Williams F1
Belgian GP: Disappointing result for Williams
By Andrew Hooper
August 29 2010

For the AT&T Williams team the 2010 Belgian GP was another disappointing result with Rubens Barrichello failing to complete one lap while Nico Hulkenberg would have an unscheduled pit stop which ruined his race very early on. A crash on the opening lap was not the 300th Grand Prix that Rubens would have been hoping for. Nico would finish the race in fourteenth in what was a chaotic race.
 
 Belgian GP Race Review

 

Sunday at Spa would dawn with the sun showing but there was an increasing risk of rain as the forty four lap Belgian Grand Prix progressed. With clouds over the circuit there was much discussion over what tyres drivers had if the rain returns, in particular the intermediates. For the AT&T Williams team the grid would see Rubens Barrichello and Nico Hulkenberg start from seventh and ninth. Webber would start from pole with Hamilton alongside him. On the second row was Kubica in third and Vettel fourth. Button and Massa were fifth and sixth. The challenge for Webber will be keeping Hamilton behind him as they run up the Kemmel straight. There was also concern over drivers running wide at Le Source and taking advantage from this.

HulkenbergOf the top ten except Rubens were on the softer slick tyre as the grid moved away on the parade lap. Some drops of rain were falling as they would return to the grid and form up with Massa and shortly after the red lights would go out and it would be Hamilton who would take the lead as Webber made a terrible start. Kubica was in second from Button and Vettel. Massa was in fifth from Sutil and Webber. Rubens and Nico were in ninth and tenth while there would be chaos at the chicane. Several drivers would go off running on the run-off area. But for Rubens it would all end as he was to crash as the rest of the field made there way past.

As the rain continued to fall De la Rosa, Kovalainen, Glock, Alonso and Buemi have been into the pits to take on intermediate tyres. Kobayashi and Alguersuari were next in while replays would show Rubens hitting Alonso. The Safety Car would be deployed. Alonso had stopped and taken on intermediate tyres after his incident with Rubens, while on lap three the order was Hamilton from Button, Kubica, Vettel, Webber, Massa, Hulkenberg, Sutil and Liuzzi. The race would restart with Hamilton leading from Button, Kubica, Vettel, Webber, Massa, Nico, Sutil, Liuzzi, and Rosberg in tenth. Vettel would take third from Kubica as the rain had stopped and the track was drying rapidly. Hamilton was fastest on lap four with a 1m:58.665. Several drivers would pit including Alonso and Alguersuari.

Rubens could not slow down and ran into the Ferrari of Alonso quite hard, so much so it was surprising that Alonso was able to keep going. Vettel was under pressure from Kubica with both drivers now under investigation by the stewards. Lap five and Hamilton had extended his lead out to 2.7 seconds, with a new fastest lap of 1m:53.065. Nico was now in eighth after been passed by Sutil. A 1m:51.789 from Hamilton on lap six as he saw his lead grow to 3.8 seconds over Button. No more rain was expected as Senna retired in his pit. Webber was running close to Kubica while Vettel was attacking Button. Button's car was suffering from some minor front-wing damage picked up as Button fought with Kubica in the first corner.

Hulkenberg in the wet conditionsLap eight and Hamilton was leading by 5.5 seconds while for Williams Nico was dropping away from Sutil, the gap between the pair been 2.2 seconds. Alonso was moving through the back runners while Button was told that now rain was expected in twenty minutes time. Petrov was up to eleventh from the rear of the grid. It was announced that no action would be taken in regard to Vettel and Kubica. Button, Vettel, Kubica and Webber were all running closer together as on lap eleven Liuzzi would pit from twelfth. Petrov would pass tenth placed Rosberg around the outside of Le Combes. In the process team-mate Schumacher would also pass Rosberg.

Rubens would say ... "It was very very difficult ... I touched the brakes and the car went
straight. I am terribly sorry for the team for that. I was closing the door on Rosberg and when I touched the brakes and ....." Petrov was now ninth 5.7 seconds behind Nico while Nico was now 5.2 seconds behind Sutil. On lap thirteen Hamilton was leading by 8.3 seconds while Button, Vettel, Kubica, and Webber would continue to fight each other. Massa was closing in on Webber while Nico would continue to drop away from Sutil with the gap now 6.3 seconds. Vettel was told that there was the possibility of a short shower in ten minutes.

Going into the chicane Vettel would make a mistake and would hit Button. Vettel was able to go into the pits while Button was forced to continue. Nico and Petrov would also pit while Button would stop further down the track to retire. For Vettel there was just enough water on the track to see Vettel lose control of his car. Hamilton was now leading from Kubica, Webber, Massa, Sutil, Schumacher, Rosberg, Kobayashi, Alonso, and Petrov in tenth. Nico would have trouble getting away from his pit seeing him down in fifteenth. For the Williams team the Belgian Grand prix was turning out to be a bit of a disaster. The stewards were now investigating Vettel's accident with Button. Vettel was down in twelfth while Nico was 10.5 seconds behind fourteenth placed Alguersuari.

It was announced that Vettel would get a drive through penalty for the incident with Button. Lap twenty and Hamilton was leading by 11.2 seconds from Kubica, Webber, Massa, Sutil, and Schumacher. Vettel would take his penalty on lap twenty one while Nico would close the gap to fourteenth place, 7.8 seconds. Nico's stop was unscheduled having a problem with his drive train but he seemed to be managing the problem now that he was back out on the track. Sutil would pit on lap twenty two while Vettel would come back out in fourteenth.

Webber would pit on lap twenty three taking on the harder slick tyre. Lap twenty two and a 1m:50.868 from Vettel, while on lap twenty four Kubica and Massa would pit. Kubica would come back out in front of Webber. Massa was again behind Webber as the drivers started the second half of the race. Hamilton would pit on lap twenty five taking on the harder tyre and coming back out still in the lead. Sutil would set a new fastest lap with a 1m:50.800. Sutil would pass fifth placed Schumacher going up the Kemmel straight. Lap twenty five and a 1m:50.403 from Kubica with the Renault now 9.3 seconds behind Hamilton.

HulkenbergVettel would get a left rear puncture after the rear of Vettel's car hit the front wing of Liuzzi as Vettel passed the Force India. Massa was told that the next threat of rain would be in twenty minutes. Vettel would get back to his pit and would take on the softer tyre returning in twentieth. Nico was now in thirteenth but with no real hope of coming away with any sort of a result. Lap twenty nine and Hamilton would set a new fastest lap with a 1m:49.591, while his lead was out to 9.7 seconds. Webber was told by his team that rain was expected in ten minutes. There was more clouds over the circuit while Hamilton continued to extend his lead over Kubica, it was now 12.0 seconds. Nico was right behind twelfth placed De la Rosa as on lap thirty two Hamilton would set a 1m:49.069.

Neither of the Mercedes cars had pitted obviously hoping to take their stop when changing onto wet weather tyres. ten laps to the finish as there was light rain falling. Drivers would start to pit but for Hamilton despite finding conditions slippery he was still too dry to switch to intermediates. Sutil, Schumacher, Kobayashi, Alonso, Rosberg, Petrov would all pit while Hamilton would run wide at Rivage going over the gravel while Nico would also pit while Hamilton, Kubica and Hamilton would all pit on lap thirty six. Massa was also in while Kubica would overshoot his pit seeing Webber come back out in second. Hamilton was now leading on intermediates from Webber, Kubica and Massa.

In his stop Nico had stayed on slicks and he would spin in what was a gamble that hadn't payed off. Alonso and Vettel were now under investigation for a pit lane incident. Webber was now 4.2 seconds behind Hamilton while Alonso would spin and hit the barrier and became stuck in the middle of the track. He was not able to get going and we would see the Safety car come out. Nico would pit again this time taking on full wets. Hamilton was running behind the Safety Car with Webber behind followed by Kubica, Massa, Sutil, Schumacher, Kobayashi, Rosberg, Petrov, and Alguersuari in tenth. Hamilton told his pit that he was concerned about the slow pace of the safety car, hurting his tyre temperatures.

The Safety Car would come in on lap forty one with Hamilton leading from Webber and Kubica. Rosberg would pass Schumacher at Le Combes moving up to sixth. Trulli would spin his Lotus at Pouhon seeing him drop to the back of the field. Nico would run wide at Le Source as he tried to let some of the leaders through with Nico now lapped. Behind the top three, Massa was fourth with Sutil, Rosberg and Schumacher following. Nico was now fourteenth while at the front Hamilton would start his final lap and would go on to cross the finish line to take victory in the 2010 Belgian Grand Prix. Webber would come away with second followed by Kubica, Massa, Sutil, Rosberg, Schumacher, Kobayashi, Petrov, and in tenth Alguersuari.

For the AT&T Williams team the race was another disappointment with Rubens not even completing one lap after an accident at the chicane. Not the 300th Grand Prix that Rubens would have been hoping for. But the conditions really did catch out not only Rubens but a large number of other drivers at the same chicane so Rubens incident was not necessarily a mistake on his part. Nico would also have his own problems with an unscheduled pit stop ruining his race very early and from there he had no real hope of securing any sort of result.

 
Pos  Driver  	   Team		  	      Time
 1.  Hamilton      McLaren-Mercedes           1h29m04.268s
 2.  Webber        Red Bull-Renault           +    +1.571
 3.  Kubica        Renault                    +    +3.493
 4.  Massa         Ferrari                    +    +8.264
 5.  Sutil         Force India-Mercedes       +    +9.094
 6.  Rosberg       Mercedes                   +   +12.359
 7.  Schumacher    Mercedes                   +   +15.548
 8.  Kobayashi     Sauber-Ferrari             +   +16.678
 9.  Petrov        Renault                    +   +23.851
10.  Alguersuari   Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +   +29.457
11.  Liuzzi        Force India-Mercedes       +   +34.831
12.  De la Rosa    Sauber-Ferrari             +   +36.019
13.  Buemi         Toro Rosso-Ferrari         +   +39.895
14.  Hulkenberg    Williams-Cosworth          +    +1 lap
15.  Vettel        Red Bull-Renault           +    +1 lap
16.  Kovalainen    Lotus-Cosworth             +    +1 lap
17.  Di Grassi     Virgin-Cosworth            +    +1 lap
18.  Glock         Virgin-Cosworth            +    +1 lap
19.  Trulli        Lotus-Cosworth             +    +1 lap
20.  Yamamoto      HRT-Cosworth               +   +2 laps

Fastest lap: Hamilton, 1m49.069s

Not classified/retirements:

Driver        Team                  On lap
Alonso        Ferrari                   38          
Button        McLaren-Mercedes          16          
Senna         HRT-Cosworth               6          
Barrichello   Williams-Cosworth          1