Belgium: Round 12 driver star ratings
Tue, 30 August, 2011Belgium: Round 12 driver star ratings
Manipe F1 rates all 24 drivers' performances from the Belgian Grand Prix weekend at Spa-Francorchamps, highlighting the good and the bad from the 12th round of the 2011 championship.
Sebastian Vettel, Red Bull-Renault (Race: 1st, Grid: 1st):
Vettel was back to his very best with another flawless performance following a number of below-par races. Although he lost the lead to Rosberg at the start he soon overtook the German and then had to overtake both Webber and Alonso after pitting under the safety car. Although he was being closed down by Webber in the closing stages, he kept a comfortable gap and finished almost 4 seconds clear.
Mark Webber, Red Bull-Renault (Race: 2nd, Grid: 3rd):
Made two stops to Vettel's three, despite pitting after only three laps because of worries over the tyres. He had to pull off a string of overtaking manoeuvres to work his way back up the field and was helped hugely by the safety car emerging. In the closing stages of the race he overtook Alonso into Eau Rouge, but fell short on laps in bridging the gap to Vettel.
Lewis Hamilton, McLaren-Mercedes (Race: Ret, Grid: 2nd):
Was pipped to pole by Vettel at the death in qualifying, but was unable to match the German's race pace. With both having taken one pitstop, Hamilton was 15 seconds adrift, but brought his race to an end by colliding with Kobayashi at Les Combes while trying to overtake.
Jenson Button, McLaren-Mercedes (Race: 3rd, Grid: 13th):
Was knocked out in Q2 on Saturday after a misunderstanding with the pitwall but more than recovered in the race. Starting on the medium tyre, the safety car period allowed him to close the gap to the front-runners and, combined with a handful of overtaking manoeuvres â€“ 11 in total during the race â€“ he finished third after passing Alonso in the final five laps.
Fernando Alonso, Ferrari (Race: 4th, Grid: 8th):
Saw his run of four consecutive podium finishes come to an end after being overtaken by Button for third with just three laps to go. He endured a poor qualifying due to traffic, but made up for it with a great start to fourth by lap 2. He briefly took the lead when Vettel pitted, but lost it again to the German soon after and was unable to match his pace on the medium tyre at the end.
Felipe Massa, Ferrari (Race: 8th, Grid: 4th):
Secured fourth on the grid for the third time in four races, but had the chance of a top five finish robbed when he had to pit for a third time to replace a punctured set of tyres. After dropping to 11th he overtook three cars to finish eighth, including passing Petrov on the final lap.
Michael Schumacher, Mercedes (Race: 5th, Grid: 24th):
Manipe F1's stand-out winner of driver-of-the-day after an exceptional drive from the back of the grid in the midfield Mercedes. He gained ten places on the first lap, putting him in immediate contention for points and was further aided by the safety car's appearance on lap 13. He closed in on and passed Rosberg while on the quicker soft tyre and set a fastest lap more than a second quicker.
Nico Rosberg, Mercedes (Race: 6th, Grid: 5th):
Recorded a race finish that was lower than his starting position for the eighth time this season after getting passed by Schumacher three laps from the finish. An outstanding getaway allowed him to take the lead on the first lap, but he was back down to third within eight laps. The early push to keep up with the frontrunners ultimately cost him at the end as he was forced to save fuel, allowing Schumacher to overtake.
Bruno Senna, Renault (Race: 13th, Grid: 7th):
Had the shine of a great qualifying performance, which saw him secure seventh on the grid for his Renault debut, washed away by a rookie error at the start of the race. He underestimated the effect of a full tank of fuel, braked too late into turn 1 and collided with Jaime Alguersuari. He served a drive-through and went on to finish just behind Kobayashi.
Vitaly Petrov, Renault (Race: 9th, Grid: 10th):
Spun in qualifying to start 10th before picking up a place in the race thanks to a conventional two-stop strategy. He was eighth going into the final lap but was overtaken by Massa, meaning a haul of only two points.
Rubens Barrichello, Williams-Cosworth (Race: 16th, Grid: 14th):
Was confident of making Q3 had he not been hindered by traffic in qualifying, but went on to be beaten by his team-mate who started 7 places further back. Maldonado overtook Rubens within 2 laps, but a later first pitstop allowed Barrichello back through, before the Brazilian was re-passed mid-way through the race. He then had to pit again with 4 laps to go after damaging his front wing off Kobayashi's Sauber.
Pastor Maldonado, Williams-Cosworth (Race: 10th, Grid: 21st):
Was given a 5-place grid penalty for his infamous clash with Hamilton in qualifying, but proved the doubters wrong with a fabulous drive to 10th to record his first ever F1 points finish. He overtook team-mate Barrichello twice, once on lap 2 and again on lap 26, before taking the flag in tenth after a two-stop strategy.
Adrian Sutil, Force India-Mercedes (Race: 7th, Grid: 15th):
Lost the car in Eau Rouge during a wet qualifying to start an unrepresentative 15th, but recovered his pride with a measured drive to seventh. Although he overtook few drivers, he was consistently quick and took the flag six seconds clear of Massa.
Paul di Resta, Force India-Mercedes (Race: 11th, Grid: 17th):
A team error in pitting him before the end of Q1 consigned him to 17th on the grid, the worst of his career, before spending most of the race behind other drivers. He wasn't being held up however and simply lacked the speed to his rivals and team-mate, finishing 6 seconds behind his nearest rival.
Kamui Kobayashi, Sauber-Ferrari (Race: 12th, Grid: 12th):
Finished where he had started after losing a chunk of positions by pitting the second lap behind the safety car. He attracted a fair share of attention after getting hit by Hamilton and then by Barrichello, both without overly damaging his car. His medium-tyre pace was insufficient to allow him close on the points-paying positions however.
Sergio Perez, Sauber-Ferrari (Race: Ret, Grid: 9th):
Made it into Q3 for the second time in a row and the third time this year, but couldn't make it pay after hitting Sebastien Buemi while battling for 6th on lap 5. He claims Buemi moved under braking, but Perez was given a drive-through anyway, adding salt to the wound of having to pit for repairs. His misery came to an end on lap 27 when he retired with a mechanical problem.
Sebastien Buemi, Toro Rosso-Ferrari (Race: Ret, Grid: 11th):
Just missed out on Q3 by less than a tenth of a second, but finished just six laps during the race before retiring with a broken rear wing. He had been defending 6th from Perez when the pair collided, ending a superb chance of points for the Swiss.
Jaime Alguersuari, Toro Rosso-Ferrari (Race: Ret, Grid: 6th):
Alguersuari put in the qualifying performance of his career to secure sixth place on the grid, but was null and void less than 300 metres into the race when he was hit by Bruno Senna, breaking the STR6's suspension and beckoning retirement.
Heikki Kovalainen, Lotus-Renault (Race: 15th, Grid: 16th):
After getting through to Q2 for the third time this year he was involved in a multi-car contact at the start, requiring a repairs pitstop at the end of the first lap. The emergence of the safety car allowed him to close back up on team-mate Trulli, but he was only able to match the Italian's pace and took the flag 7 seconds adrift.
Jarno Trulli, Lotus-Renault (Race 14th, Grid: 18th):
Although he fell behind both HRTs and Glock at the start, he was able to overtake for position and emerged in the lead of the new-teams' battle after his first pitstop. Team-mate Kovalainen was his nearest competitor and he gradually grew the gap to comfortably beat the Finn.
Daniel Ricciardo, HRT-Cosworth (Race: Ret, Grid: 23rd):
An excellent start allowed Ricciardo to jump to the head of the queue at the back of the grid and, although he was being closed down by Trulli at the time, he retired before being passed with an unidentified problem at the left-rear of his car. He continued to show progress in only his fourth race and was lapping quicker than Liuzzi prior to retiring.
Vitantonio Liuzzi, HRT-Cosworth (Race: 19th, Grid: 22nd):
Comfortably beat Ricciardo in qualifying, but couldn't repeat the feat after losing out to the Australian at the start. He managed to keep Glock behind for more than half the race, but soon lost touch when he got past and finished 40 seconds adrift.
Timo Glock, Virgin-Cosworth (Race: 18th, Grid 19th):
Made a silly error at the first corner in braking too late and slamming into Paul di Resta, requiring an unscheduled pitstop for repairs and another for a drive-through penalty. Nevertheless, the safety car brought him back in contention with his rivals, but didn't have the pace to challenge his team-mate for position.
Jerome d'Ambrosio, Virgin-Cosworth (Race: 17th, Grid: 20th):
Failed to make 107% in qualifying, but was allowed to start alongside fellow 107% failures and benefitted from contact between the Lotus drivers to jump the pair on the first lap. Although he lost touch with them from mid-distance, he kept team-mate Glock at bay and took the flag in 17th.