The 2010 Belgian Grand Prix was the 13th race of the 2010 Formula One Season and won by Lewis Hamilton in drizzly conditions. It was seen by many as a turning point in the season, as championship contenders Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button all failed to score. It was also veteran Rubens Barrichello's 300th race.
The first practice session was held under drizzly conditions, with no driver being able to post a sub-2 minute lap. With 35 minutes to go, the rain intensified, however drivers re-emerged onto the track with minutes to go to get vital track time.
The second session was rain-free, although the clouds were ominous. Shortly into the session, Timo Glock slid into the barrier ending his session abruptly. He was not the only driver to fall victim to Spa, as Vitantonio Liuzzi ran wide into the gravel and tapped the barriers. The deeper into the session, the more representative the times became, however the session was abruptly stopped as it was reported spectators had jumped the fence and situated themselves in a dangerous position. Practice 2 restarted with just over 3 minutes remaining, with all 24 cars lined in the pit-lane. The final practice was dry for a short period, until rain stopped any chance of realistic running.
|Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||2:02.450||4||1:49.689||6||1:46.396||3|
|Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||2:02.646||5||1:49.157||2||1:47.064||8|
|Sébastien Buemi||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||2:05.680||18||1:51.523||17||1:47.905||16|
|Lucas di Grassi||2:06.695||20||1:54.325||21||1:51.517||22|
As Q1 started under sunny skies, most drivers took to the track immediately in the hope of avoiding a freak rain shower. Despite the dry track, Vitaly Petrov caused red flags early on after spinning out of a corner and tapping the barriers. After the restart, the rain started again catching out many drivers, especially at turn 14 with 6 cars either spinning or running into the gravel simultaneously. With not long to go, both Sauber drivers crashed out meaning they failed to make it to Q2. This meant that Timo Glock and Heikki Kovalainen could make it into Q2, a rarity for the usual back-of-the-grid suspects.
Dry Q2 weather meant less spins, however both Mercedes drivers failed to make it into Q3.
All 10 drivers set dry times, however with three minutes to go, spots of rain were noticed in the first sector, with some predicting that there would be no changes to the provisional grid. This proved erroneous. Felipe Massa did not improve after running well wide and so did Fernando Alonso, who started 10th. Lewis Hamilton usurped Robert Kubica into second, but could not prevent Mark Webber in taking pole position.
|Pos||Driver||Constructor||Part 1||Part 2||Part 3||Grid|
|1||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||1:57.352||1:47.253||1:45.778||1|
|4||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1:58.487||1:47.245||1:46.127||4|
|8||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1:58.730||1:47.292||1:46.659||8|
|13||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1:58.944||1:48.267||11|
|14||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Force India-Mercedes||2:01.102||1:48.680||12|
|15||Sébastien Buemi||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||2:00.386||1:49.209||16|
|19||Kamui Kobayashi||BMW Sauber-Ferrari||2:02.284||17|
|22||Pedro de la Rosa||BMW Sauber-Ferrari||2:05.294||24|
|23||Lucas di Grassi||Virgin-Cosworth||2:18.754||22|
|24||Vitaly Petrov||Renault||no time||23|
Webber made a poor start, with Hamilton taking the lead. Jenson Button contrastingly made a good start, but was held from taking second by Kubica. Button attempted an overtake into the chicane, but light rain meant he followed Hamilton off the track, as well as the rest of the top 5. This problem also led to the collision between Alonso and Rubens Barrichello, with the Brazilian rear-ending the Spaniard. Alonso was amazingly able to keep going, but Barrichello's 300th race ended in disappointment.
After a minor safety car period, Vitaly Petrov made good gains including an impressive overtake on Nico Rosberg. Rosberg was consequently slowed and there was contact between him and his Mercedes teammate. Schumacher overtook Rosberg but caught his compatriot's front wing in the process.
On lap 17, Vettel attempted an audacious move on Jenson Button, but ran off-line and lost grip. The German then spun and t-boned Button before they'd reached the chicane. Masses of steam emitting from Button's car meant he had to retire. Vettel got off with a drive-through penalty. A few laps later, he overtook Liuzzi into the chicane and although he got the move done, he clipped Liuzzi's front wing which resulted in a puncture.
On lap 35, flashes of lightning were visible, and shortly after leader Hamilton radioed in complaining about the rain, he ran wide into the gravel trap and kissed the barrier. Despite this, he kept the car rolling and rejoined the track damage-less. The majority of drivers pitted for intermediates, with Alonso almost side-swiping Vettel exiting his pit-box. Kubica overshot his box, meaning Webber could jump the Renault into second place. Shortly after a change of tyres, Alonso spun out of Les Combes and meant he had to retire. His car was perpendicular to the track, meaning the safety car was again required.
Hamilton was able to safely lead the race and take this important victory, closely followed by Mark Webber. Kubica rounded off the podium with Felipe Massa finishing fourth. Both Force India-Mercedes landed in the points, as well as the Mercedes', with Rosberg aggressively overtaking Schumacher on the last few laps. Vettel, with all of his off-track excursions finished 15th. Alguersuari would have been in the points, but was given a 20-second penalty which demoted him to 13th.
Standings after raceEdit
|V T E||Belgian Grand Prix|
|Circuits||Spa-Francorchamps (1950 - 1970, 1983, 1985 - Present), Nivelles (1972, 1974), Zolder (1973, 1975 - 1982, 1984)|
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