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Belgian Grand Prix – Who was your Driver of the Day?
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Posted By: James Allen  |  26 Aug 2013   |  12:52 am GMT  |  369 comments

Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel took a big step towards a fourth world title with a dominant victory in a Belgian Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps which saw plenty of overtaking.

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso got his title challenge back on track with an impressive drive to second while Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton took his fifth podium of the season.

McLaren’s Jenson Button came close to a podium before taking sixth while Daniel Ricciardo climbed through the field to grab a point for Toro Rosso – but who was your Driver of the Day?

Sebastian Vettel

Passed Hamilton at the start and never looked back on his way to a fifth win of the season. Made a decent start from second and then crucially got in Hamilton’s slipstream up Eau Rouge which enabled him to pass the Mercedes down the Kemmel Straight to take the lead. From there he gradually built a lead without pushing his Red Bull to the limit to coast to victory. It was the 31st win of his career and helped him open up a commanding 46-point lead over his nearest rival Alonso in the drivers’ standings.

Fernando Alonso

Made a blistering start and pulled off some impressive overtakes to finish second. Made a good start to gain a couple of places before the first corner. Pulled off a brilliant move on Mark Webber into Eau Rouge to run fifth after the first lap. Good moves on Button and Nico Rosberg followed before he moved into second, passing Hamilton after the Mercedes driver made a mistake into La Source. Lacked the pace to catch leader Vettel but had a comfortable gap over Hamilton in third to finish second. Moves up to second in the drivers’ standings to keep his title hopes alive.

Lewis Hamilton

Lost the lead at the start, but drove well to salvage a podium and maintain hopes of winning the championship. Made a good getaway at the start to enter the first corner unchallenged in the lead but was caught by Vettel up Eau Rouge and was a sitting duck on the Kemmel Straight, dropping to second. Lost a place to Alonso after a mistake at La Source, but pushed the Mercedes to the limit thereafter to stay ahead of team-mate Rosberg and finish third. It was his fifth podium of the season and he moved up to third in the drivers’ standings.

Jenson Button

Ran as high as third and raced with the frontrunners before having to settle for sixth. Made a strong start from sixth to run fourth early on. Ran a long first stint, with the initial aim of doing a one-stop strategy, rising up into the lead. Dropped down to third after his first stop but looked to be in contention for a podium before the front left tyre lost performance and he was forced into a two-stopper. Dropped down the field after a late second stop but climbed back up to sixth. Conceded after the race that he stopped too early to make a one-stop work and that ultimately ruled out a shot at a first podium of the season.

Daniel Ricciardo

Scored a well-earned point on a weekend when he was the subject of speculation with regards the vacant Red Bull seat. Qualified a disappointing 19th despite the Toro Rosso having shown good pace throughout the practice sessions. Made a good start and gradually climbed his way through the field. Put a pass on McLaren’s Sergio Perez in the closing stages to move into 10th and take his fourth points-finish of the season.

So who was your Driver of the Day? Leave a comment at the bottom of this story.

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1

ALO all d way…

2

Vettel for me. Utterly dominant race day performance.

Alonso was fantastic too, but for me Vettel drove flawlessly too and won the race.

And before we think it’s just the car, where was Webber (again)? Poor start compromised him but he didn’t recover very well. So great car exploited brilliantly by Vettel.

3

there can only be one DOTD and that was ricciardo. under so much pressure he drove a gutsy and great race. he more than proved that he doesn’t sit back and whine….just gets on with the job. extremely well done.

4

If Dan Ricciardo had have had the same qualifying strategy as force india where would he have finished? He climbed from 19th to 10th. Just bad luck in qualifying with the weather.

Vettel will have to step out of RB to make an impression on most people. That car was wildly fast in a straight line for it to drive away from a merc.

5

Alonso get’s an awful lot of praise simply for repeatedly messing up his qualifying runs. He spun his car in Q3, it was not all down to “his team got the timing wrong”. Then, when he recovers the positions he lost in qualifying, everyone acts as if it’s an amazing feat.

6

Yes it is amazing feat steve S

Alonso raced through the field to take fantastic second place.

Second place was a bonus for ferrari in SPA becuase RBR were miles quicker than any other team. Practically final spot on the podium only ferrari could have achieved if webber had a proper race. Alonso have spilited the bulls and overtook the mercedes as well

Quali is just a ten minute shootout, anything can happen in quali. Most notably points are given on race day for the finishing positions no points will be awarded for drivers in qualifying.

We have seen in HUNGARY once more how well vettel can race in the traffic. So stop the non-sense alonso messed up the qualifying.

Vettel had super fast car and had no need to race. Vettel even confessed the fact he was surprised by the pace RBR showed in SPA over their rivals in the post race interview. As for as webber he qualified as close to vettel as he can. Yet RBR have sabotaged webber’s race with poor clutch settings once more.

7

Alonso. think its harsh to say he fluffed up quali, the team got the timing wrong or bad luck whatever way you look at it if he was the guy doing the last quali lap hed have been up there its one of those things.

his race was awsome, the best overtake for me in the race – there was many great ones but alonso on hamilton, those two were so on the limit and edge. respect.

8

Alonso is my DOTD, he over delivered in the race yet again despite the team compromising his qualifying, Massa got the number one treatment on Saturday for sure!

9

Vettel for me, not because he passed Hamilton, but how he passed him and when.

Many people paid to see Mike Tyson, not because he could come from behind and knock his opponent down over and over again, but he could put his opponent to dust quickly and definitively. To me the later was what Vettel did on Sunday.

10

Think its VET for this one – just on overall dominance – the guys that didn’t win weren’t sparkling enough to topple that.

A note on HAM though:

It looked to me that Merc gambled on some rain showers with a higher downforce setup – hence the pole performance in quali on a damp track.

They’re usually lightening quick so weird that HAM got mugged like that at the start otherwise.

Also on the ALO pass, HAM clearly lets him through – there’s no lock up or anything, and he attacks immediately. HAM believes he’ll get him back up the hill. Guess he got caught out by the lack of speed with the setup. They alluded to this in the discussion between the drivers after the race.

11

Lewis hamilton for dotd he gave it 250% and rosberg 2nd he gave it 120%. 44 qualifying laps.

12

Alonso for me, he made a good amount of places and regardless of what people are saying on here. He was not in anything near the fastest car.

Vettel a close second, drove a great race too.

Hamilton did about as much as he could with a car that wasn’t hugely quick on race pace.

As for Buttona and Riccardio, as far as I can see they both had quick cars beneath them. The Mclaren of Button’s was quick in race pace, very quick, yet he didn’t do enough with it. Riccardio was again in a quick race car. Yes he made plenty of places, but with the pace of that car, he should have been higher than 10th to be classed as driver of the day.

13

It would appear that there are some on here that are believing this title race is over, that Vettel is going to win a 4th title in 4 consecutive years.

Lets wait and see about this shall we?

He has what amounts to a 2 race win lead with 8 races to go. If the current rate of points that Vettel and Alonso appear to be obtaining since March is continued with, then it will be decided within the next 6 races. There is currently a 4 point average gain from Vettel over Alonso since March, with the current gap of 46 points over Alonso after race 11 from 19 in total. That is not a lot to show for Vettel after 5 wins for him against Alonso’s 2 thus far is it? There are lots of if’s and buts to happen yet.

Retrirements and luck have played a major part of Vettel’s title wins in 2010 and 2012 when Alonso was both ahead and behind in those years respectively. Maybe it will be 3rd time lucky for Alonso if the luck of Vettel spinning in Sao Paolo in 2012 or the crash merchant of Grosjean at Spa amongst his other races is replicated against Vettel as it was with Alonso last year.. I am not one of those that believes that Vettel has truly crushed the opposition over the past 3 years, rather that he is driver and a man who has had the right engineers etc around him making the right decisions without supporting their other driver equally in that time. The opposite is true of Alonso who has endured a politically charged management structure that have made wrong decisions and indulged a poor driver in Massa.

Only Raikonnen and Alonso has contributed around 70% of all their respective teams points after 11 races so far. Vettel and Hamilton have contributed around 63% and 59% respectively, and they are ones that qualify within the first 2 positions on the grid per race this year.

I think I have both statistically and historically proved that circumstance and luck have made Vettel a triple world champion, and that this can go against him if the God’s decide this to be the case this year..

14

And, where is the statistical & histroical proof?

15

Where are your eyes Ganesh? Up your a*se?

16

Definition of Proof (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/proof):

a : the cogency of evidence that compels acceptance by the mind of a truth or a fact

b : the process or an instance of establishing the validity of a statement especially by derivation from other statements in accordance with principles of reasoning

And, there are three basic kinds of reasoning, where reasoning involves argumentation of any kind using assumptions and inferences of conclusions:

1. Deductions: To find conclusions that follow from given assumptions

2. Abductions: To find assumptions from which given given conclusions follows

3. Inductions: To confirm or infirm assumptions by showing their conclusions do (not) conform to the observable facts.

And, more importantly, none of them exist in your post – other than the “God’s decision!!

17

Sebastian Vettel.

Unfortunately, the problem about him is that he looks to be not a great man outside the car…

18

Seb is, for me. No doubt his RB is much faster than anyone else. But the way he passed Lewis on Lap1, after Eau Rouge, instead of wasting any time following the others and looking for a chance to pass like all the others, is really 1st class.

Fernando and Lewis all drove quite well as well.

19

Rosberg

If Redbull was fastest he defended vs the fastest. And it looked like team order, to block Hamiltons back. So why Hamilton is on this list i don’t know at all.

20

Alonso is my pick for the start and maintaining his second position. A bit boring for him though as there was a huge space between Vettel and Lewis.

Kimi deserves a mention too until he retired.

It’s just so difficult to vote for Vettel even when I like him. Tough for him even with three WDC in his bag.

I’m sure Vettel knows that from us fans so he just fly away at will and increases the gap tremendously.

Just hoping for a dominant Ferrari and a win at Monza.

My brain says Vettel takes the 2013 WDC but my heart wants Alonso to win.

21

Vettel, Unfortunately the only driver he had to pass was Hamilton and guess what? He did it, surely in Monza we wiil see for the first time in a long time a first row with Vettel and Alonso and that will clarify many things

22

They were on the front together for last year’s German GP.

They’ve lined up at the front together 6x, at CHN ’09, HUN ’09, GER ’10, SIN ’10, CAN ’11, GER ’12.

Vettel’s won 2 of those races (CHN ’09 and CAN ’11), Alonso’s won 3 (GER ’10, SIN ’10, GER ’12), and Hamilton won the other in HUN ’09.

Guess you could say that when Alonso’s had a car that wasn’t totally outmatched by Vettel’s (so remove the 2009 and 2011 results), that he’s won everytime they’ve been on the first row together.

23

Easy- Sebastian Vettel. Honorable mentions to LH and NR.

FA? Both he and FM start as well as MW starts badly. Of course if you qualify badly you have many places to make up and look good, but I don’t buy it.

24

No one has the intention to qaulify badly

on a track like SPA qualifying does not matter really

RBR had the quickest car by nearly a second through out the race over Ferrari and Mercedes. All vettel had to do his out qualify his team mate and cruise to the victory which he did.

starts are always a lottery, any drivers can gain and lose positions

Alonso drove his heart out and got the second place in a car which was miles slower than RBR. His overtakes were simply superb. ON other hand we have seen in hungary how well vettel has raced.

Just beacuse vettel beat webber and won the race by a massive margin. vettel cannot be voted as DOTD.

I do not buy into the theory webber is always a bad starter. RBR have sabotaged mark’s clutch settings time and time again clearly with the intention to keep vettel out of webber’s reach

Also i do not buy the theory other teams could have won in SPA. RBR was too fast and scary for other teams.

25

I was not going to argue with you – we all have our own opinion and are entitled to them until you brought up the sabotage canard!

PUHLEEESE! Even David Coulthard in his BBC column is suggesting MW is psyching himself out. Just because you might consider sabotaging your team and loosing money in the process does not mean RBR would do such an asinine thing.

MW over the years in his F! career has always been a poor starter, rarely having a good one. He realizes it himself which is why he is switching to Long distance Racing where starts really don’t matter. I’m sure he could have kept his seat at RB, or moved to another team if he so desired because he is still an excellent racer!

26

On a different note, anyone notice Hamilton is never seen wearing the Merc Team Cap. Even during the press conference, he wore the Pirelli cap whilst Vettel and Alonso wore their customary team ones. I’m reading elsewhere that Hamilton doesn’t like the design of it, and refuses to wear it. For the money he’s on, I’d wear a skirt and blouse if they asked me. lol.

27
Alexander Supertramp

Yeah kind of weird. He wants input over next year’s clothing line. This could be gold 😀

28

As we know, Vettel has almost always been fast in that Red Bull car, and now he’s starting to use his brain whilst driving it. Taking the tow off Hamilton on the first lap, was class, and a well thought out manoeuvre. He certainly appears to be getting better and better, which must be a concern for his rivals. Is there anyone better than Alonso, when he’s in attack mode ?. Superb driving on the edge and usually without contact. On one of his passes on Sunday, the car was twitching so much he almost lost it. Alonso will be concerned that not only has he Red Bull to beat, but Merc and Lotus are now also in the frame and frequently costing him points. I would be inclined to give both Vettel and Alonso joint DOTD on this occasion.

29

Vettel! Is the better race driver of this era.

30

Best race driver of this ERA ?

I suggest you to watch the hungarian 2013 GP once more

Vettel have better stats than few other drivers which does not mean he is the best driver out there

Vettel drove for super fast cars and all he had to was beat webber who drove simillar car to win the WDC’S which he did easily.

Rest of the teams simply have no answer to RBR’s technical excellence for the last 4 seasons

Vettel is considered as better driver simply because he has beaten his only competitor webber to win the 4 WDC’S.

Hilarious

31

alonso for driver of the day

32

Alonso easily.

But Vettel still won……….

Red Bull still can’t put two fully sorted cars on the grid.

33

Alonso, whose overtaking made the trip to spa worthwhile

James, is it possible to do an article on circuit facilities for fans. As a sport that you would hope wants to attract the next generation of fans and keep the ones it has, it’s doing an appallingly bad job.

Spa circuit is breathtaking, and the workers do a great job keeping it clean and tidy, but the toilets were (with the exception of the few you could pay to use) awful, covered ( no exaggeration) with urine and excrement. You would not have wanted to take small children in them. There were plenty of food stands but they all sold exactly the same, so burger,hotdog and chips… that’s it , no choice in an area of Europe that has fantastic food. And to top it off getting out of the circuit on Sunday was of the style that silverstone has been massively criticised for in the past…..

We had a super weekend and loved our views from eau rouge but a little more thought from organisers would make it so much better and worth the small fortune the tickets cost.

Little things like better promotion of the circuit radio so fans can use their phones to actually hear the commentary. The coverage on tv and radio at home is so good that at the circuit you actually feel a bit short changed as the only time you see or hear the drivers is the podium interviews, not even the press conferences were broadcast, so its hugely difficult to follow all the action.

Sorry for the moan and thanks for allowing me to voice it, but that was the view of all the passionate, motor sport loving fans we spoke with and if the sport isn’t giving us a great experience what hope does it have of attracting new or younger fans.

34

Maybe fan reports would work well, like yours

Thanks

35

Vettel, easily. He made the race boring, and could have dominated even more than he did.

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