Sunday, September 07, 2008

Belgian Grand Prix

Belgian Grand Prix

Sunday 7 September

7.00km 44 laps

Race: 14.00 Sun

The track at Spa Francorcamps is, at 7 kilometres the longest on the Formula 1 championship circuit. Most of today’s qualifying took place under grey skies and it seemed for a while that the McLarens had the speed to keep Ferrari off the front row in Sunday’s race. Lewis Hamilton secured pole with a superb lap and Heikki Kovaleinen was also very quick. But Felipe Massa put in a technically perfect lap and split the two McLarens. Kimi Raikkonen was again outclassed by his Brazilian team mate although he may draw comfort from having won at Spa for the last three years. He said later: “I am reasonably happy with my car, which seems to be behaving the way I like.”

Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber) was fifth, ahead of Fernando Alonso, who manages to coax quite a bit more out of his Renault than his points (18 so far) would suggest. “We now have a real chance to get a strong result tomorrow, which is important for the championship. I’m quite confident,” said ‘Nando after qualifying.

There is a chance that the awful weather system above England may spill over into Belgium tomorrow. If that happens, there could be a few surprise results to report.

If Sky is not available, the race can be seen live on TV3 (with Catalan commentary!). It is repeated on Sunday evening on TV33 at 22.00.

The grid line-up:
1 Lewis Hamilton (McLaren)
2 Felipe Massa (Ferrari)
3 Heikki Kovalainen(McLaren)
4 Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari)
5 Nick Heidfeld (Sauber BMW)
6 Fernando Alonso (Renault)
7 Mark Webber (Red Bull)
8 Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber)
9 Sebastian Bourdais(Toro Rosso)
10 Sebastian Vettel (Toro Rosso)

Top six after 12 races:
1 Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) 70
2 Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 64
3 Kimi Räikkönen (Ferrari) 57
4 Robert Kubica (Sauber BMW) 55
5 Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren) 43
6 Nick Heidfeld (Sauber BMW) 41

Mike O’Neill

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