Rate the race result: 2011 Belgian Grand Prix

2011 Belgian Grand Prix

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Fernando Alonso, Sebastian Vettel, Spa-Francorchamps, 2011
Alonso and Vettel charge towards Les Combes

The Belgian Grand Prix was given a high rating of 7.7 out of ten by F1 Fanatic readers.

But that only ranks it in the bottom half of this year’s races which have seen some spectacular action this year.

And while many F1 Fanatic readers said they enjoyed the race, many admitted to lowering their ratings because they felt the Drag Reduction System made overtaking too easy.

Fer no. 65 would have liked Nico Rosberg’s excellent start to carry on:

We?ve seen plenty of action at Spa, we really didn?t need the DRS allowing everyone to go through. Imagine how long Rosberg would?ve been on the lead without the DRS giving everyone behind a chance to pass.

They need to find out a way to test this. Otherwise it?s always the same story. I’d rather watch them being blocked than allowed to overtake easily. And it?s not like they are not going to have a chance either, we?ve seen loads of overtaking moves outside the DRS zone.

The length of it was enormous for a place like Spa, with the immense run out to Eau Rouge and the long straight afterwards.
Fer no. 65

2011 average race
ratings so far


AndrewTanner and Bendanarama were among those who defended DRS, arguing that it shows a good attitude from the FIA:

They need a full season to take a look at it. I?m not particularly bothered if it stays or not but I do like the fact the FIA tried to address people?s fears of a lack of overtaking.

DRS needs tweaking for shorter zones and a tighter activation period, but it?s also helped create some exceptionally exciting racing.

The race saw many spectacular moves but one in particular stood out for Jared404 and several others:

My heart missed a beat when it looked like Fernando Alonso and Mark Webber were going to try and go through Eau Rouge side-by-side.

And as Mads says, the majesty of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit is enough to make any race special:

The race itself probably wasn?t worth a nine, but the scenery Spa provides makes up for it easily.

On a similar note, Kidchris92 voiced his concerns about the future of the event:

There is talk of this race being shared with a revived French Grand Prix in years to come. I for one hope this doesn?t happen. Spa is my favourite race of the year, what a shame it would be if we could not see the drivers tackling Eau Rouge every year.

How do you think the Belgian Grand Prix compared to other races this year? Have your say in the comments.

2011 Belgian Grand Prix

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    Image ?? Ferrari spa/Ercole Colombo

    56 comments on “Rate the race result: 2011 Belgian Grand Prix”

    1. Like I said after Turkey, Spa was an example of getting the DRS zone wrong. I still think DRS adds a lot to the Formula, but it really needs to be used in places where it isn’t traditionally easy to overtake instead of on the run to corners where there’s often overtaking without it.

      1. Totally agree. Spain was a good example and was it Malaysia on the start/finish, that was better than the long straight.

        The worst choice was Canada. I know the back straight is probably the only viable location…..so they should just turn it off for a circuit like Canada. Definitely not put where there is already great overtaking thus making it too easy. Then on top of that follow it with an extra zone to pull away. Madness, luckily for the FIA the rain mainly covered over that mistake.

        1. I think it may be more that the English-language readers want to see British drivers win and react favorably to those wins. The top 4 are McLaren wins and the next race is the British GP (as I’m sure most everyone noticed).

          You could call it bias, but that’s sort of an accusatory way to just point out that people prefer a certain result -which is fine.

          Vettel’s wins do have a sort of surgical and sterile quality occasionally, but many of his wins this year have been hard-won dynamic efforts.

          1. or…just maybe…they were the best 5 races!

          2. would you agree the top 5 were the most exciting races this year? i sure do.

          3. Actually what you say does not really make sense.

            I think it may be more that the English-language readers want to see British drivers win and react favorably to those wins. The top 4 are McLaren wins and the next race is the British GP (as I’m sure most everyone noticed).

            What I see from that is that all races were Vettel did not win were rated higher than those won by him, more often than not pole to flag wins.
            Its those 5 races having been far mor of a thrill, and the fact they were won by someone else then the guy having looked like having the championship in the bag by the 4th race this year.

        2. Since they were trialling the double-DRS at Canada, I thought that the straights into 9 and 11 (L’Epingle hairpin) would have been a great choice.

          At Spa the start/finish would have been the best choice, I think. This is why I’m liking DRS less and less, because the FIA just don’t seem to get it and just want passing for passing’s sake.

      2. exactly what I meant. I remember saying while the whole “DRS banned at Eau Rouge” story that they should put the DRS zone at weird bit of the track, not the obvious long straights.

        Like the start finish line after the bus stop or something, so the guy following could close the gap a lot more and have a greater chance after the harpin.

      3. Agreed, like I said after the race – the DRS zone just meant a faster car could sweep past without issue. Passing then becomes a strategy from the pit-wall with who’s on the right tyres at the right time.

        Giles Villeneuve must be turning in his grave.

    2. Keith you need to verify those results. Add 1 point to those races won by Vettel, and minus 1 to those won by other drivers ;-)

      It’s simple fans dont like when he is winning (i am not his fan, just think that this rating would be better)

      1. results my way :
        1 Malaysia 8,775
        2 Belgium 8,772
        3 Monaco 8,684
        4 Spain 8,319
        5 Turkey 8,306
        6 China 8,241
        7 Canada 8,095
        8 Australia 7,751
        9 Germany 7,43
        10 Hungary 7,344
        11 Britain 6,96
        12 Europe 4,871

        1. Malaysia best race of the year? Britain second-worst? Yeh, I think your system is a bit flawed ;-)

          1. Just as flawed as China being the best race of the season, and Monaco so far down as well.

            1. yes China really shouldn’t be top race. Hungary was far better than any other.

            2. Lots of people voted down Monaco because it was effectively stopped at the most exciting point, you’ll notice most of the top ranked races are ones where there was a late overtake for the lead.

              That’s my theory as to why Spa’s score is low(ish) too, Vettel led pretty much lights to flag and most of the action behind was just Button making up for bad qualifying.

        2. Why bother asking people, if poll results could be changed afterwards?

          Even if we assume that you are right and some people don’t like when Vettel is winning:
          1. How can you measure their percentage? How do you know it should be a full point in every race. Maybe half a point would reflect it better, or maybe less than a tenth.
          2. Every driver has his fans and detractors. Polls are slightly affected by people’s bias no matter who wins. How would you calculate that? To be fair, you should do that for every driver, not just Vettel, right?

    3. I’d rather watch them being blocked than allowed to overtake easily

      I wasn’t a big fan of the idea of DRS when it was first put forward, but the races this year have been fantastic. The comment above is, I think, typical of the fact that some people will complain whichever way they get it. To achieve what Fer wants the FIA would have to make the DRS even more contrived and complex – so that you can overtake the car in front using DRS except where they are the underdog.

      The fans asked for overtaking and this year we are getting overtaking. To hear people complain of too much overtaking just makes me think there are too many pathetic complainers.

      I loved F1 with not much overtaking for the last 20 years, and I continue to love it this year with lots of overtaking because I’m an F1 Fanatic.

      1. To achieve what Fer wants the FIA would have to make the DRS even more contrived and complex

        Or just turn it off.

        1. I don’t think that he would have made the comment if it had been a front runner in the lead, the reason so many people wanted Nico Rosberg to hold on to the lead is because he isn’t a driver who normally finds himself in 1st position, I would guess he would have been happy to see Vettel lose 1st place to Rosberg by virtue of DRS had it been the other way around.

          I would vote to have no DRS, but it’s here and more often than not the racing this year has been highly entertaining and the fact that drivers can no longer do a Bernoldi/Trulli is no more than a slightly unfortunate side-effect.

          1. No, I’d have said the same. I’m a Mark Webber fan and I quite didn’t like the fact that it was obvious he’d eventually overtake Schumacher down the straight at Canada like it or not.

            I wasn’t a big fan of DRS initially, but after watching some of the races I think it was a good idea. But they need to make it work properly, not just ruin the whole thing up.

            Specially at Spa, they didn’t need it at all in the first place.

          2. Vettel didn’t use DRS because of tyre problems, he had the speed to follow Rosberg without DRS.
            He even overtoke him around the outside of Blachimont.

          3. It’s just like Spa when Fisi (I think) was leading and Raikonen used KERS to beat him. We always want to see an underdog do well.

            I’m finally getting sick of DRS. I’d like them to get rid of it just to stop having to hear people complain about it.

            Also…. It makes it almost impossible for an underdog to do well… It’s much too effective.
            I think I’ve had enough.

            The new tyres seem to break up races enough that the DRS isn’t necessary.

            1. I don’t think you can compare KERS and DRS in a way Mike does. KERS could be used by both, the driver overtaking and the driver being overtaken. DRS can be used only by the overtaker.

              The reason Fisi didn’t use his KERS was that he didn’t have it, because Force India had decided not to construct KERS and put their efforts elsewhere, which was in 2009 an excellent decision, because KERS ruined the balance of the car. As we all remember, in 2009 season 14 out of 17 races were won by a team that didn’t have KERS.

              This all has been said thousands of times on this site, but still talks about KERS’s unfairness in 2009 – and especially in Spa – remain. I don’t know if this is because of Vettel’s constant whining about KERS at the time or because of the hatred some people have towards Ferrari and Räikkönen.

        2. Or just turn it off.

          Comment of the Day right there! Can you give it to yourself?

          1. In all seriousness it has been over the top several times. ANd all it really does it just change the order back to fastest car first. Rosberg could have lasted until the pit stop banking up the cars, but no, the DRS changes it just back to fastest first.

            It’s almost as if the new rules just cover teh FIA’s *****.

            DRS instead of fixing the aero config (also would stop the Red Bull dominating like the Ferrari did in the early 00’s).

            KERS to give the imperssion it is vaigly green rather than allowing development of green ideas for more speed.

            Self destroying tyres instead of admitting the ‘two compound’ rule is horrible.

    4. TYRES (now they are a bit more consistent), not DRS.

      If anything DRS has robbed us of battles and great racing not created it, talk about looking at a small part of the picture and seeing a whole fake image. ;-)

      Without DRS the season could of been one of the greatest ever, fighting for many laps on dodgy tires without DRS making it too easy to pass. However there have been places where it has been a success but they are a minority IMO.

    5. DRS is a bandaid. Deal with dirty air through the regs and we wouldn’t need it. Since this isn’t happening anytime soon DRS will have to do. But do we need DRS on every track? Tracks like Spa and Canada have never struggled to produce some great overtakes throughout the years. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This of course is also pretty damning of current f1 track design. Why can’t Tilke design a track with good ‘natural’ overtaking zones.
      on topic: DRS did kind of ruin Spa for me. The zone was not needed, and the zone they did put in was way too long.

      1. The thing is that while certain tracks may be better suited to overtaking than others it’s very difficult to quantify. You could add up all the overtakes at one circuit and then at another but just because you get less on one than another doesn’t mean much, you could have a race full of brilliant defensive driving!

        Perhaps a bit far fetched, but my point is that much of it is far too subjective.

      2. Yeah I was thinking about it at work and I was brought back to something Icthyes said after the new aero regs were canned. When DRS was announced we all thought ground effects would be coming in for 2014 and then it would be dropped, and therefore some of us at least were content to wait it out with a short-term solution – better that than another year of novertakes like 2009.

        Now however we’re stuck with a choice of DRS or no DRS, and no long-term solution in sight. As someone above said though, I’m tired of the vocal minority complaining about it after every race.

        The problem is that overtakes that would have been on without DRS are made to look easy. As we saw in Monaco and Barcelona if you cant usually overtake somewhere it becomes a lot less clear-cut.

    6. I think, while the DRS certainly was too effective i don’t think it was that bad. It wasn’t like Turkey where nearly all overtakes were done at the DRS zone, we saw what in my mind what is the two best overtakes of the year in one race. Vettel on the outside of Rosberg through Blanchemont and Webber also on the outside of Alonso through Eau Rouge. That was some stunning stuff and thinking of those moves still excites me.

      1. DRS success 2011:
        China (good length), Malaysia (allowed cars to get close), Germany (perfect length), monaco (made a few more overtakes possible), GB (good length), hungary (allowed for more action)

        Australia (wrong straight?), turkey (zone was too long), spain (too short), canada (no need for 2), europe (no need for consecutive), Spa (too long)

        1. I think for Aus, you can’t really put it anywhere else. I think putting on the back straight is like putting it just before Eau Rouge. You don’t really want to encourage two cars being side by side there.

        2. I think Turkey might have been on the wrong straight too, in my opinion between t8 and t9 with the detection zone before 8 would have been ideal. Allow the cars to re-catch after falling back in 8 and then have a possible DRS overtake into the chicane or/and a possible natural overtake into the final complex.

          Mike – I think Sato was thinking of the straight after t2, where most of the overtaking happens.

        3. For me the DRS zone was just about right in Spain, Monaco, Australia as it helped cars stay close, but not an easy overtake. Possibly Silverstone and Hungary were fine as well as Malaysia.

          Spa and Turkey were far to much, as was Canada with the double zone. Europe would have needed something of a different scale to allow for overtaking and China was too much of it as well.

    7. I see its the 5 races Vettel didn’t win are the 5 race rated highest!

      1. Don’t seem like there are too many Vettel fans.

        1. i’m definately in a minority

    8. Surprised that Belgium hasn’t averaged above Malaysia, although I suspect I rated Malaysia higher myself. Other than that I think the list is spot-on at the moment.

      1. Was Malaysia the second race of the year? We were probably still dumbstruck by the amount of overtaking back then, I’m sure I’ve probably lifted the bar a bit.

      2. I think it is a bit of what George writes, Malaysia was stunning for the action it provided, by now we got used to it and teams got to grips with the tyres more.
        And in Spa the DRS was far to prominent in defining the outcome, at least for me it got the overall impression down.

    9. I would not look at the final rating of each race. The number is too skewed because people here hate to see Vettel win.

      But I do like to read the comments. I am not anti-DRS at all. I think it is very useful. Otherwise, F1 races will be overly dependent on Hamilton and Kobayashi for entertainment. But they need to tweak it a bit. Especially the lengths of the DRS zones. But after learning lessons from 2011, in 2012 the DRS will be perfected. Lets hope it stays.

    10. The results are pretty obvious. Which team won the first four races in this list? I have no doubt there are many knowledgable, unbiased people on here. But the majority seems to rate the result and not the race.

      Spa was fantastic. And everybody I talked to loved the race, ragardless if they route for Vettel or not. For me, it was at least in the top three this season.

    11. I haven’t voted. I’m too mixed up between the excellent passes of Webber on Alonso and Vettel on Rosberg and the mess created by DRS. Those passes, combined with Webber’s, Button’s and Schumi’s tyre strategies a 9/10. But the DRS made me sad. An insult to Spa.

      I keep on saying it: keep DRS on the bore-fest-tracks, but stop messing around with venues which produce good races by themselves.

    12. Interesting see that the top 5 races were non red bull wins and the the top 4 were all mclaren wins, seem like viewers like watching red bull loosing

      1. I think it’s more a case that when RBR doesn’t win, it’s a nail biting finale, or at least a super close battle at the front between 2 or more drivers (which of course is the most captivating scenario on Formula One). Otherwise it’s a cake walk by vettel which isn’t so exciting for some.

    13. China is also a bit high as it was the first mega race so people went overboard and voted it highly but really it was just as good as most of the others but as we got used to great races a 9/10 from last year is now a 7/10

      1. It was also a race which had a late-race pass for the lead – seldom seen in F1 (certainly until this season) and always popular.

        1. not if it was the other way round!

          1. I think that had it been the other way around it would have proven Vettel can overtake to win a race and might have got just about as high a rating.

      2. I enjoyed China. DRS was the best it’s ever been there and i’m still to see a better race as a direct result of having it.

    14. Surprised to see China occupying the top spot, I always assumed it was Canada!

      1. it would be if hamilton had won it instead of button

        1. Doubt it. Button came quite literally from the back! Just my opinion of course.

    15. you know what annoys me, it’s these conspiracy stories my mind makes… know i feel like FIA made DRS just to help red bull, which would be crazy. but think about it, their problem has been straight speed which DRS helped them with. while their opposition lack speed in corners which red bull have thus allowing red bull to easily get close or move away…. BASICALLY FERRARI AND MCLAREN LOST THEIR ONLY ADVANTAGE….. THINK ABOUT THAT :)

      1. Ferrari and mclaren now have an advantage because they can overtake during the race, as opposed to sitting behind the redbulls lap after lap.

    16. Yeah DRS did spoil some of the action especially the one with Nico but I do think it do deserve something like 8.5 on average as there were some good move outside the DRS zone in Blanchimont,run through Eaurouge,Bustop, & Les Combo.

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