The Heroes and Zeroes of the Belgian Grand Prix


Lewis Hamilton: He wasn't quite able to match the searing qualifying pace of Red Bull, but come Sunday's race he was unbeatable. Webber's poor started allowed him to bolt into the lead at lights-out, and after surviving a hair-raising moment with the tyre wall at Rivage he went on to take a comfortable win. The 25 points put him 3 clear in the title fight and 35 ahead of team-mate Button.

Mark Webber:
He may not have won, but he is now a convincing 28 points ahead of team-mate Sebastian Vettel, putting him in prime position to start calling the shots. He was luck to escape with second after dropping to sixth from pole at the start, but quickly got passed Massa, jumped to third when Vettel and Button collided and claimed second when Kubica botched his pitstop. With seemingly the quicker car for much of the forthcoming races, he is joint favourite for the title with Hamilton.
Formula One: Each and every year the Formula One paddock decamps at spa-Francorchamps and the legendary venue never fails to impress. The layout, winding its way between the hills and trees of the Ardennes always produces fantastic racing, and even though the weather is rarely anything special it is always one of the most eagerly anticipated weekends of the year. A few showers of rain spiced up the action again this year, and the sport put on a fantastic display for everyone, not least the fans watching at the track and at home. Even for the usually fussy press corps, Spa-Francorchamps is a treasure that they appreciate to the max.


Sebastian Vettel: Qualified fourth with his team-mate on pole, punted a rival out of the race, got a drive through penalty, suffered a puncture and finished outside the points. It was a weekend to forget for Vettel in Belgium, as his title challenge took a major step in the wrong direction with just six races to go. Even after a poor qualifying he had been hoping for positive things on Sunday, but was unable to control his car when coming up behind Jenson Button on lap 16, sparking a sea of critical comments from pundits and rivals. With 150 points left for the taking, he lies 31 behind leader Hamilton, but more pressingly is 28 behind team-mate Webber, a deficit he must erode as soon as possible.

Fernando Alonso:
After starting just tenth and getting punted to the back of the field by Rubens Barrichello on the first lap, Alonso staged a tremendous recovery to rise to eighth after switching to intermediate tyres when the rain came, but made a crucial error at Malmedy when he put a wheel onto the astroturf, pitching him into the armco barrier and out of the race. With a 41-point deficit to championship leader Hamilton, Alonso cannot afford another non-finish and has to cut out the silly errors that have put him on the back foot since early-season.

Jenson Button:
Like fellow title rivals Vettel and Alonso, Button failed to score points in Belgium, saying the collision with Vettel is a "massive blow" to his title hopes. He now lies 35 points behind team-mate Hamilton, and has been consistently outperformed by the 25-year-old for much of the season. With six rounds remaining, Button needs to up his game considerably and hope that more bad luck hits Hamilton in the championship run-in, otherwise he is sure to lose the number 1 on his car for next year.
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