Aug 29

Belgian GP Recap – F1 2013

Belgian GP

After a month long summer break F1 is back  with a vengeance at the legendary Spa -Francorchamps circuit.  Hit the jump for our thoughts and some stunning pictures from the Belgian GP.  

Belgian GPThe Belgian GP is one of a handful of events in the current F1 schedule that can lay claim to some serious Formula 1 heritage.  It’s 4.3 mile makes it the longest track on the schedule and it’s location in the Ardennes means the weather is always a factor.  Featuring such fearsome corners as the 185+ mph Blanchimont and the legendary Eau Rouge / Raidillon complex, Spa has a reputation as a drivers track and a win here puts a driver in the prestigious company of Fangio, Ascari, Clark and Senna.

Belgian GPThe 2013 edition of the Belgian GP was no exception.  With remarkably dry, for Spa and the Belgian Ardennes, the GP weekend still provided a challenge for the teams.  Intermittent rain during practice and qualifying promised to shake up the field a bit and while it meant that championship contenders Alonso and Kimi were well down the field, in 9th and 8th respectively and over 2s off the pole time, the usual suspects rounded out the first two rows.

Belgian GPOnce racing got underway both Kimi and Alonso pushed their way forward with Alonso gaining the most ground and slotting his Ferrari into a comfortable second place.

Belgian GPKimi and his Lotus teammate Grosjean were two of the favorites for the podium and the Finn needed a good result to keep his championship chase alive.  Luck was not on his side in the  Belgian forest; however, an errant visor tear off blocked the braking duct on his left front wheel causing a failure and his eventual withdrawal from the race.

Williams driver Maldonado continued his streak of being the worst driver in the series by simply destroying Di Resta’s Force India.

F1 2013 Belgium GP Race Maldonado Crashes in Di… by F1AlonsoMassa

There really isn’t much excuse for that kind of driving.  Granted the stakes are high and the pressure to perform is immense but I don’t think I’m alone in thinking that Maldonado should be past making these kind of rookie mistakes.  You’ve got to feel for Di Resta as well, if it weren’t for bad luck he’d have no luck at all.  Is he headed down the path to becoming the next unluckiest driver in F1 ala Mark Webber?

Webber’s Red Bull teammate, Sebastian Vettel (aka The Luckiest Driver in F1?) continued his dominance of the season and the series by driving a picture perfect race.  Blitzing pole sitter Hamilton through Eau Rouge on the first lap of the race, Vettel just drove away from the pack.  With a 46 point lead over second place Alonso, Vettel is looking strong to take his fourth consecutive drivers title.  At this point it is really looking like we are entering the Vettel era.  The similarities between Vettel and Schumacher are getting stronger with every race.

Second in the championship and second in the Belgian GP, Fernando Alonso drove a brilliant race coming from 9th to finish 2nd.  One can only imagine how quick he would be if he were in the Red Bull chassis.  Granted the Ferrari is no slouch, contrary to Ferrari’s sandbagging PR, but it would be quite a stretch to claim that it is the equal of the Red Bull.  I think Fernando, as well as many others, is hoping that the massive changes for the 2014 season puts everyone on a slightly more equal footing, at least for the first season.

That wraps our coverage of the Belgian GP of 2013 at Spa-Francorchamps.  As always, for all the official results check out the super fancy F1 site(Belgian GP 2013) and I leave you with our traditional gallery of amazing images from the race.