Weeks of no engine noise, champagne showers and Maldonado crashes had passed and I had just about had enough! Fortunately, Spa didn’t disappoint.
The Belgian Grand Prix is the place to be after the summer break because the circuit is edgy but classic and always guarantees an exciting weekend on and off the track. After all Belgium is a country that generally keeps itself to itself, unless there is a Grand Prix on, Belgium rarely makes the front page news and hits up the twittersphere quite so much!
Jenson Button himself summed up the year brilliantly – “topsy-turvy” has to be the quote of the season. The first seven races were won by seven separate drivers and five different constructors all with varying degrees of experience, reliability and perhaps most crucially, budgets. Following the dramatic events of the weekend, there is now 24 points between Fernando Alonso and defending champion Sebastian Vettel. This means that if Vettel wins in Monza and Alonso fails to finish in the points at Ferrari’s home Grand Prix then Vettel would take the championship lead. Phew!
Clearly the super fans like me are already looking forward to it. Spa has only just finished and already Monza is trending second highest worldwide! Oh how we are the best fans in the world…
But one driver who will not see Monza in all its Ferrari-mad glory is Roman Grosjean who has been given a one race ban for causing a dangerous collision at turn one. The crash was significant for the championship leaders but for Grosjean is more an encouragement for him to reassess his driving – this is not his first indiscretion!
The question is now: who will replace him in the Lotus for one of the greatest Grand Prix’s of the season? On paper, the opportunity should fall to Jerome D’Ambrosio (who rather ironically is Belgian!) and is the teams’ test driver. It would be great to see the youngster have a chance. What is crucial to note, however, is that he is not much more experienced than Grosjean and has not been given the title of reserve driver. This scenario reminds me of when Bruno Senna was denied the chance to replace an injured Kubica in 2010.
Instead a loyal Rubens Barrichello could return to the fold. We all know that he would leave any prior racing commitments to come and drive in Formula 1 even one more time. This however is unlikely. He is out of a sport that is very difficult to return to and he has now recent connections to the team that are worthy of any note.
Another name being batted around is German Adrian Sutil, probably one of the most well-respected drivers on the grid with a bucket load of experience. Even Hamilton likes him! He would be a good call as he is currently not in any driving contract at all. His position as a pay driver may hamper his chances of a one-off drive.
Oh and before you ask, no Nick Heidfeld will not be coming back to take his old seat. He ended up suing Lotus at the end of last season and relations between the two have been frayed since. Shame, he is known as Mr Reliable and would have at least brought the car home. More than the Frenchman has managed most of the season!
Any other suggestions for a returnee? Let me know.
Below I have linked a video of the crash. Please feel free to comment regarding the fairness of his ban. You do not need a WordPress account to do this. Note also Maldonado’s obvious false start…
Maldonado, oh Pastor! Followers of my blog will be aware of my feelings towards him. They are similar to Grosjean. An extremely overenthusiastic driver with great promise, but maybe for them it would be better if they were overly cautious for the remainder of this year. And that’s a sentence I never thought I would say.
Lewis Hamilton’s tweets were just bizarre and seemed to be downplayed by the team. Maybe next time he should keep his phone firmly away from the paddock. At any other Grand Prix this would cover an entire blog entry but at Spa it’s just not even worth it! He’ll learn from his mistakes again.
But congratulations to Jenson Button on his first pole since joining McLaren in 2010 and his first win since Australia at the beginning of the year. It is important that we remember the good too. And credit where credit’s due, Grosjean has apologised and accepted his punishment.
Thank you for reading. Did you like this? Let me know your views.
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