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  • Sebastian Vettel: Hero and Zero

    Today Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button had a coming together at the Bus Stop chicane. If you missed it, or even if you didn't watch it again here (UK only, sorry).

    Now repeat after me. It. Was. A. Racing. Incident.

    What you don't agree? Why?

    Sebastian was firmly in Jenson's slip stream and decided to put one up the inside, but the McLaren driver second guessed him and blocked the inside line. Unfortunately he was already committed and while under braking he had to swerve to the left to avoid hitting Button. But with the damp circuit he lost the rear end and speared into the sidepod of the Brit's MP4-25.

    And for some reason the stewards decided to give him a drive through penalty. Do they not want drivers to attempt overtaking manoeuvres or not?

    There were mere inches between gearbox and front wing, going into the chicane at 180mph when both hit the brakes. These margins are minuscule, speeds massive and the track conditions constantly changing. Is it any surprise that one car gets slightly out of shape trying to change lines to avoid a smash?

    While it's unfortunate for Button (and Vettel for that matter) it is nothing more than a racing incident. Did Trulli get a penalty when he made that optimistic move on Chandhok in Monaco? And surely Barrichello's contact with Alonso on the first lap is at very least as offensive at Vettel's on Button - I have no idea how that Ferrari managed to continue, is it made out of concrete or something?

    Anyhow looking at the bigger picture I firmly believe Vettel is having the best season of his life. Think back to 2009, how many times did he sit behind a slower car for endless laps seemingly unable to overtake, or often, even attempt to overtake? Many.

    2010 rolls round and he's stepped it up a gear. He goes for those opportunities and carves out chances. Yes not all of them stick, yes there have been mistakes, but I'd much much prefer the edgy aggressiveness to what he showed in 2009, any day of the week.

    I firmly believe his current biggest problem is the perceived favouritism that now surrounds him at Red Bull. It has wiped millions off his fan-kudos value, and no doubt has clouded many peoples judgements in incidents such as today's.

Tagged with...
  • Belgian GP 2010
  • Sebastian Vettel
  • Jenson Button
  • Red Bull
  • Spa-Francorchamps Circuit
  • Belgium
  • 2010 Season
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  • What color is Ferrari?
  • James H's avatar
    James H
    7:32pm Sun, 29th August 2010

    Clearly it was a racing incident. It looked like he pulled out way to hard from the head on shot, but the onboard shows it was a pretty normal maneuver--for the dry.

  • Simon Worth's avatar
    Simon Worth
    7:37pm Sun, 29th August 2010

    Did Seb make a mistake? Absolutely. Was it a racing incident? Absolutely. Should he have been punished? I'm not so sure. I agree that drivers shouldn't be afraid of attempting an overtake but I do think Seb has made his fair share of mistakes this year. I still really like and rate Seb but I don't think he copes well with pressure (could say the same about Alonso) and dare I say he seems to throw histoys out of the pram a little. I don't like the overly aggressive way he almost swerves across when on pole and he does seem to run into people when he gets frustrated. Just as I think Lewis learnt a lot in 2009 and is better in 2010 as result, I think Seb will be much better for this season.

    What a great season though. Can't wait for the next race!

  • Lloyd Watts's avatar
    Lloyd Watts
    8:51am Mon, 30th August 2010

    I agree with you Simon that Vettel is dealing with the pressure of this year very badly, too many mistakes in too few races. But I feel (and this is where I disagree with you Richard) that Vettel's biggest problem, at least in his mind is not his perceived favouritism within Red Bull, but is in fact his teammate Mark Webber.

    The Aussie has come alive this season and is looking like the stronger title contender. Vettel is desperately trying to re-asert himself within the team and show he is the lead driver, but its all going wrong under the pressure. The young German (lets face it) has never before had a team mate capable of putting him in the shade and his inexperience at dealing with that is clearly showing.

    Now maybe I sound like Im coming out in defence of Vettel here and in some respects I may be, but at least he came out said he was sorry and that he blamed himself rather than throw another dolly out of the pram and kick his heels until Christian came to give him a little cuddle. He may be learning!

  • Rob Jackson's avatar
    Rob Jackson
    2:39pm Tue, 31st August 2010

    The stewards decision re Vettel's drive through was just plain wrong. What are we supposed to do, have nobody overtake unless they use Bernie's crazy idea of short cut lanes?

    F1 is a dangerous sport, accidents occur and not every overtake comes off. If drivers have to worry about whether the stewards will judge an attempted overtake as a deliberate attempt to cause an accident them F1 will get very boring very fast - we may as well just watch qualifying and then let them process around the circuit in an orderly manner for xx laps.

    Come to think of it, after Alonso's petulance earlier this year, maybe that's what Ferrari might prefer, so long as Fernando is always on pole of course!

Lewis Hamilton and Mark Webber congratulate each other after an eventful Belgian Grand Prix - © RedBull/Getty

Fair kop, the best man won © RedBull/Getty

Position Driver Team Time
1 L Hamilton McLaren 1:29:04.268
2 M Webber Red Bull +1.5 secs
3 R Kubica Renault +3.4 secs
4 F Massa Ferrari +8.2 secs
5 A Sutil Force India +9.0 secs
6 N Rosberg Mercedes +12.3 secs
7 M Schumacher Mercedes +15.5 secs
8 K Kobayashi BMW Sauber +16.6 secs
9 V Petrov Renault +23.8 secs
10 V Liuzzi Force India +34.8 secs
11 P De la Rosa BMW Sauber +36.0 secs
12 S Buemi Toro Rosso +39.8 secs
13 J Alguersuari Toro Rosso +49.4 secs
14 N Hulkenberg Williams +1 Lap
15 S Vettel Red Bull +1 Lap
16 H Kovalainen Lotus +1 Lap
17 L Di Grassi Virgin +1 Lap
18 T Glock Virgin +1 Lap
19 J Trulli Lotus +1 Lap
20 S Yamamoto HRT +2 Laps
DNF F Alonso Ferrari +7 Laps
DNF J Button McLaren +29 Laps
DNF B Senna HRT +39 Laps
DNF R Barrichello Williams +44 Laps