Belgian Grand Prix start crash (Video)

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Jenson Button faces a threat to his championship lead after being eliminated in a crash at the start of the Belgian Grand Prix.

Button’s race ended in the barriers at Les Combes along with Lewis Hamilton, Romain Grosjean and Jaime Alguersuari.

The crash was triggered by contact between Grosjean and Button, which tipped the Brawn driver into a spin.

As they headed for the barriers, Hamilton backed off to avoid the mayhem and was hit by Alguersuari.

Button rued afterwards that his poor qualifying position – 14th – left him vulnerable to this kind of accident. It ends his run of scoring points in every race this year, and the full cost to his championship lead will be counted at the end of the race.

The stewards announced they will investigate the crash after the Grand Prix. Do you think anyone should be penalised? Or was it just a racing incident?

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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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39 comments on “Belgian Grand Prix start crash (Video)”

  1. i think it was just a race incident.
    Button was fighting with another car and didnt see grosjean in the inside.
    i hope FIA wont penalised grosjean.

  2. Kimi Raikkonen start… anyone thinks that he get a unfair advantage!!!

    Apendix “L”


    c) The race track alone shall be used by the drivers during the
    race. Drivers must use the track at all times. For the avoidance of
    – the white lines defining the track edges are considered to be
    part of the track but the kerbs are not, and ;
    – a driver will be judged to have left the track if no part of the car
    remains in contact with the track.
    Should a car leave the track for any reason, and without
    prejudice to 2(d) below, the driver may rejoin. However, this may
    only be done when it is safe to do so and without gaining any

    1. Same when Sutil passed Badoer

    2. Same with Button

    3. Max should resign now!!!
      30th August 2009, 16:18

      yes I think he gained an unfair advantage but it was a red car and cars don’t usually get investigated by the stewards.

    4. I’d say that Raikkonen’s excursion wasn’t nearly as blatant as Barrichello’s. He passes 5 or 6 cars when he cuts straight through les combes. Of course 4 of those were involved in a crash, but still.

      1. Kimi Raikkonen start… anyone thinks that he get a unfair advantage!!!

        Can’t agree with more, gregoff. If I were in the stewards’ office I would have hauled Raikkonen and Button through the pits for a drive-through (had Button got back round again).

        Had Raikkonen not crashed in the closing moments of last year’s race then he would have taken the victory when Lewis, who lost full control of his car, went wide and missed a chicane. Kimi had full control at all times and didn’t even offer the positions back when he made up three.

      2. I’d say that Raikkonen’s excursion wasn’t nearly as blatant as Barrichello’s. He passes 5 or 6 cars when he cuts straight through les combes. Of course 4 of those were involved in a crash, but still.

        Good point.

  3. actually, I get the feeling from the german lang vid that Alg was coming in hot and had nowhere to go when Ham turned, that’s why Alg slammed into Ham.

    I don’t know what is wrongest, going in hot or turning in, I suppose neither intended to end the way they did.

    The context of a crash also complicates things. I wonder how the stewards will see it. Back in schmi’s day ‘racing incidents’ were often a lot less unintended than these ones.

  4. If Lewis had deliberately run off wide at the start to avoid trouble like Kimi did, he would have been stripped of his win by now. I think F1 is a bit of a farce with its opaque rules and ludicrous inconsistency. As for the above incident, that was purely an unfortunate racing incident. But people on other forums have said that Kimi has started like that consistently for the last few years. What a cheat – but he gets away with it.

  5. Oh come now the only real cheats in F1 are McLaren and Hamilton. You know that.

    1. Yeah, according to the FIA. Everyone else, from Renault to Ferrari get away with cheating time and again.

    2. yeah Hamilton’s a cheater… think not.

  6. I mean we’ve even got it on record, trials verdicts and everything. ;)

    1. Which underlines S Hughes point perfectly…

  7. RTL told drivers were allowed to use the run-off at La Source at the first lap. Raikkonen did it last year as well and took Massa when I remember well.

    1. Yeah, I remember last year as well. That time he was kind of genuinely forced off and almost lost the rear twice in the dirty zone.

      Today he was like a badger eagerly going off for a picnic the way he went of the track.

  8. RTL told drivers were allowed to use the run-off at La Source at the first lap.

    I think that they can’t only is a danger of accident and will don’t get unfair advantage over anybody else… Kimi had no chance to hit someone and get unfair advatange thatnks to that…

  9. I do love a good pile up- as long as nobody gets hurt, of course…

  10. Rookies will be Rookies, expect a grid drop for them in the next race, Kimi in turn 1 was a move that Ferrari know they can get away with, Luca was going so slow that Sutil was avoiding a collision more than an overtaking move.


    Ferrari both drivers was ordered to get most from theirs KERS and drive first corner of the track wide.

  12. Agree Ned but nothing will come close to 98 spa.
    Interesting on bbc Brundle commenting that he thought kimi never intended to stay on track…

    1. Kimi always intentionally runs wide at that corner. he did it in 02,04,07,07 & this year. I think he must be reprimanded.

  13. Not sure on the Kimi start move. If the stewards say use it to avoid a collision then it will be used.

    Kimi though was gifted the race by the safety car. Without it he wouldn’t have been near Fisi, and I as many others can’t believe I’m saying that. I guess Fisi could have run consistently a few tenths quicker had the red car not been in the way. What an awesome show of consistency Fisi, where have you been???

    A really good day for F1 – almost perfect. A hard charging Lewis and a recovering Button the only things missing.

    Funny how Webber is nothing but a heap of double standards. Awful judgement on several occasions here and he got what he deserved, nothing. Really disappointed with him these last few races, totally dropped the ball…

    1. Thank you for pointing out Weber’s hypocracy. For a leader who Preaches safety in front of a microphone, Weber’s in-car behavior is one of the hardest to tolerate, whether it’s the weaving to block an overtaking move or agressively moving over at the start. The pit-lane release was probably the fault of the pit crew, but Weber didn’t give an inch to avoid a collision.

      1. That’s why he’s known as chopper Webber – and he’s an utter hypocrite.

        1. Webber gets a lot of praise for speaking his mind. But his on track attitude makes me feel like he was beaten up on the school playing field or something as a kid…

          I’ll just ask my friends Freud & Jung.

      2. Webber has no way to know the team were releasing him right into the BMWs path. Brundle pointed this out in the broadcast.

        To use that incident as an example of his supposed double standards is ridiculous.

  14. On Croatian television it was said too that drivers are allowed to use a run-off area at La Source to avoid pile-ups at the start. Button and Badoer went to the runoff area as well. Drivers can and were penalised for cutting the track on the inside (this year at Monaco GP2 race 8 drivers got post-race penalties for doing that).

    This was a legit move in my book, no matter of the livery of the car that did it.

  15. If I rememmber right, Kimi used the run-off at the first corner in 2008, at least one or two drivers did (Alonso?), and certainly he used the run-off at Pouhon (?) during his duel with LH. I had the distinct impression that he planned to go outside and use the run-off from the start, knowing full well he wouldn’t be penalized. Given the penalty on LH last year, it seemed completely inconsistent then from FIA since the issue was using off-track areas to gain an advantage. But this year everyone knew – or should have done – that the maneouvre was effectively permissible. So he was just using his nous. Good racing!


    Look at Kimi Actions:) This is for sure a deliberate action from him and Ferrari (Badoer did the same but gain no advantage)

    1. 4 wheels off the track for no real good reason. But if you think the FIA are going to slap a 25 second penalty down you’re just in dreamland :)

    2. *cough*

  17. Keep on looking, but still can’t quite figure why Alguersuari ran so wide into Hamilton. Cold tires mayhap? Certainly can’t blame marbles on lap 1. Goofy rookie move I guess, but looked unnecessary as both had cleared the Grosjean/Button mess. Shame really. Was looking forward to Lewis here this weekend.

  18. Can any one tell me what the difference between raikonen’s start and hamiltons cutting the chicane last year was?

    they both used the run off’s hamilton gained an advantage and so did raikonen.

    i think raikonen had planned that move because he knew that there would be problems into la source. if you watch his speed into the corner he is treating it as a heigher speed corner and makes no attempt to get back on track a.s.a.p

  19. cutting a chicane gives you a lot more advantages than runnning wide outside on a corner at a dirty pavement. nevertheless it was allowed to run wide on la source.

    hamilton did in 2007 the same move that kimi did. without penalty. hamilton also didnt returned a.s.a.p.
    both waited till the astroturf is over.

  20. too optimistic
    31st August 2009, 9:28

    i think Button was too optimistic
    trying to get to the inside of that turn
    after failing to pass Kovalainen from the outside.
    he should at least think there are cars behind Kovalainen.

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