get new Ferrari engines (Thursday May 12 2016)
Blog: Barcelona Preview (Wednesday May 11 2016)
Renault have big plans for Spain (Wednesday May 11 2016)
Pirelli announce driver tyre choices for Spain (Tuesday May 10 2016)
F1 Prediction Competition open for round 5 (Monday May 9 2016)
Who will reign in Spain? (Monday May 9 2016)
McLaren are making solid progress (Friday May 6 2016)
Sainz believes penalty was harsh (Friday May 6 2016)
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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)
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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)
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