Sunday, August 29, 2010
BELGIAN GRAND PRIX QUALIFYING
Wow, it has been months since I wrote. I can't believe how busy I've been. And the 3 week break didn't help either. Finally, it is over and we are back in business. The first race after the break couldn't be at a better track than Spa-Francorchamps.
And the first qualifying session after such a long break couldn't get any better as Spa served up an intense qualifying which looked like a race from Q1. This was of course courtesy of the unpredictable weather in the micro-climate of the Ardennes.
Everybody was saying how strong Ferrari would be, how tough it would be for Red Bull and how much of an advantage McLaren have with their f-duct on the long straights of Spa. In the end, it turned out pretty mixed.
Q1 was chaos as it rained a bit and a couple of spins plus the crash from Petrov which caused a red flag made sure of that. After the session was restarted, it started to rain so everybody was in rush to set a banker lap as they knew how unpredictable Spa can be. This made the qualifying seemed like a race with drivers jostling for positions.
Overall, Ferrari were not so competitive and Alonso left it too late in Q3 when the weather turned again. Massa was mostly uninspiring and both of them couldn't get any higher than 6th.
McLaren were on fire. Lewis and Button at one point served up purples on every sector, one after the other to take both top positions. Unfortunately, in Q3 Button made some mistakes and probably his balance went off, so he couldn't make it higher than 5th. Lewis fared better even though he had some off moments and finished P2. Actually he could have gotten pole because he was just .085 off Webber's time.
Red Bull were also not as inspiring especially Vettel. Webber somehow is on fire in a controlled way and managed to snag pole in the dying seconds of Q3. With their car passing the FIA tests, it's hard to see what they're doing right and whether anybody can stop them from winning again tomorrow.
The best of the rest was Renault with Kubica almost getting P2 if not for the incredible lap from Lewis. The updates especially the f-duct seems to work well and I wouldn't discount the thought of Kubica being on the podium tomorrow. Petrov killed his chances of anything tomorrow after his first Q1 lap crash. What a waste.
Mercedes was uninspiring, again with both cars being out of Q3 and having to serve their separate penalties. Since they're in damage limitation mode and defending from Renault, and Renault in good form now, their place in the championship is not guaranteed.
Lotus surprised again with Kovalainnen making it into Q2 and Trulli just but after some penalties were applied, it seems now that both cars are higher up the grid. with changeable weather conditions, anything can happen for that coveted 10th place in the championship.
Other than that, both Saubers crashed out - what a disappointment. Other teams were not worth talking about. Now, it's just a matter of the weather tomorrow and how the run to the first corner pans out plus the chase up Eau Rouge. Can't wait.