We look back at all the stories to come out of the trees of the Ardenne and pick our Top 5 to go into this week’s Badgerometer!
The traditional Belgian weather
It always seems to rain in Belgium, probably something to do with geological positioning and the forest attracting heavy cloud cover (yep, made them up on the spot, but not bad, right?), but we are not complaining a single bit. The excess water on the track throughout practice did a lot for the excitement on Sunday – drivers such as Alguersuari and Senna surprised many with their grid positions.
It also gave us some great visuals, including out favourite from Friday below. You can see the gallery in it’s entirety here, all courtesy of Octane Photos.
Pastor is nuts. Fact.
If you’ve been following the Venezuelan’s career, you’ll know he’s a few spanners short of a full toolbox. Not only is he an outspoken when it comes to politics – he’s quite the socialist, don’t you know – but also has a black mark from earlier in his career when he struck a marshal at the scene of an accident. With his car.
Now, he seems to have carried that slight unhinged manner into F1. Anyone else would’ve waited until after getting out of a car to remonstrate with a rival. Not Pastor. After he got the hump with Lewis Hamilton, he side swiped his car into the McLaren to make his feelings known. Nutcase.
If you look at the after race interview, you can just catch that glimpse of madness in the Williams man’s eye. Scary stuff, isn’t it.
Michael rolls back the years.
There was lots of Bratwurst, German beer and cake throughout the weekend for the elder of the Mercedes men. Michael Schumacher was celebrating his 20th anniversary in the sport, complete with gold helmet for the race weekend. Eddie Jordan even gave the man a replacement clutch from a Jordan 191 – the car that the legend made his debut in – to replace the one that burnt out in his very first race!
A loose wheel may have put him out of qualy in under two mins, but come race day, the years just fell away as Schumacher passed a massive nineteen cars to finish 5th. He even passed his younger teammate Nico Rosberg in the latter stages, a feat that can be considered impressive as Nico led the race in the early laps.
Is this the return of the Schumacher we all love to hate? (Well, no, Ralf drives in the DTM).
Lewis seems to attract trouble.
Two big moments for Lewis this weekend, both that could’ve been avoided. The clash with Maldonado may seem to be a bit a of madness from Pastor, but it was an incredible bit of retaliation from Lewis chopping his way past coming into the last chicane. To get his car onto the front row was a minor miracle born from duct tape and hard graft from the McLaren boys.
The Brit’s elimination from the race was a bit more of the same – even Lewis admitted it was his fault that Kobayashi caught his rear tyre to spin him out. It’s a major talking point though, yet again Lewis isn’t going to be anywhere near the championship due to some unforced errors.
It’s not that we don’t like the fact that Lewis loves to race – it’s brilliant to watch and one of the reasons why we all tune in – but there’s a massive difference between being a “racer” and being a “winner”. Lewis has to overcome that deficit and get back to what made him so special in 2007 and 2008, namely getting that pole position and being out in front. That’s how races are won these days, not from coming from behind.
Vettel has one hand on the title.
So, that’s really it. The champion of 2011 is pretty much going to be the same man who took it in 2010. Sebastian Vettel overcame blistering tyres on a track on a track that Red Bull was due to struggle at to take yet another victory this season. And not only that, he made it look like he was going for a stroll in the park.
The facts don’t lie people – Vettel is 92 points ahead with 175 to play for. The guy could finish off the podium, but in the points, for the remaining races and still romp home. It’s pretty much a done deal, and Sebastian deserves it. It’s all down to the formula he’s had in place this season; get pole position, lead by over a second to be out of DRS range by lap 2, put in fast in and out laps during pitstops.
And on Sunday, he had to pass cars too. Nico Rosberg was in the way at the start, and he breezed past the Mercedes to lead. Alonso tried, and ultimately failed, to outsmart the Red Bull team by running one less stop, and all that did was net him fourth.
It’s an impressive season for the young German. Is this history in the making?