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Monthly Archives: September 2010

FERNANDO ALONSO of Ferrari took his second pole position in two races ahead of today’s night-time Singapore Grand Prix around the Marina Bay circuit.

The Spaniard who ‘won’ the inaugural Singapore Grand Prix in 2008 took pole with a Q3 lap time of 1:45.390, an average speed of 107.600 mph. Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel will start the race alongside him, with McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton third on the grid.

The rest of the top ten are from fourth to tenth: Jenson Button (McLaren), Mark Webber (Red Bull), Rubens Barrichello (Williams), Nico Rosberg (Mercedes), Robert Kubica (Renault), Michael Schumacher (Mercedes) and Kamui Kobayashi (Sauber).

William’s Nico Hülkenberg has taken a five-place grid drop for having his gearbox changed and will start the race from 17th on the grid.

Nick Heidfeld makes his Grand Prix return with Sauber in place of Pedro de la Rosa, and starts from 14th. Christian Klien is also starting his first race since the 2006 Italian Grand Prix for HRT. He qualified 22nd on the grid, and was over a second faster than his team-mate Bruno Senna. Sakon Yamamoto (HRT) has food poisoning.

But the big story from qualifying is that Ferrari’s Felipe Massa will start from dead last after his car stopped out on track before he could even set a lap.

As always I want to see a McLaren 1-2, but being the sceptical realist that I am I believe that Vettel will win this race. But on the other hand Alonso has all of the momentum at the moment. We’ll just have to wait and see.

LAST Saturday (18 September) my family and I went up to London’s Shepherds Bush Empire to see legendary guitarist Robin Trower and his band. Trower was once a member of Procol Harum (but didn’t play on that song).

Robin Trower

The support act – Aynsley Lister and his band – weren’t bad. They were certainly better than some of the bands they play on the radio station I listen to though.

But Trower just totally blew my mind. I’d seen him with former Cream bassist Jack Bruce last year at the same venue and the effect was much the same.

How do I put what I felt like at the concert into words? It was as if somebody had attached jump leads to my brain and hit the ‘on’ button. It was like there was a party in my head and ears and it didn’t matter if your name was on the list or not, you were getting in. 😀

I implore you dear reader, if you like rock music, and if you ever get wind of Trower playing within easy-to-get-to distance from you, just go and see him. You will not regret it one bit.

My future gigs:

  • Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman, 16 October 2010 @ Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells.
  • Peter Frampton, 5 March 2011 @ Shepherds Bush Empire, London.
  • Roger Waters The Wall Tour, 12 May @ The O2 Arena, London.
  • Eric Clapton, 24 May @ the Royal Albert Hall, London.

 

On a slightly sadder note now, it is 30 years to the day that John Bonham – the drummer from Led Zeppelin – died in the early hours of the morning of 25 September 1980.

The day before he had been rehearsing with Led Zeppelin in preparation for the band’s first U.S. tour in three years. He had also drunk 40 shots of vodka, which caused him to vomit in his sleep and ended up asphyxiating himself. Bonham’s body was found by Led Zeppelin’s new tour manager Benji LeFevre and bassist John Paul Jones. He was only 32 years old.

John Bonham is considered by many to be one of, if not the, best rock drummer of all time. He is still sorely missed.

John Bonham (1948 - 1980)

LAST Saturday (18 September) marked the 40th anniversary of the death of James Marshall ‘Jimi’ Hendrix, who is often universally acknowledged as the greatest rock guitarist ever to have lived.

He was found dead in one of the basement apartments in the Samarkand Hotel in Kensington, Greater London. He is officially said to have died of asphyxiation on his own vomit after combining sleeping pills with wine in the early hours of that morning.

He was just 27 years-old and joined The Rolling Stones Brian Jones in the now infamous 27 Club. The other ‘official’ members of the club are: Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison and Kurt Cobain.

As a Pink Floyd fan first and foremost, I rank David Gilmour as my #1 guitarist, but for millions of others, JMH will be top of their list forever.

Alonso gives Ferrari their first Italian Grand Prix win since 2006.

FERNANDO ALONSO won last Sunday’s (12 September) Italian Grand Prix at the legendary high-speed Monza circuit, giving the Ferrari Tifosi the win they wanted. The Spaniard won the 53 lap event in a time of 1:16:24.572 (149.651 mph). The reigning World Champion, Jenson Button (McLaren) came home in second place just under three seconds behind Alonso, whose Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa finished third just behind Button. Alonso also set the fastest lap of the race with a lap time of 1:24.139 (154.031 mph). This was the first Hat-Trick (a driver taking: pole position, fastest lap and the win) of the season.

Alonso lost his pole advantage at the start. He got a bad getaway and Button took the lead going into the first chicane – the Variante del Rettifilo. Alonso struck the back wing of Button’s McLaren causing a piece of it to fly off, affecting his aerodynamics for the rest of the race. Mark Webber (Red Bull) lost many places due being too cautious at the first corner. However, championship leader Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) had the worst start of anybody (apart from Kobayashi (Sauber) whose gearbox broke). Hamilton got a flying start and was up into fourth place when he tried to dive up Massa’s inside at the Variante della Roggia. But Massa didn’t realise he was there and the two cars banged wheels. Hamilton’s steering arm was broken as a result, and his race ended in the gravel trap at the next corner (the First Lesmo). This crash was Hamilton’s bad. He should have pulled out and tried to get a run on Massa later in the lap.

Button, Alonso and Massa led the way at the end of lap one and began to pull away to form their own race within a race. Mark Webber overtook Michael Schumacher (Mercedes) into the Rettifilo chicane but the seven-times World Champion came back at him through the Curva Grande. Webber had the inside line however for the Roggia chicane and kept the place.

The cars continued to pound their way around the track without much drama until lap 21. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) was heard screaming over his radio about his engine losing power. This allowed his team-mate Webber to pass him. To add insult to injury, Vettel’s Renault engine soon burst into life again and he was back on the pace.

McLaren decided to bring Button into pit on the end of lap 36. Ferrari then pitted Alonso on the next lap. As the Ferrari driver exited the pits, Button was charging down the front straight. But to the delight of the Tifosi it was Alonso who made it into the first corner first. Sakon Yamamoto (HRT) had to take evasive action so as not to block the pair. I can’t help but wonder if he wasn’t in front of Button when he was gunning it down the straight, the McLaren may just have beaten the Ferrari to the Rettifilo. Anyway, Massa pitted soon afterwards and exited the pits in third, right behind Alonso and Button.

While all this was going on, Nico Hülkenberg (Williams) was making life a challenge for some of the other drivers. When he exited the pits after his stop he came back on track right in front of Robert Kubica’s Renault. The Polish driver had to brake hard and lost enough speed to allow Mark Webber to pass him as they went around the Curva Grande. Later on in the race, Webber became angry with young Hülkenberg for continually cutting the chicanes, but the Stewards didn’t take any action against the Williams driver. Justice was done in my opinion on lap 50, when Webber finally past Hülkenberg.

Learning from what Sauber did with Kobayashi in Valencia, Red Bull didn’t pit Vettel until the very last lap of the race in order to gain track position. This worked out brilliantly for the Austrian team, as the German exited the pits ahead of: Nico Rosberg (Mercedes), Webber, Hülkenberg and Kubica to gain 12 vital points for finishing fourth.

But it was Alonso who took the full 25 points for the race win. I don’t like seeing a Ferrari win at all, and at Monza is even worse, but Alonso stuck with Button all the way to the pit stops and deserved his win this time.

This was also Alonso’s 24th Grand Prix victory. He is now equal eight on the all-time list of Grand Prix wins with the legendary five-times Champion Juan Manuel Fangio.

We now jet off to Singapore for F1’s third night race. Nick Heidfeld will take part in his first race of the 2010 season, having replaced Pedro de la Rosa at his old team, Sauber.

DRIVERS’ STANDINGS (14/19 GPs)

Pos

Driver

Constructor(s)

Points

Gap From 1st

1

Mark WEBBER (AUS)

Red Bull

187

2

Lewis HAMILTON (ENG)

McLaren

182

5

3

Fernando ALONSO (ESP)

Ferrari

166

21

4

Jenson BUTTON (ENG)

McLaren

165

22

5

Sebastian VETTEL (GER)

Red Bull

163

24

6

Felipe MASSA (BRA)

Ferrari

124

63

7

Nico ROSBERG (GER)

Mercedes

112

75

8

Robert KUBICA (POL)

Renault

108

79

9

Michael SCHUMACHER (GER)

Mercedes

46

141*

10

Adrian SUTIL (GER)

Force India

45

142*

 *Can’t win title.

There are 125 points still available 

CONSTRUCTORS’ STANDINGS (14/19 GPs)

Pos

Constructor

Engine

Points

Gap From 1st

1

RED BULL (AUT)

Renault

350

2

MCLAREN (ENG)

Mercedes

347

3

3

FERRARI (ITA)

Ferrari

290

60

4

MERCEDES (GER)

Mercedes

158

192

5

RENAULT (FRA)

Renault

127

223*

6

FORCE INDIA (IND)

Mercedes

58

292*

7

WILLIAMS (ENG)

Cosworth

47

303*

8

SAUBER (SUI)

Ferrari

27

323*

9

TORO ROSSO (ITA)

Ferrari

10

340*

Yet to Score

LOTUS (MAL), HRT (ESP), VIRGIN (ENG)

Cosworth (All)

0

350*

 *Can’t win title.

There are 215 points still available

RAFAEL NADAL, 24, became only the seventh man to complete the Tennis Career Grand Slam with his 6-4 5-7 6-4 6-2 win over Novak Djokovic in yesterday’s (13 September) US Open Men’s Final at Flushing Meadows, New York City (New York).

World No. 1 - Rafael Nadal

He joins: Fred Perry, Don Budge, Rod Laver, Roy Emerson, Andre Agassi and his arch-rival Roger Federer as the only male Tennis players to have won the: Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and US Open titles.

The Spaniard won his first of so far five French Open titles in 2005 aged just 19. He then defended his title in: 2006, 2007 and in 2008. He lost his title in 2009 to Roger Federer – this win earned Federer his Career Grand Slam – but The King of Clay regained his French Open crown this year.

His first Wimbledon title came in 2008 after finally ending Federer’s reign of five years in one of the greatest matches of all time. His second Wimbledon came this year after missing out in 2009 through injury.

His only Australian Open title came last year, beating Federer in yet another five set epic.

The left-hander is also the reigning Olympic Champion from Beijing. He has been in 11 Grand Slam Finals and lost just two – both to Federer at Wimbledon in 2006 and 2007.

His trademark is biting the trophy he has just won in front of the worlds press, and I believe that we will see plenty more bite marks in Tennis silverware for years to come.

FERNANDO ALONSO secured Ferrari’s first pole position since the 2008 Brazilian Grand Prix ahead of the team’s home race tomorrow.

The 2005 and 2006 World Champion’s fastest Q3 time around the legendary Italian track was 1:21.962, an average speed of 158.122 mph. Reigning World Champion Jenson Button (McLaren) will line up second on the grid, making this the first race since Italy 2009 that a Red Bull will be off of the front row of the grid. Alonso’s team-mate and rear gunner Felipe Massa will start the race from third.

The rest of the top ten from fourth to tenth are: Webber (Red Bull), Hamilton (McLaren), Vettel (Red Bull), Rosberg (Mercedes), Hülkenberg (Williams), Kubica (Renault) and Barrichello (Williams).

Michael Schumacher (Mercedes) once again failed to make it into Q3, ending up 12th on the grid.

Timo Glock (Virgin) has been given a five-place grid bump for having his gearbox changed, and Vitaly Petrov (Renault) was given a five-place bump for impeding Glock in Q1.

I was surprised to see Button and Hamilton where they are on the grid. Surly with the different set ups they were running they should be in each other’s grid slots?

Naturally I will be cheering the two McLarens on during tomorrow’s race, but Alonso looks like he has got the bit between his teeth and seems the most likely to win Ferrari’s first Italian Grand Prix since Schumacher won in 2006.

TODAY the FIA released a provisional F1 2011 calendar which featured the maximum amount of Grand Prixs there can be in a season, 20 – a new record.

Here is the provisional calendar:

Round

Grand Prix

Circuit

Date

1

Bahrain

Sakhir

13 March

2

Australia

Albert Park

27 March

3

Malaysia

Sepang

10 April

4

China

Shanghai

17 April

5

Turkey

Istanbul

8 May

6

Spain

Barcelona

22 May

7

Monaco

Monte-Carlo

29 May

8

Canada

Montreal

12 June

9

Europe

Valencia (Street)

26 June

10

Great Britain

Silverstone

10 July

11

Germany

Nürburgring (GP)

24 July

12

Hungary

Hungaroring

31 July

13

Belgium

Spa-Francorchamps

28 August

14

Italy

Monza

11 September

15

Singapore

Marina Bay

25 September

16

Japan

Suzuka

9 October

17

South Korea

Yeongam

16 October

18

India

Jaypee

30 October

19

Abu Dhabi

Yas Marina

13 November

20

Brazil

Interlagos

27 November

The one new edition to the party is the Indian Grand Prix. The Jaypee track near Delhi (see below) is expected to become one of the fastest circuits on the calendar, and I very much look forward to seeing it.

But I can’t help but feel that 20 races is just too many. But then again with no in-season testing the drivers are going to want to cover as many miles on the track as possible.

In other F1 news, there will be no new teams on the grid next season.

The Indian GP track. Looks like an upside-down Nürburgring doesn’t it?

 

 

Switzerland

1

vs.

3

England

Xherdan SHAQIRI 71’

Attendance = 39,700

Wayne ROONEY 10’

Adam JOHNSON 69’

Darren BENT 88’

Euro 2012 Qualifying Group G

Ref = Nicola Rizzoli (ITA)

St. Jakob-Park (Basel)

ENGLAND continued their winning start to their Euro 2012 qualifying group with a 3-1 away win in a rainy Switzerland last night in what was on paper, our hardest game of the group. 🙂

Wayne Rooney scored 😉 his first England goal in a year with just ten minutes gone to put England 1-0 up. Glen Johnson crossed the ball from the near side as we looked at it, Theo Walcott and Jermain Defoe either dummied or missed the ball, leaving Rooney on his own in the six-yard box to tap it in.

The highs...

But England’s celebrations were cut short when it emerged that during the build up to the goal, Walcott had gone over on his right ankle and had to be stretchered off. He expects himself to be fit again in less than two weeks, so Arsenal fans don’t be too disappointed.

...and the lows.

England totally dominated the first half, and should have gone into half-time 3-0 up at least. Defoe could have easily scored four goals in the first 45 minutes, but he either: shot over, was too short to reach the ball, saw an effort saved or missed a header. Do you get the feeling that it just wasn’t his day?

Such was the away side’s dominance the roughly 4,000 travelling English fans gave you the impression that the game was in London rather than Basel. Chants like: “1-0 to the Ing-er-land” and “We’re on the p*** and we’re having a laugh” put a wide smile on my face.

What took said smile off of my face was the antics of the England keeper Joe Heart. On three separate occasions in the first half he almost got charged down by a Swiss forward because he was taking so long to clear the ball. I know the pitch was soaking wet with rain water but there is a limit. The heavy tackling displayed by the Swiss wasn’t pleasing on the eyes either.

The first 15 minutes of the second half were nothing special, but the game exploded into life on the hour mark.

From almost nowhere, Switzerland put the England goal under pressure for three solid minutes. Then two minutes later when England finally had the ball in the Swiss half, their number two, Stephan Lichtsteiner was given a second yellow card for a tackle on James Milner and the home team were down to 10-men.

Four minutes later, Adam Johnson scored his second England goal in two games to give England a 2-0 lead. But Switzerland hit back just when my Dad told me that a 10-man team could be dangerous. Xherdan Shaqiri smashed the ball home for his first international goal from 20+-yards, and there was nothing Joe Heart in the England goal could do about it. 1-2, game on.

Both sides pushed hard for the next decisive goal for the rest of the match. Fortunately, that goal was scored just two minutes from time by Darren Bent, and England finished the night with six points to their name in Group G.

In the other game in this group, Montenegro beat Bulgaria 1-0 in Sofia, proving that they mean business. England’s next match in this group is at home to Montenegro on 12 October.

Some other Euro 2012 Qualifying results

Germany 6 – 1 Azerbaijan

Russia 0 – 1 Slovakia

Republic of Ireland 3 – 1 Andorra

Italy 5 – 0 Faroe Islands

Bosnia and Herzegovina 0 – 2 France

Sweden 6 – 0 San Marino

Netherlands 2 – 1 Finland

Norway 1 – 0 Portugal 😮

Czech Republic 0 – 1 Lithuania 😮

Scotland 2 – 1 Liechtenstein (Just) 😦

PS: In an International Friendly in Buenos Aires, Argentina destroyed World and European Champions Spain 4-1. 😮

Euro 2012 Qualifying Group G

Pos.

Team

P

W

D

L

GF

GA

+/-

PTS

1

England

2

2

0

0

7

1

+6

6

2

Montenegro

2

2

0

0

2

0

+2

6

3

Wales

1

0

0

1

0

1

-1

0

4

Switzerland

1

0

0

1

1

3

-2

0

5

Bulgaria

2

0

0

2

0

5

-5

0

Group winners and best runner-up all qualify for the finals in Poland and Ukraine automatically. The remaining group runners-up qualify for the Play-Off round.

 

 

England

4

vs.

0

Bulgaria

Jermain DEFOE 3’ 61’ 86’

Adam JOHNSON 83’

MotM = Jermain DEFOE (ENG)

Euro 2012 Qualifying Group G

Ref = Viktor KASSAI (HUN)

Wembley Stadium

JERMAIN DEFOE scored England’s first Hat-Trick in almost three years as England beat Bulgaria 4-0 in their opening Euro 2012 Group G qualifier at Wembley Stadium last night. 😀

Jermain Defoe (9) - Hat-Trick Hero

The Tottenham striker’s first goal came after just three minutes. Chelsea’s Ashley Cole crossed the ball (from the far side of the pitch as you look at it on the TV) to Defoe who smashed the ball into the back of the net.

But Bulgaria ever so slowly started to enjoy some time on the ball, but never really troubled England keeper Joe Heart. In fact from what I remember from a rather unexciting first half, Heart’s biggest problem came when Glen Johnson almost put the ball into his own net. Heart had to be alert and quick to pounce on the ball to prevent the eastern Europeans from pull level.

Wayne Rooney almost found the back of the net soon after the re-start with a 20-yrd chip that the Bulgarian keeper just managed to tip over the bar.

Around six or seven minutes later England defender Michael Dawson slipped on the grass during a challenge, and badly injured his right knee. He was stretchered off and will miss the away game to Switzerland on Tuesday.

But English spirits were lifted when Defoe scored his second goal just after the hour mark. Just 18 seconds earlier, Heart had to make a reflex save, and the ball flew off his gloves and the outfield players took the ball up the other end and managed to do what Bulgaria didn’t…score.

The game was finished as a contest when Adam Johnson scored his first England goal with seven minutes left. Defoe completed his Hat-Trick three minutes later, but couldn’t celebrate because he and one of the Bulgarian defenders collided (hurting Defoe’s shin) just as he kicked the ball.

So an impressive score line for England in their first competitive match since that 1-4 defeat to Germany in the World Cup. It wasn’t an exciting match by any stretch of the imagination, but a win is a win.

In the other match in England’s group, Montenegro beat Wales 1-0 🙂 in Podgorica, the capital of the country that became independent just four years ago. The fifth team in this group, Switzerland, who are England’s next opponents, drew 0-0 with Australia in a friendly.

Some Other Results from Euro 2012 Qualification

Armenia 0 – 1 Republic of Ireland

Belgium 0 – 1 Germany

Estonia 1 – 2 Italy

France 0 – 1 Belarus 🙂

Liechtenstein 0 – 4 Spain

Lithuania 0 – 0 Scotland

Portugal 4 – 4 Cyprus 😮

San Marino 0 – 5 Netherlands

Slovenia 0 – 1 Northern Ireland

Euro 2012 Qualifying Group G

Pos.

Team

P

W

D

L

GF

GA

+/-

PTS

1

England

1

1

0

0

4

0

+4

3

2

Montenegro

1

1

0

0

1

0

+1

3

3

Switzerland

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

4

Wales

1

0

0

1

0

1

-1

0

5

Bulgaria

1

0

0

1

0

4

-4

0

Group winners and best runner-up all qualify for the finals in Poland and Ukraine automatically. The remaining group runners-up qualify for the Play-Off round.

The McLaren team’s battle cry before they chase Sebastian Vettel deep into the Ardennes forest.

LEWIS HAMILTON won last Sundays Belgian Grand Prix (29 August) at the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit, which as usual saw highly unpredictable weather. The McLaren driver won the 44 lap race in a time of 1:29:04.268, an average speed of 128.941 mph. The 2008 World Champion also set the fastest lap of the race with a tour of 1:49.069 (143.645 mph) and led every lap of the race. Mark Webber (Red Bull) finished second and Robert Kubica (Renault) came home in third. 

Webber did start the race on pole, but when the lights went green his anti-stall system kicked in. The championship leader going into this race found: Hamilton, Kubica, Jenson Button (McLaren), his team-mate Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari’s Felipe Massa ahead of him at the first corner – La Source. 

But things became very interesting for the drivers very quickly. Halfway around the first lap it started to drizzle with rain, making it hard for the drivers to judge their breaking distances. Virtually all of the leaders overshot the final corner (The Bus Stop chicane). Rubens Barrichello (Williams) locked his wheels and crashed straight into Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and out of his 300th Grand Prix. 😦 Alonso decided to gamble and put on rain tyres and pray for heavy rain. How he was even still in the race after Barrichello hit him I’ll never know. 

Because of the damage Barrichello had caused, the Safety Car was deployed. It came into the pits at the end of lap four. The order now was: Hamilton, Button, Vettel, Kubica, Webber, Massa, Sutil (Force India) and Hülkenberg (Williams). Alonso came darting back into the pits in order to change his tyres. The rain hadn’t come. 

Hamilton instantly started to pull away from his team-mate Button who had his hands full with Vettel. Further down the track on lap 11, Vitaly Petrov (Renault) threw himself past Nico Rosberg’s Mercedes at Les Combes. Rosberg’s team-mate Michael Schumacher saw that he was off line and passed him as well, but not without making slight contact with him. This was a lucky escape for the Mercedes team. 

But potentially championship deciding drama unfolded on the end of lap 16. Sebastian Vettel had gotten himself right up behind Button in the ultra fast Blanchimont sweep and looked to pass the defending World Champion up the inside at the Bus Stop. But Vettel changed his direction at the very last moment, and on a damp track, swerved and crashed into Button’s McLaren, destroying his sidepod and radiator. Vettel kept going and dived into the pits for a new nose cone, but Jenson Button was out of the race. 

Having thought this incident over (apart from thinking that it looked like Istanbul all over again), I believe that Vettel misjudged his closing speed on Button’s car. He realised too late that he was going to hit the back of the McLaren and tried his best to avoid hitting it. But he doesn’t quite have the skill yet to be able to pull this kind of manoeuvre off. If he had been patient he could have taken Button later on the next lap. 

For his actions Vettel was given his second Drive-Through Penalty in as many races. As he drove down the pit lane he was watched by angry McLaren mechanics that were standing in their pit box with their arms folded. 

Vettel continued not to win any new friends on lap 25 when he took Vitantonio Liuzzi’s front wing off his Force India when he pasted him at the Bus Stop. But justice was instantly done. Vettel had given himself a left-rear puncture and had to drive the whole 4.3 mile lap extremely slowly. By the time he rejoined the race with a fixed car he was off the lead lap and down in 20th place with no chance of scoring any points. 

More drama followed on lap 35. The rain which had been expected had arrived, but it wasn’t heavy enough for the intermediate tyres to be 100% effective and the teams were keeping their drivers out on track on slick tyres. Race leader Lewis Hamilton then showed the world that inters would be a good idea. As he turned into the right-hander of Bruxelles he slid off the track and almost into the barrier. But he kept the car running and the lead with it. The pit lane was now a hive of activity as everyone charged into the pits to put the inters on. Alonso and Vettel almost came together in the pit lane, and were wheel to wheel at one point. 

The three leaders: Hamilton, Kubica and Webber came into the pits after the other drivers had already been in. Hamilton and Webber’s stop went smoothly, but Kubica overshot his pit box and knocked over one of his mechanics (who was OK). The Polish driver lost time and second place to Webber in the process. 

Two laps later another championship contender was out of the race. Fernando Alonso had gone off and crashed his Ferrari on the exit of Les Combes and ended up blocking two-thirds of the race track. This brought out another Safety Car and bunched the whole filed right up again. 

The cars were back up to racing speeds at the end of lap 40 with Hamilton just needing to keep his car on the black stuff to win. Nico Rosberg returned the favour to his team-mate Michael Schumacher by passing him at Les Combes for sixth place. 

That was the last real action of the race, and Hamilton finally won what was an extremely intense Belgian Grand Prix. 

The F1 circus now moves from one classic track to another, Monza, for the 81st Italian Grand Prix. But before all that, we have Ferrari’s World Motorsport Council’s hearing about their team orders in the German GP. 

In the mean time, McLaren and Red Bull should start to decide sooner or later which one of their two drivers are going to challenge for the title. 

PS: Sauber’s Pedro de la Rosa has now gone over his eight-engine limit.

DRIVERS’ STANDINGS (13/19 GPs)

Pos

Driver

Constructor(s)

Points

Gap From 1st

1

Lewis HAMILTON (ENG)

McLaren

182

2

Mark WEBBER (AUS)

Red Bull

179

3

3

Sebastian VETEL (GER)

Red Bull

151

31

4

Jenson BUTTON (ENG)

McLaren

147

35

5

Fernando ALONSO (ESP)

Ferrari

141

41

6

Felipe MASSA (BRA)

Ferrari

109

73

7

Robert KUBICA (POL)

Renault

104

78

8

Nico ROSBERG (GER)

Mercedes

102

80

9

Adrian SUTIL (GER)

Force India

45

137

10

Michael SCHUMACHER (GER)

Mercedes

44

138

There are 150 points still available

 

CONSTRUCTORS’ STANDINGS (13/19 GPs)

Pos

Constructor

Engine

Points

Gap From 1st

1

RED BULL (AUT)

Renault

330

2

MCLAREN (ENG)

Mercedes

329

1

3

FERRARI (ITA)

Ferrari

250

80

4

MERCEDES (GER)

Mercedes

146

184

5

RENAULT (FRA)

Renault

123

207

6

FORCE INDIA (IND)

Mercedes

58

272*

7

WILLIAMS (ENG)

Cosworth

40

290*

8

SAUBER (SUI)

Ferrari

27

303*

9

TORO ROSSO (ITA)

Ferrari

10

320*

Yet to Score

LOTUS (MAL), HRT (ESP), VIRGIN (ENG)

Cosworth (All)

0

330*

  *Can’t win title.

There are 258 points still available