Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

Belgium analysis - Spa drama helps tighten title race 03 Sep 2012

Race winner Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren celebrates with the team.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Race, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 2 September 2012 Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F2012 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27 crash at the start of the race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Race, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 2 September 2012 Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8 on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Race, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 2 September 2012 Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus F1 and Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing celebrates on the podium with the champagne.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Preparations, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 2 September 2012 Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Force India F1 VJM05.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Race, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 2 September 2012 Felipe Massa (BRA) Ferrari on the drivers parade.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Preparations, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 2 September 2012 (L to R): Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus E20 and Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W03.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Preparations, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 2 September 2012 Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR7.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Preparations, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 2 September 2012 (L to R): Paul di Resta (GBR) Force India VJM05 and Bruno Senna (BRA) Williams FW34.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Race, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 2 September 2012 Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus E20 and Sergio Perez (MEX) Sauber C31 and Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27 collide at the start of the race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Race, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 2 September 201 Heikki Kovalainen (FIN) Caterham CT01.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Preparations, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 2 September 2012 Timo Glock (GER) Marussia F1 Team MR01 on the grid.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Race, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 2 September 2012 Narain Karthikeyan (IND) HRT Formula One Team HRT F112 and the crash at the start of the race.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Race, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Sunday, 2 September 2012

McLaren’s Jenson Button admits he still only has a very long shot at the 2012 drivers’ crown, but at least he has a shot after his masterful drive at Spa. Romain Grosjean’s turn-one misdemeanour, which eliminated championship leader Fernando Alonso, really mixed up the title fight. If Alonso was the biggest loser, Sebastian Vettel was arguably the biggest winner. The lap-one accident helped lift him to second in the race and second in the standings, just 24 points behind his Ferrari rival. We take a team-by-team look back at the 2012 Formula 1 Shell Belgian Grand Prix…

McLaren
Jenson Button, P1
Lewis Hamilton, Retired lap one, accident

Button was in a class of his own in the low-downforce MP4-27, and never looked like being challenged for his first victory at Spa. But McLaren’s celebrations were tempered by Hamilton’s demise at the hands of Grosjean in the first-corner melee. The team’s second win in a row, and fourth of the season was great cause for optimism for the rest of the year.

Red Bull
Sebastian Vettel, P2
Mark Webber, P6

Red Bull struggled badly in qualifying and were slow on the straights, but a great drive by Vettel and some superb strategy in emulating McLaren’s single stop earned the German a crucial second place. Webber wasn’t as fast, but was glad to take sixth-place points after starting 12th.

Lotus
Kimi Raikkonen, P3
Romain Grosjean, Retired lap one, accident

Lotus were the pre-event favourite, but Raikkonen’s car lacked serious pace and third place always looked his only likely reward as he struggled throughout for grip once fresh tyres had bedded in. Grosjean blotted his copybook by taking out Alonso, Hamilton and Perez at the start, and earned himself a one-race ban and a 50,000 euro fine.

Force India
Nico Hulkenberg, P4
Paul di Resta, P10

Hulkenberg drove a great race to take fourth, and Di Resta’s point for 10th helped the team move ahead of Williams in the constructors’ stakes. The Scot, however, couldn’t get to play at his team mate’s level thanks to early failure of his car’s KERS.

Ferrari
Felipe Massa, P5
Fernando Alonso, Retired lap one, accident

Alonso lost a significant chunk of his points advantage thanks to Grosjean, and the team left Spa convinced they could have taken an easy second place in Button’s wake based on the pace Massa showed on his way to fifth place.

Mercedes
Michael Schumacher, P7
Nico Rosberg, P11

Schumacher looked racy early on, but lost sixth gear and then had to make a ‘Plan B’ second pit stop after wearing out his rubber trying to keep in the fight for fourth place. Rosberg appeared to have got a good break with the first-corner melee as he was 13th from 23rd at the end of the first lap, but couldn’t muster better than 11th by the finish.

Toro Rosso
Jean-Eric Vergne, P8
Daniel Ricciardo, P9

Both drivers raced each other all the way to the flag, with Vergne getting the nod over Ricciardo as they garnered another six useful points, their first since Malaysia.

Williams
Bruno Senna, P12
Pastor Maldonado, Retired lap five, accident damage

Maldonado ruined his race by jumping the start, then crashed into Glock at the restart. He earned himself five-place grid penalties for Monza for both transgressions. Senna drove well, but the pace demanded a second pit stop which dropped him out of points contention on an awful day for a team which had demonstrated serious potential in qualifying.

Sauber
Kamui Kobayashi, P13
Sergio Perez, Retired lap one, accident

Sauber began their day full of hope with second and fourth places on the grid, but it all went sour before the first corner. Kobayashi’s brakes smoked alarmingly on the grid, then he got hit by Hamilton just after Grosjean had flown over Perez. It was undoubtedly a race for the Swiss team to forget.

Caterham
Vitaly Petrov, P14
Heikki Kovalainen, P17

Caterham got a great break when Kovalainen ended the opening lap 10th, but he lacked the pace to stay there and eventually finished 17th after one and a half spins on different occasions. He was also let out of the pits unsafely and collided with the incoming Karthikeyan, earning the team a 10,000 euro fine.

Marussia
Timo Glock, P15
Charles Pic, P16

Glock and Pic had a great dust-up on Marussia’s 50th F1 appearance, and ultimately it went the German’s way as his two-stop strategy proved superior to the Frenchman’s one-stopper.

HRT
Pedro de la Rosa, P18
Narain Karthikeyan, Retired lap 30, lost wheel

Karthikeyan survived the pit-lane attack by Kovalainen, but the Indian’s race ended after a promising start when the left front wheel fell off, possibly as a result of suspension breakage. De la Rosa came home 18th and last, but was happy to be in the fight with the Marussias and Caterhams.

For tickets and travel to 2012 FORMULA 1 races, click here.
For FORMULA 1 and F1 team merchandise, click here.