Belgian Grand Prix: Rate the race

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Kimi Raikkonen returns to the top step of the podium, Giancarlo Fisichella grabs a first point – and seven more – for Force India, and Rubens Barrichello finishes seventh in a bonfire.

What did you think of the Belgian Grand Prix? Rate the race and leave a comment below.

Rate the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix out of ten

  • 10 - Perfect (13%)
  • 9 - Fantastic (22%)
  • 8 - Great (29%)
  • 7 - Good (23%)
  • 6 - Not bad (7%)
  • 5 - A bit dull (2%)
  • 4 - Often tedious (1%)
  • 3 - Boring (1%)
  • 2 - Rubbish (1%)
  • 1 - Terrible (1%)

Total Voters: 2,271

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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86 comments on “Belgian Grand Prix: Rate the race”


    Right? ;)

    1. Neil Vear-Smyth
      30th August 2009, 15:38

      I disagree, didn’t anyone elase notice that Kimi gained unfair advantage overtaking 3 cars while off track ???

      1. It is legal to go wide in first turn – especially as he did it to avoid the accident.

        1. what accident? he was never in danger! by going off he got loads of momentum and speed.

          1. The BMWs and Trulli were all together and Kimi went off the track to avoid a collision. Anyway going the track puts dirt on your tyres so doesn’t give you any advantage.

          2. 2 BMW’s and Toyota were occupying the whole track, he had nowhere to turn but to go wide – he had to pass more distance on inferior asphalt layer. Besides, Button and Badoer used it too few second after him. And if I recall correctly Hamilton did the same thing in 2007 and wasn’t penalised even though he got ahead of Alonso that way. Here is the video to refresh memory.

      2. He was very smart indeed… I bet he had planned that before the start

    2. No, not at all! What ever makes you say that?

    3. Great race not fantastic because the brits lost their 2 drivers that was evident when bbc Jonathan Legard shut his mouth finnaly

    4. Great race not fantastic because lewis and jenson were out 1st lap that would make the race even better

    5. kimi drove to relaxed last year and this year its a fact but now after the resing he really improved still he doesnt looks happy massa is moree passioned about it he races always for 1st theres no doubt that ferrari team is great kimi is one of the best in my opinion ferrari doenst need that spanish is too arrogant

    6. nobody can say that fisi would have won fisi matched kimis pace still with the turbulence effect but this is a very low downforce circuit so the turbulence shouldnt make the same effect considering the more speed more force needed and more produced to keep the car rolling with grip its easier to follow somebody adjust the breaking times and power we can talk alot but we cant prove. go ferrari

  2. Two laps in had more overtaking than all of Valencia. Ferrari back in top and what a great day for Force India. This was a great race!!!!

    1. agreed valencia looked like a desert

  3. Max should resign now!!!
    30th August 2009, 14:46

    I only gave the race a 9 because I wanted Fisi to win!

    1. I enjoyed that race. because Fisichella was up there, and because there were a few overtaking moves. But i think everyone who thought that was perfect are gettiing carried away. In reality the second half was a bit processional, and if it wasn’t for the Fisichella factor we might be saying it wasn’t that great

      1. Huh? That’s like saying any race is only ever any good because of the action in the race.

        1. a race is good because of the amount of action in a race.

        2. No… What I’m saying is there wasn’t much action at all, it was just cars following each other without being able to overtake, and it just so happened that one of the cars at the front of the procession was a Force India

  4. Voted 7/10. Was expecting more from a Belgian Grand Prix, but I guess I should really stop getting my hopes up before every race. So by this season’s standards, it wasn’t at all bad.

    Nice to see the 6th different winner in 6 races, overjoyed to see Giancarlo up on the podium, but the restart cost him the lead.

    Listening to Seb in the press conference though… closed my eyes, and found it very spooky how much he sounds like Michael.

  5. Last 6 races:

    Button: 21 points
    Rubens: 21 points
    Vettel: 30 points
    Webber: 32 points
    Kimi: 25 points
    Rosberg: 23 points
    Lewis: 18 points
    Massa: 14 points (only raced in 3 of them)

    Can you make out who exactly is fighting for the championship from this?

    1. How insane would the season be if it started from the last 6 races! lol
      Webber would not be too happy with the last 2 races.

      1. Yeah it would be great. I believe they do that in Nascar

    2. Great race, solid race for Kimi and congrats for Fisi. Being a brazilian, I hope Massa returns as quickly as possible before Kimi returns to full speed lol

      As for the championships, Button needs to calm down, the tile is his and he has luck with him, the other drivers swapping the other four positions the difference has yet to go down to 10 points. A few sixth places will already help him enough in the season, but he needs to keep it cool.

      As for the Renault controversey, if it is true it will be another sad story for the sport but won’t “rock its foundations” as the brazilian commentator emphatically put it. For one, it’s too old, and second, this is probably nothing really new in the realm of cheating…

  6. Over 100 votes, no one gave the race a 5 or Lower. Spa almost always delivers. And Bernie wants to axe Belgium…

    BTW, 8 for me.

    1. Bernie always wants to axe everything just to announce the week after that that it doesn’t get axed. It’s all for publicity, nothing else.

  7. Let’s see: great battles at start, crash, safety car, great strategy battles in pits, a drive through penalty, late Vettel charge for podium, overtaking, leaders separated by ~1 sec almost through entire race… and all this on classic SPA. Perfect race! It would be even more interesting to see Alonso having his battle with Kubica; where would be Vettel in that situation?
    I vote for SPA to hold 17 races in season! get rid of all those Tilke tracks! (ok ok leave Monza in calendar too :P)

    1. Don’t forget Interlagos and Suzuka. ;)

  8. Restart definitely cost Fisi the race. Hope he makes for it with a win in monza, in a FORCE INDIA. I was really hoping for kimi to mess it up, but unfortunately it didn’t happen. People actually call the Brawn success a fairy tale, actually it isn’t. Brawn were spoon feed by Honda. Its Force India that deserves all the accolades. Vujay Mallya must be a proud man. I hope they keep up the momentum for the rest of the season. I’m really desperate for the Indian national Anthem to be played on the podium. This is no mean achievement, Force India have challenged the most successful team of all time at arguably the mother of all circuits. I really hope they win at monza.

    1. Mark Hitchcock
      30th August 2009, 15:18

      You say that about Brawn being spoon fed by Honda, and the media do make too much of Brawn being a “new” team. But imagine if this was Honda doing as well as Brawn did, we’d still be just as surprised. They were cruising around at the back with Force India for the last few years.

      Obviously the difference is that Force India don’t have the sort of funds that Honda had so this is a proper fairy tale.

      8 – great from me for this race. Wasn’t quite as much action as I was expecting from Spa but the battle for the lead was engrossing throughout the race, there were a few more battles down the pack, there was a crash and obviously Force India were amazing.
      Can’t wait to see how well they do in Monza!

      1. I think it’ll be Ferrari vs McLaren at Monza. The heavy braking zones and long straights should make the KERS cars fastest there.

        1. Mark Hitchcock
          30th August 2009, 15:23

          True, but the Force Indias have been fastest through the speed traps in most of the races this year so they’ll be challenging for the top 5 at least I think.

          1. I can only really think that KERS would be effective out of the first chicane there too. All the other corners seem to me to be either too close together or too fast for it to be really effective.

  9. Guys, there is a new thread, and due to the gravity of the information, you should check it out.

    Scandal envolving Briatore and Renault
    by iFuel » 30 Aug 09, 14:05

    Okay.. this is old news.. but it’s an interesting one..

    The Globo television network, from Brazil reported about a scandal involving Briatore and Renault in the Singapore GP last year..
    Everybody remembers how Alonso was aiming the first row on qualifying.. but then he got only 15th place…
    Alonso went to pits on 12th lap.. then in the lap were the race leaders from McLaren and Ferrari were going to pit.. Piquet crashed in a strange way on lap 14..
    Well.. everybody knows that… but here is the news… supposedly Nelson Piquet’s crash was intentional and ordered by Flavio Briatore, and thath was the true reason why Piquet senior was present at every GP before Piquet Jr. get kicked by Flav…
    The brazilian journalist Reginaldo Leme (the most respected brazilian formula 1 journalist) stated that FIA is already investigating, and hired an independent company to procceed with the investigations, according to him, this scandal will broke later this week (he probably said everything to get a scoop)…
    Dunno if this is all true.. I’m waiting to see
    But if it is, all my respect for Renaul, Briatore and Alonso (which is almost non-existant) will be gone forever….

    ALERT: All this story should be taken with a grain of salt since nothing is confirmed.. I will try to get update on this news soon as I can

    Sorry for rough englishiFuel

    Posts: 3
    Joined: 27 Jul 09, 08:23
    E-mail iFuel

    1. Is this Nelson Piquet still going on and on against Flavio and Renault?

  10. I must of been watching a different race, that was without doubt one of the most boring races Ive ever seen, if you take the Fisi/Kimi fight out it was as exciting as watching paint dry. Thank God I could keep swicthing channels to watch BTCC at Silverstone to get some real racing. Is F1 a sport?, Iam wondering is it even entertaining.

    1. Mark Hitchcock
      30th August 2009, 15:22

      You definitely must have been watching a different race :s
      There were battles down the pack and an exciting battle for the lead. They may not have gone wheel to wheel for the lead but Kimi and Fisi were both driving the wheels off the car and trading lap times a tenth of a second apart throughout the race.
      That’s about as exciting as a dry F1 race gets these days.

      1. Gusto was watching a different race – the one in the midfield (which I will concede was not exactly thrill-a-minute after the first few laps). The race was basically all in the top 5 places.

        Though for me the way the top 5 went at it made up for the other 9 who finished (which is why I’ve still given the race a 9).

  11. What a race! 9 from me, would have been a 10 if Fisi had won it! Bloody KERS. Leaves you to wonder where Ferrari would be if Massa was still racing, as he arguably had the better of Raikkonen up until his accident.

    1. no, Massa didn’t. kimi scored, first points and podium. Massa was also outqualified by Kimi as well.

      1. That doesn’t tell the whole story though, as Kimi’s form was patchy in the races. Yes, he tended to qualify well but Massa was having the consistently better performances. Moving through the pack brilliantly in China, fastest lap in Monaco and a series of strong points finishes up to Hungary.

        Perhaps Kimi is happier without a competitive team mate or perhaps it’s to do with what he’s doing next year, but Kimi has been driving well in the last few races.

        1. Kind of agree!Kimi has really stepped up but for some reason I feel the feeling of not having to race and be beaten by Massa has had an effect on Kimi driving.
          Kimi before Massa’s accident:
          9 Races 10 Points
          3 Races 24 Points

          1. Well, in Kimis DNFS Massa picked up 9 points. Massas DNFS, Kimi didnt picked up 0. Monaco? Kimi finished ahead. Also, turkey Massa chopped Kimi at the start costing him 1-2 places.

            Massa had better strategy at Silverstone and Kimi got stuck behind trulli.

            Anyways, I think without Rob Smedley in the fix against Kimi, he is doing much better.

        2. Or perhaps MS and company have switched alliances now that MASSA’s car is going in

      2. Before the Hungarian Grand Prix, Felipe had 22 points to Kimi’s 10.

        1. take away the points Massa gained from Kimi’s DNFS, you’ve got …13-10.

    2. exactly, you dont know what your talking about really. Kimi drove a great race, accept it dude

  12. William Wilgus
    30th August 2009, 15:19

    Way to go, Jense!

  13. well done to kimi, pretty solid once he got past, but congrats to fisi, excellent race i am sure both force india fans and non fans be impressed, great ending too with rubens, i rated 8, just would have liked to see lewis and jenson be more invovled in the race i doubt they would have been top 3, but between 3-8 would have been even greater race – well done force india.

  14. nice overtakings….
    what the hell happens to RB on starts??
    congrats to Fisi and Force India…

    and i loved the rumors on the last post! and yeah, reginaldo leme is a guy who know stuff (and has contacts).

    another rumor: here in canada, the comentator said he was watching the italian tv (i believe it’s RAI) and they said that fisi will run for ferrari the next GP (monza). any news about it?

    1. Mark Hitchcock
      30th August 2009, 15:25

      Brundle said that as well, must have been from the same source.

      Everyone in Fisi’s camp are still saying Ferrari haven’t been in contact though.

  15. 10, amazing Kimi.

  16. Lol, I thought this race was pretty boring. Lots of mistakes, poor driving and crashes.

    Is this race cool because the result was something noone would have predicted up front (or at least Fisichella’s position)?

    1. Yeah exactly, swap Fisichella for Webber, for eg, and that race would have been quite ordinary. But to be fair it was a lot better than the last 8 races

    2. Lots of mistakes, poor driving and crashes.

      You make it sound like that’s a bad thing! :D

  17. Just watching Formula Renault at Silverstone, first 5 laps had more action than the F1 season so far.

    1. Gusto why are you here? Nobody cares.

      This is a formula one blog, get used to it.

  18. The race was great, there is a great way to tell – the quicker it goes by the better it is, valencia just seems to go on although obviously you still want to watch, today, it felt like only 10mins had passed and thats due to total engrossment.

  19. “Fantastic” for me! I loved this one, especially after last week’s snooze fest. The start was AMAZING, especially after Lewis and Jense crashed out along with the rookies, Grosjean and Alguersuari. During that time, the Iceman was dominating! I don’t want to sound harsh, but Fisi actually thought he could win this. Well, Kimi showed him how it was done (first lap, especially), and the KERS actually came in handy.
    So, that’s what happened pretty much throughout the race. Renault was about to get another penalty with the tires, but they were smart enough to make Fernando retire. Brawn is officially gone (and Rubens’ car is up in flames!). Button probably needs to say goodbye to the championship before he makes any more failures, and let Rubens take center stage over at Brawn. Red Bull made a decent comeback, with Vettel coming in third. Speaking of Vettel, I’ve decided that he’s going to be amazing, but just with a little more maturity and experience.
    And finally, we need to end this note with Fisi. He did great, scoring a podium finish, which are the only points Force India have gotten as long as they’ve been under the name Force India. We all know he’s toward the end of his career, but wow, he was ecstatic about that podium finish. In contrast, Kimi looked very bored as he guzzled his champagne, in the usual Kimi-fashion. But what I really want is Kimi and Fisi racing TOGETHER at Monza in two weeks. That would be awesome! Hopefully Ferrari will catch on, and get Fisi to replace Badoer in time for it. Just two more weeks, and we’ll have another amazing race. Yay!

    1. I don’t want to sound harsh, but Fisi actually thought he could win this. Well, Kimi showed him how it was done (first lap, especially), and the KERS actually came in handy.

      Not to burst your Ferrari-bubble parade, but he didn’t show Fisichella ‘how it’s done’ until after the restart. We can only speculate as to what would have happened without a safety car, but Fisi had the undeniable pace, was slightly lighter at that stage and was a good deal ahead after les Combes…

      Having said that, Kimi did a great job and deserved the win, but there is no doubt Fisi could have won this. One extra lap of fuel in the 2nd stint would most likely have handed him the victory.

      1. Grace is a teen who knows her f1!! Never though american teen gals would follow f1. I was under the impression that the only gal who follows f1 in the entire state of georgia is my sister :) Glad to know there is one more now. Keep it going Grace :)

        1. Previously mentioned, I am a Ferrari fangirl. But THANK THANK THANK YOU mp4-19b!! Just going to get this out there: I am an average American teenage girl. If you saw me in person, you would NEVER think I woke up early (stupid time difference) on Sundays to watch (gasp!) Formula 1 and then write about it afterwards. Refer back to my old picture…I don’t look like some nerdy kid who loves F1 with all her heart. But truthfully, I am.
          Oh my gosh, more fans from Georgia? Yay! Whoever lives in the South, knows that NASCAR dominates. Although Petit Le Mans is next month, and I’m super pumped about it. But F1 is always in my heart. :)

          1. Where are you watching F1? On the internet or TV? I will be in Miami during the last race and I am afraid that I will not be able to watch it!

          2. Andy: I watch it on SPEED, whenever they’re having it live. However, this summer, they had it prerecorded on Fox. Then I watched it from the websites that are posted up on the blog during the races. I wouldn’t suggest them, though. I have an iMac, so I didn’t get any viruses, but I’m guessing a PC would get a boatload of them.
            Usually hotels have a variety of channels, but it depends. Hopefully you’ll be able to watch it. It’s absolutely necessary to watch the last race, because the next WDC doesn’t look evident anymore and they’ll be on a new circuit. That calls for excitement!

  20. I voted 9, because I voted 8 for the Melbourne GP and this was definitely better, it’s the best race of the season so far. Track looks great, the cars look great on track, lots of action throughout the field and a great result, almost reminiscent of Monza’s underdog victory last year, but that wasn’t meant to be.

    I was a bit dissapointed Hamilton got taken out, he would have made for some great racing, besides the need for a safety car cost Fisi the lead, along with some unfortunate strategy choices, which was also a shame.

  21. Should the stewards summon Barrichello and Brawn for having run with that will-blow-up-any-second engine?
    And Kubica pitting a couple of laps before inspite of having 1 Kg more fuel than Fisi and Kimi not running longer inspite of having 7 kilos more…what could be the reason? Is that mercedes engine that efficeint?

  22. I’m really hoping for Kimi to come back to mclaren. That is where he truly belongs. Its just so shallow to see him in that red car & overalls. I understand even Mika has advised heim to return back to mclaren.

  23. First part of the race good action but then it dropped off abit I just think it was perhaps more enjoyable as underdogs force india could have gone for the win.
    I still think Button will win championship, in fact I can’t imagine him losing it which is incredible and very sad really how a lot of it is down to engine and car reliability.
    Great result from Kimi and a strong drive, very happy with Ferrari but for me Massa can’t come back quick enough.
    Driver of day probably Fisi and never thought I’d say that

    1. The first part of the race was good, but in the second half virtually nothing happened.

      I thought the race was OK, good by recent standards, but I don’t see how that race was so unbelievably amazing as most people seem to think. Put this race in the 2008 season, and it would’ve been one of the weakest races

  24. I ranked this race a 9. I don’t know what a perfect race would be.

    This is what can happen when a great racetrack is made available to great drivers. Is this what we love F1 for or what?!

    Look at the city tracks, ie: Valencia and the last race of the season, Abu Dahbi. (We haven’t sen a race at Abu yet but believe me, it will be real shiney, but boring.)A lot of money thrown at a “pretty” circuit and what do you get. A procession that is nothing but boring.

    Spa is nothing short of majestic. And in 2 weeks another “classic” dramatic track, Monza! Lets just run all the races at Spa & Monza. :-)

    Bernie, are you listening? Oh.. thats right, you always leave before the end of the race ’cause your sooo busy.

    1. Agreed! Spa is a classic for a reason: it pushes the cars and the drivers to the limit. Those new, super-expensive circuits? Nope.
      And Monza is in two weeks! It just keeps getting better. :):):)

    2. I don’t know what a perfect race would be.

      I would suggest the 2005 Japanese Grand Prix – another Fisichella-versus-Raikkonen contest, as it happens.

  25. 9/10, delighted that Kimi and Ferrari won. I’m really happy for Force India, and their pace kept the battle for the lead compelling throughout. Kudos to Vettel for recovering 3rd. BTW had Force India won, Toyota would have been the only team on the current grid that had never won a race.

  26. I gave it eight – plenty of interest, some proper racing, would have been excellent if Vettel had caught the leaders at the end.

  27. I voted 8 – I would probably give more but I watched GP2 race before it which I watched on the edge of the seat whole race. It was that exciting.

    We saw overtaking up and down the field, we saw OVERTAKING FOR LEAD (that happens once in a blue moon this year), field was incredibly close and there wasn’t a dull moment in race. Spa – what a fantastic race-track…

  28. Driver of the day: Kimi. 2nd best (by a mile): GF. Deserving of a mention: Vettel, Kovalainen, & Webber. Why are you paid so much?: Hamilton + Alonso.

    My top 3 dream teams for Ferrari 2010:
    1. Kimi & Alonso
    2. Alonso & Vettel
    3. Vettel & Webber

    1. Hamilton and Alonso both went out because of problems caused by others.

  29. I was dissapointed when Alonso had a bad pitstop and then had to retire. I would have loved to have seen where he would finished.

  30. ANY race after Valencia would be great.

  31. I gave it 7. Mainly because the 2nd half of the race was a lot more quiet than the first. I presume those giving it 9 or 10 are big Ferrari fans because there’s not much room to rate a race higher, and there have been plenty of better races than that. What an awesome track though.

    Good on Kimi and Ferrari for winning, but it was far from a masterclass. I wonder how effective his KERS was at keeping Fisi behind lap after lap. Could Force India have tried fuelling Fisi a bit longer in the middle stint to give him a shot of staying out a couple of laps longer than Kimi?

  32. Well for F1 this was ok,but really the state of f1 is so bad that the bar has been set so low…18 guys over the wall an they still boch up the pit stops…time to watch some old F1 racing from the 90’s

  33. Kimi rocks… He is back again…

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