The Belgian GP was like Spain something of a bore-fest, Hamilton won by miles and overtakes were few and far between but there at least a few talking points to spice things up.
Let’s start with Ferrari, what has happened? Last year Belgium was the point where Ferrari had the fastest engine in the sport with Leclerc taking his maiden win and followed it up at the next race in Monza (which is even more of a power circuit). But this time the Scuderia had their worst result in recent memory, having finished 13th and 14th on pure pace in a dry race. Whilst for a few laps it looked like Leclerc might be able to salvage a result, moving into 8th in the first three laps he quickly fell down the field before two slow pitstops saw him drop the back of the field. Meanwhile, Vettel never seemed to have any pace only finishing one place higher than his grid position. To add insult to injury non of the Ferrari powered cars scored points with Raikkonen being the highest of the group in 12th.
It really is dyre to see, a team that has housed some of the most successful drivers in F1 to not even score points, and with the next race being in Monza Ferrari will be glad not to have any fans at the track given the success they had there last season.
One man who must be having an existential crisis right now is Carlos Sainz who after his cars exhaust failed on the way to grid got to witness the dismal performance of the car he will be driving next year. You honestly have to question whether he made the right decision, but if he can wait out 2021, there could be success on the way for 2022.
The safety car of the race was brought out after what first appeared to be a hefty collision between Giovinazzi and Russell, and given this was the anniversary of Anthoine Hubert’s death it was a tense few moments before both drivers emerged unscathed. Onboards later revealed Giovinazzi had lost control and hit the barrier with one of his dislodged tyres colliding with Russell’s front right, putting them both out the race. In an interview, Russell said he was grateful to have the halo with the tyre flying towards him. And looking at the onboards, it is clear to see what he means afterall one of the arguments for the halo was the death of Jon Surtees’ son Henry in an F2 race in 2009 when a tyre from the car in front of him hit him in the head killing him all most instantly. Thankfully neither were injured but probably quite shaken. Frankly, the race should have been red-flagged given the amount of debris on the track (which the drivers had to drive through carefully) and the cranes that had to be brought onto the track. But the marshals managed to get the debris and cars cleared in a few laps, partially helped by the length of the circuit.
The Renaults had a great race having qualified in P4 & P6 they finished in 4th and 5th with the lead Renault of Ricciardo gaining an extra point for fastest lap at the checkered flag.
The driver of the day was Pierre Gasly who continued his impressive performance this season with a drive from 12th to 8th, could he be back in the Red Bull soon? Honestly, I don’t think so not only because of the embarrassment it would cause for Red Bull, but until Verstappen flies the nest, Pierre probably won’t want to go back knowing he will be second to the Dutchman in a car designed for him.
Lets hope Monza can give us a bit more action before we head to the first new track on the calendar in Mugello.