The Top 5 from Spa-Francorchamps
Published 4th September 2012 - Written by Craig Norman
The 2012 Belgian Grand Prix didn’t need any rain to give the fans excitement, and the Badgerometer is back to give you the Top 5 stories to come out of the Ardennes Forest! Enjoy!
Lewis the Twit
2012 have seen the resurgence of drivers on Twitter – Fernando Alonso has taken to it like a duck to water – and now Lewis Hamilton has reappeared on the micro-blogging site. Recently he had been showing the fans behind the scenes tweets of his 100th Grand Prix. It was all quite nice, actually.
Then a storm came. Sunday morning the Brit tweeted a pic of his telemetry data from Saturday’s qualifying session, showing speed comparisons between his laps and team-mate Jenson Button’s. It was retweeted around the world, but was promptly deleted a little while later. Oh dear Lewis.
The TV broadcasts then alluded to it throughout the build-up and the race. Christian Horner said he’d seen it, and found it “interesting”, Martin Whitmarsh stated the information was “sensitive”. Lewis refused to do interviews after his first corner elimination, but David Coulthard was on the ball and explained it was OK, as we’d “be able to read his tweets later, anyway”.
No steward consistency
Romain Grosjean is banned for Monza, a decision taken after the accident at La Source. Not for reckless endangerment, but for “eliminating leading championship contenders from the race”.
That smacks of inefficiency. When you have a driver like Pastor Maldonado on the grid, who went off the line on five lights and then hit Timo Glock after the safety car, a ban on a driver like Grosjean just seems misplaced. Pastor had had SIX penalties since his day in the sun in Spain, yet not a single mention of time away from the cockpit.
If Romain had some previous discrepancies then we’d be OK. But, there were no prior warnings, it wasn’t a move on a rival, so his wrist is well and truly slapped.
Just seems a bit over the top, don’t you think?
Jenson makes the most of it
You have to hand it to the Frome Flyer – the moment he gets a sniff of a win he’s is absolutely mighty. And let’s not forget, when the car is precisely to his liking, he’s unstoppable. Both combined to bring Jenson back to the forefront of not only a Grand Prix, but also the title championship. It’s like Melbourne all over again.
We can’t discount the fact that Fernando Alonso, Lewis Hamilton and both Saubers were taken out of the running early on. The fact that both Red Bulls were out of the top ten at the restart also had a part to play. These were all threats, and by the first corner, they had gone.
The old saying “you make your own luck” probably sums up Button’s race weekend. Mighty in qualifying, it put him ahead of some shock names while others floundered. It kept him out of the mess and way out in front. Brilliant driving all weekend, and now he’s a threat again.
The first corner at this year’s race was an incident that could have been avoided.
Just before the lights went on, smoke billowed from Kamui Kobayashi’s brakes. The Sauber was on the front row, and if his brakes had failed – which smoke is usually a good indicator of – then he would have been a sitting duck come the braking zone. The lights went out, and all of a sudden KK was a moving roadblock.
He moved his Sauber far to the left, leaving space on the inside for cars to pass him easily. But, with him going very wide, Alonso and Perez moved a little too left also, leaving a gap for Romain to dive inside. Chaos ensued.
We’re not saying it was the direct result of Kamui getting out of the way, but it created opportunity, which any F1 driver will try to seize upon.
If the Sauber was clearly a stricken vehicle on the grid, it begs the question – why didn’t the race start get delayed?
All in the name of charity
Here at Badger, we’re all about the fans – we’re fans ourselves and we love nothing more than watching F1 live in big groups if we can’t make it trackside. But for Spa this weekend, there were some very special, dedicated F1 fans indeed – team ride2spa – a group of 22 fans, including Badger’s editor who cycled all the way from Silverstone to Spa – 400 miles in 4 days – and raised very nearly £20,000 for charity (they’ll no doubt smash this target before the month is out)
It’s such an impressive achievement that both Sky Sports F1 and Autosport picked up the story, as did Marussia F1 team who treated some of the cyclists to paddock passes on Friday and made the weekend even more memorable. Overall, the support and recognition that the ride2spa initiative received was pretty much as epic as the ride itself. Formula 1 has some truly brilliant fans and Badger GP is extremely pleased to have been part of ride2spa – read more and donate to the causes here.