Belgium never seems to disappoint, does it? Thanks to a first corner shunt that has everyone pointing fingers at one another, and eliminated a few familiar front-runners, it was anyone’s game for the big points scoring positions. Races like these can bring some names to the forefront – step forward Nico Hulkenberg.
Starting down in 12th place, the German’s natural way was to start on the harder compound tyre. Being the only man in the top 20 to do so, when the crash-bang-wallop unfolded in front of him he would find himself running 2nd in the early stages of the race, on what would prove to be the better tyre. With teammate Paul Di Resta in the mix too, suddenly Force India were contenders.
After the stops he was still in the mix for a podium – scrapping with a faster Mark Webber while also keeping touch with the Kimi-Michael dice ahead – and was driving a car that really shouldn’t be there in terms of pace. The tantalising chance of some champagne was there in front of him.
Fourth place was a great return for a solid afternoon’s work, and with the driver market (for the midfield teams at least) still not completely certain, it was a good result to have. Consider our cap doffed.