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Belgium GP, 2007 // One stop strategies cause chaos around the Spa-Francorchamps

Published by Christine

This article was originally written for BellaOnline, but is republished here for posterity.

There were only really a few things of importance that happened in the Belgian Grand Prix. First of all, in qualifying, there was a moment where some real grip came to the track and all the late runners suddenly found speed. This included Adrian Sutil in the Spyker, who managed to get up into 12th at one point, although it didn’t last. The new B spec Spyker car was definitely showing well in Belgium.

The Ferraris were really flying, and managed to get both of the top spots, whilst the McLaren’s just held onto third and fourth behind them. It looked like McLaren were on the back foot for this weekend and it would take a miracle for them to get past the red cars in front.

When the lights went out on Sunday, and the race was go, go, go, Alonso dived to the opposite side of the track and pushed his team mate off the track. Hamilton had to take to the asphalt to get away from his sister McLaren, but he managed to get some grip and pull alongside. They were side by side, and Alonso put his foot down through tricky corner Eau Rouge, whilst Hamilton sensibly held back. After the race, Hamilton said that he didn’t think the move had been particularly fair, but no action was taken against Alonso. It was a simple racing incident.

During the early stages of the race, Sutil was again up to 12th in the Spyker which is an incredible showing. He started on soft tyres whilst most of the other runners were on hard tyres. The softs are notoriously faster than hard tyres, which would go some way to explaining his good start, but we should take nothing away from the good drive by Sutil.

There was an interesting mix of pit stop strategies, with most people running a two stop strategy, and a couple of guys deciding to stop only once. Coulthard and Kovalainen both stopped only once, which meant at several points throughout the race, they were holding up people behind them. Kubica, Heidfeld and Rosberg all got stuck behind them at one stage or another.

There were five retirees, with Fisichella the first out. He had a mishap on the first lap, damaged his suspension and had to retire to the pits. Vettel, Coulthard, Wurz and Button also joined him in a non-finish, all with mechanical issues, rather than crashing or anything like that.

Aside from the first corner excitement with the McLarens, and a couple of good battles in the mid-field, there really wasn’t much to write home about for the Belgian Grand Prix. It brought the championship in slightly closer and makes the remaining couple of races ones to look forward to.