Grand Prix 2022 Belgian Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

The summer break is over, F1 is back. Hooray! The first race back is at Spa. Hooray! A circuit we all think of in terms of its history, the excitement of Hakkinen versus Schumacher, which was 22 years ago. Damon Hill's win for Jordan, which was 24 years ago, and two laps behind the safety car last year, in the pissing rain, as the FIA worked overtime to engineer a championship win for Max Verstappen.

Let's look back at the season so far, to bring ourselves back up to speed on where we are. Ferrari have designed the fastest car, but apparently couldn't organise an orgy in a brothel as far as race strategy is concerned. That, combined with engines that like to lunch themselves, has resulted in a miserly three wins for team leader Charles le Clerc, and one for journey man Carlos Sains jnr.

Mercedes went "big" on the new aero regulations and managed to produce a pig in a poke. Their "zero pod" concept (someone please tell me who comes up with these nonsense names) has resulted in a car which bounces up and down more than Stormy Daniels on a night in with Donald Trump. Even the greatest F1 driver of all time (probably), Lewis Hamilton, has been unable to make the car manage more than a few podium places. Meanwhile, everyone has been getting very excited at George Russell dragging his silver machine (I, just took a ride...) in the top 6 at every race, except at the one he probably wanted to.

Red Bull, as Red Bull do, have worked carefully and diligently to exploit the regulations to their fullest extent (this is not meant in a pejorative way) and at the beginning of the season had a competitive car in which both drivers could challenge for race wins. As they developed the car they discovered a way to make it go faster in the hands of Max Verstappen, so decided that was the best way to go (this is meant in a pejorative way). Max has now won more than half the races this season and looks almost certain to win his second Drivers Championship (or first, depending on your opinion of 2021).

What about the "also rans"? McLaren look to have the fourth best car, but Daniel Ricciardo has lost his mojo and spends most weekends driving round slowly looking for it. Lando Norris continues to impress, in particular (it appears) himself. It's not often an F1 driver seems so self-effacing. With Danny Ric pondering his future Alpine have worked their up to fourth in the team championship. And just as the team seems to be getting it's shit together, to build for the future, that paragon of team harmony, Fernando Alonso, has decided to bugger off to Aston Martin. Presumably after Lawrence Stroll waved a big suitcase of dollars under the Spaniard's nose. If only he knew they were Canadian Dollars.

Old big 'ead started the season blindingly at Alfa Romeo, revitalised after his period as butler to Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes. As the season has progressed his rookie teammate has started to catch him up. Quiet how long Valterri can continue to command a seat in F1 remains to be seen, but then there are worse drivers than him in a Formula one car at the moment. Which leads us to Williams. Just wow, how can a team have fallen so low from the heights they achieved in the 1980's and 90's. One journey man driver and one pay driver, neither of whom look even close to being of a suitable standard to be in an F1 car, and they can't even be bothered to paint the car so it looks like a Williams. The sooner the venture capital company flog it on the better. Either that or cut their loses and put a once great F1 team out of its misery. Perhaps Andretti should take the easy route in to F1 and buy the Grove team.

Time for some bad mouthing of another team, however I shall do no such thing about Haas and Kevin Magnussen. There aren't many positives to come out of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but this is one. K Mag has been a delight, and his performances have shown just how bad things have got in F1 when a man who you probably wouldn't even trust to drive a taxi can buy a place in a Grand Prix car. Good riddance Nikita Mazepin. The other bloke at Haas really needs to up his game to justify his seat is beyond having a famous surname.

The last two. Alpha Tauri seem to have taken over from Red Bull in attempting to destroy the career of Pierre Gasly. Such a talented driver, such a crap team. I really hope he gets a move to Alpine, or someone else, to revitalise his time in F1. Yuki Tsunoda, however, seems to have found his level. Last, and probably least, Aston Martin. How long can the Stroll family drag this famous car brand down before we all cry "stop now, it's already dead"? Sebastian Vettel deserved better than this for the twilight of his career, Lance Stroll probably doesn't. Hope you enjoy your time in a British Racing green car Fernando!

If you have a subscription to Sky, here are the timings of the coverage. If you don't, look it up yourselves.

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The race is scheduled to take place over 44 laps, 42 more than last year (hopefully), and no sprint race. Hooray!
 
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cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
I think you're right up to a point. The Ferrari may be the quickest car on its day but a major factor in the all round performance of a car must be reliability and the Ferrari engine is simply too fragile to be wound up to 11 to maximise the cars pace. It has a tendency to eat itself.
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
The best all round car seems to be Ferrari though. Except for Spa, Ferrari seemed to have a better balanced package in the first part of the season.
Max's talent and Ferrari's tendency to shoot their own foot made the difference so far.
i would agree with that to an extent because ferrari really shouldve 80pts in front not 80pts behind. they started on pole 9 out of 14 times this season. but only won 2 of the last 10. there is the problem, shouldve won in spain, monaco, maybe baku, Canada, leclerc shouldve won in britain & france, & threw hungary away. theyve taken 77 pts when they shouldve taken at worst 174pts
The Red Bull was absolutely on song here and Verstappen was untouchable in it.

There's no denying it, he's the best driver in the best all round car this season and he fully deserves his first World championship.

Let's just hope Mercedes, Ferrari or maybe one of the others can get their car right next season.

1 car always dominates post a rules change you probally have to go back to 1998 but then even mclaren might have been the class of the field. hopefully mercedes come back with a better car, as i feel they have learnt from their mistakes & ferrari have a strategy team that watch the gp their supposed to be working at & not daytime tv
ferrari.jpg
 

The Artist.....

Champion Elect
1 car always dominates post a rules change you probally have to go back to 1998 but then even mclaren might have been the class of the field. hopefully mercedes come back with a better car, as i feel they have learnt from their mistakes & ferrari have a strategy team that watch the gp their supposed to be working at & not daytime tv
Even in 1998, McLaren really dominated - and given the pace of the car, probably should have had the title wrapped up by about the 12th race... McLaren were on pole for 12 of the first 13 races (and only failed in Austria, because of a wet/dry qualifying session).

I always wonder what would have happened if in 1996, Schumacher had signed the McLaren contract he had been carrying around in his briefcase instead of the Ferrari contract...
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
Did anyone else hear Alonso's radio message after being clonked by Hamilton and think it sounded like he has a pre rehearsed list of insults taped to his steering wheel?

"ok,who was that? Hamilton.... Hmmmm.... Let's see "Was he trying to let Red Bull win!!", nope, that's for Latifi, how about "why don't you retire now?" actually I was saving that for Vettel... Ah perfect "He only knows how to drive when he's at the front", brilliant ... You've still got it Fernando"
 

Il_leone

World Champion
Did anyone else hear Alonso's radio message after being clonked by Hamilton and think it sounded like he has a pre rehearsed list of insults taped to his steering wheel?

"ok,who was that? Hamilton.... Hmmmm.... Let's see "Was he trying to let Red Bull win!!", nope, that's for Latifi, how about "why don't you retire now?" actually I was saving that for Vettel... Ah perfect "He only knows how to drive when he's at the front", brilliant ... You've still got it Fernando"
How long is it Fernando since you last won a race then?
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
Did anyone else hear Alonso's radio message after being clonked by Hamilton and think it sounded like he has a pre rehearsed list of insults taped to his steering wheel?

"ok,who was that? Hamilton.... Hmmmm.... Let's see "Was he trying to let Red Bull win!!", nope, that's for Latifi, how about "why don't you retire now?" actually I was saving that for Vettel... Ah perfect "He only knows how to drive when he's at the front", brilliant ... You've still got it Fernando"
as stupid as it was, especially of all the people to slag off hamilton, because it feeds the narrative that he still has that grudge from 2007, when he couldnt handle being beaten by rookie, so threw 1 of the biggest tantrums F1 has known, but because it was the heat of the moment, & he wasnt thinking straight, ill forgive him slightly, because you cant be rational when you been crashed in & driving on the edge
 

Il_leone

World Champion
as stupid as it was, especially of all the people to slag off hamilton, because it feeds the narrative that he still has that grudge from 2007, when he couldnt handle being beaten by rookie, so threw 1 of the biggest tantrums F1 has known, but because it was the heat of the moment, & he wasnt thinking straight, ill forgive him slightly, because you cant be rational when you been crashed in & driving on the edge
It maybe heat of the moment but clearly the grudge is still there. I am waiting for his verbal against Verstappen if he ever gets the chance .

Only the ignorant idiots would not know what it meant. Well Alonso left Mclaren when he could have won 2008 title - that is his fault
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
I'll just leave this here:

“What an idiot closing the door from the outside,” Alonso said “I mean, we had a mega start but this guy only knows how to drive and start in first.”

“Well, Lewis has started in the front a lot,” commented Toto Wolf “He’s won seven World Championships so the strategy worked!”
 
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