Jenson Button avoided the first lap carnage to take a dominant victory from pole position at Spa, but there were plenty of impressive drives elsewhere. Who was your Driver of the Day?
Decided on a low downforce set-up after final practice and it appeared to be the right choice as he nailed a brilliant lap in the second part of qualifying. Two more scintillating laps in the top 10 shoot-out sealed his first pole position since the 2009 Monaco Grand Prix. A perfect start saw him escape the carnage behind him and though Sebastian Vettel looked quick in the second half of the race, Button responded with a flurry of fast laps before coasting to his second win of the season and retain hopes of fighting for the world title.
Was a shock absentee from the top 10 shoot-out in qualifying after making a mistake in the third sector of his final run in Q2. Qualified 11th but started 10th after a five-place grid penalty for Red Bull teammate Mark Webber. Avoided the first corner pile up but lost a few places as he negotiated the debris. Showed good race pace and pulled of a series of bold moves, including one over Webber at the Bus Stop chicane to rise up through the field. A one-stop strategy proved to be the right choice as he rose to second before easing off when he realised he could not catch Button. Climbed to second in the drivers’ standings, 24 points off leader Fernando Alonso.
Considered one of the favourites for victory going into the weekend having won the race four times before. Looked strong in third practice but couldn’t get a lap together in qualifying and finished fourth fastest, which became third on the grid following Pastor Maldonado’s three-place grid penalty. Fortunate to avoid the crash at the start, but struggled for pace early on and lost a number of places. Unlucky to come out in traffic after both his two stops, but showed good pace in the final stint to pass Michael Schumacher among others and rise up to third. A sixth podium of the season keeps him in the title hunt, 31 points of the lead.
Failed to make it into Q2 and started 12th while his teammate Paul di Resta started two places further up. Avoided the first corner melee to run as high as second early on, battling with Kimi Raikkonen and then Michael Schumacher. Decided on a two-stop strategy which he made work to finish fourth. It was the his best result of the season and lifted him above his teammate in the drivers’ standings while also helping his Force India team rise to seventh in the constructors’.
Looked out of sorts in practice and admitted struggling to get the car hooked up in the middle sector in qualifying. Started 14th on the grid and passed both Red Bulls before having to back off due to the first corner crash. That left him 11th after the first lap, but he used his car’s good pace and DRS, and cut out the mistakes, to rise through the field and ensure Ferrari left the weekend with some points after Alonso crashed out on the first lap. It was the Brazilian’s sixth points scoring finish of the season and second in succession.
Struggled for pace in qualifying to finish 15th fastest, one place ahead of his Toro Rosso teammate Daniel Ricciardo. Made a slow getaway, but that meant he was well away from trouble when the first corner crash happened and was therefore able to sneak through down the inside and make up some positions. Showed good race pace which combined with slick pit stops helped the Frenchman rise up the field to equal his best finish of the season and help his team score their first double points finish of 2012.