Grand Prix 2018 Belgian Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

Discussion in 'Formula One Discussion' started by cider_and_toast, Aug 18, 2018.

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  1. cider_and_toast

    cider_and_toast Everything in moderation Staff Member Premium Contributor

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    90 years ago, this November, the Bureau International Des Expositions was created by the signing of the convention relating to international exhibitions. Like most organisations, the BIE's home was Paris, France. The role of this organisation was to oversee the calendar, bidding process, selection and organisation of World Exhibitions and ensure that all countries worked together in the best conditions.

    The first World Fair was held in Paris in 1844 and one of the best known of these early efforts became known as the Great Exhibition held in London in 1851 and featured the gigantic crystal palace. All these early world fairs featured technological developments and saw many technical wonders shown to the public for the first time.

    As the years progressed, and with the formation of the BIE, the purpose of these fairs gradually moved away from technological developments and towards overall cultural themes. Ironically, the first of these was held in New York in 1939 and was titled "Building the world of tomorrow". Of course, over the next 6 years, nations did their very best to demolish the world of tomorrow.

    Following the second world war, nation states were too busy rebuilding their shattered infrastructure and attempting to re-establish their economies to worry about holding cultural affairs. That was until Belgium was selected to host their 11th world’s fair. Expo 58. The theme would be "A World View - A New Humanism" and was set to run from July to September 1958.

    The most well-known legacy of this event is the Atomium. The giant sculpture displays 9 Iron atoms formed into a cube representing the shape of an iron crystal magnified 165 billion times. The sculpture remains in Heysel Park on the outskirts of Brussels and is still open to the public today. It represented mankind’s faith and hope in scientific development and the nuclear age.

    In 1958, Formula One chose its own way of honouring technical development as for the first time a trophy was awarded not just to the world champion driver but the International Cup for F1 Manufacturers was awarded to the most successful manufacturer. Initially, and until the late 70's, only one car, the best finishing, scored points towards the title. Vanwall became the first team to lift the new cup but Mike Hawthorn lifted the drivers title in his works Ferrari. Both cups were heading to Britain for the first time. Vanwall won 6 of the 9 races it entered that season with Moss and Brooks taking 3 wins each but unreliability cost both drivers the title. The Vanwall quite literally either won or broke down. Perhaps it was the involvement of an extremely gifted engineer, brought in to revise the car in 1957 after Vanwall's initial efforts in F1 were dismal failures. The name of that engineer? Colin Chapman.

    At the 1958 Belgian GP, Tony Brooks finished first while Hawthorn finished second for Ferrari and Stuart Lewis-Evans brought a third Vanwall home in third place. Moss suffered an engine failure on the first lap. Further down the field, in the second Ferrari, a Belgian called Olivier Gendebien finished 6th in his first ever Belgian GP.

    Gendebien had come to the attention of no less than Enzo Ferrari himself through his performance in sports car racing. Ferrari signed him to his team to drive in these events but also allowed him to make the occasional appearance in an F1 car. His best year however, was in 1960 where he took 2 podiums behind the wheel of a Cooper for the privateer Yoeman Credit racing team.

    Enzo Ferrari summed Gendebien up as "a gentleman who never forgets that nobless oblidge and, when he is at the wheel, he translates this code of behaviour into an elegant and discerning forcefulness."

    Such was this elegant and discerning forcefulness that, while very few would have ever heard of him in F1, his sports car record reads like this, 4 wins in the 24 hours of Le Mans, 3 wins in the 12 hours of Sebring, 2 wins at the 12 hours of Reims, 3 wins in the Targa Florio and 1 at the 1000km Nurbugring. A truly remarkable sports car record that few drivers even today, can match.

    So, if anyone asks you in the future to name some famous Belgian racing drivers, among the likes of Gachot and Boutsen, don't forget to tell them about Olivier Gendebien. Gentleman, outstanding driver and Belgian.

    Enjoy the race.
     
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  3. Angel

    Angel Points Scorer Supporter

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    For me, Spa is the best track of the year and often it throws up one of the best races of the season too. I always look forward to this race and having it live makes it even better. So yeah, I'm excited for Spa :D
     
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  4. Greenlantern101

    Greenlantern101 Super Hero And All Round Good Guy Contributor

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    Fascinating write up thanks cider_and_toast
     
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  5. Titch

    Titch Smile Premium Contributor

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    Great stuff cider_and_toast .
    I always enjoy Spa.
     
  6. FB

    FB Not my cup of cake Valued Member

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    Bertrand Gachot had a French father and a German mother. He was born in Luxembourg, was registered as a Belgian driver between 1989 and 1991 and was French from 1992 to 1995 but travels on a French passport.

    Don't think he really knew what nationality he was as at one point in his career he had the European flag on his car.

    I'll add Jacky Ickx to Thierry Boutsen for you cider_and_toast ;)
     
  7. gethinceri

    gethinceri Daniil Kvyat Fan. Contributor

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    The first bit of that threw me into an apopleptic rage.
    Thanks FB
     
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  8. Il_leone

    Il_leone Champion Elect

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    Now this is an interesting move by Mclaren to give Norris a practice session in place of Alonso

    Lando Norris: British driver, 18, given Belgium GP practice drive by McLaren
     
  9. cider_and_toast

    cider_and_toast Everything in moderation Staff Member Premium Contributor

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    FB, Ickx truly was a great driver who always found himself in the right F1 team at the wrong time.

    My tongue was firmly in my cheek when I used Gachot's name.
     
  10. Ruslan

    Ruslan Rookie

    Of those, the American driver Phil Hill was his team mate for 3 of the 4 Le Mans wins, all 3 of the Sebring wins and the Nurbugring win. 7 of Gendebien's 13 sport cars wins were with Phil Hill as co-driver. Pairing of drivers that have won Le Mans to together three times is Hill/Gendebien, Ickx/Bell, Biela/Kristensen/Pirro, Kristensen/Capello with Biela/Pirro winning together 5 times.

    Entirely pointless, unless you are a Phil Hill fan. Then you know who Gendebien is.
     
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  11. cider_and_toast

    cider_and_toast Everything in moderation Staff Member Premium Contributor

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    Strangely, Phil Hill, even though an F1 world champion, is also very under rated by many.
     
  12. RasputinLives

    RasputinLives Happy to be me again Contributor

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    Which country did Gachot go to prison in?
     
  13. Dartman

    Dartman Points Scorer

    UK
     
  14. cider_and_toast

    cider_and_toast Everything in moderation Staff Member Premium Contributor

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    Assault on a taxi driver wasn't it?

    Got Schui his debut drive and taught Eddie Jordan a harsh lesson in the tightness of F1 contracts.
     
  15. Angel

    Angel Points Scorer Supporter

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    Damn you beat me to it cider_and_toast I was just going to say wasn't that incident with Gachot how Michael Schumacher got his big break in F1?

    I wonder how many times Gachot kicked himself for being so stupid that day.
     
  16. The Artist.....

    The Artist..... Champion Elect

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    I do wonder if they are preparing for Alonso retiring a little early...
     
  17. cider_and_toast

    cider_and_toast Everything in moderation Staff Member Premium Contributor

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    While at Jordan in 91, Gachot was outpaced by a 135 year old Andrea De Cesaris. So much so, he actually did the impossible and made De Cesaris look good.

    Schui showed how quick the Jordan 191 was with a fast driver behind the wheel.
     
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  18. Angel

    Angel Points Scorer Supporter

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    I wondered if they were going to evaluate Norris to see whether to team him with Sainz next year or keep Vandoorne.
     
  19. Angel

    Angel Points Scorer Supporter

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    Damn I never realised De Cesaris was that old, 135?!!! :o:snigger: And to think they often retire at like 37 or 38 these days ;)

    To be fair, Schui pretty much showed how fast any car can be if he was driving it. Well, until he came back with Mercedes, he was never quite the same driver then I felt.
     
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  20. The Artist.....

    The Artist..... Champion Elect

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    Being fair, de Cesaris was only 32 when at Jordan, and but for a blown engine would have won the Belgian Grand Prix in 1991...

    It's quite sad that I keep forgetting that de Cesaris is no longer with us :(
     
  21. F1Brits_90

    F1Brits_90 Race Winner

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    Spa is up there with my 3 fav races of the season Britain Belgium & Monza, it the history that F1 should have & if we could have more races with circuit not country hertitage like that it would be great. worryingly this is 20yrs since the 1st grand prix I can remember watching. which is rather terrifying

    As much as things have changed over the summer break. Some things dont change. Forecasted like every race bar Bahrain & abu dhabi. Rain over the weekend which wont turn up. But then Its spa & like Silverstone teams are more surprised when it doesn't rain. Who knew the fuss 32c+ would cause at British gp
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2018

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