Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Spa-Francorchamps, 2019

Spa could get dispensation to hold Belgian GP in August

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In the round-up: Spa-Francorchamps could get a dispensation from the government to hold the Belgian Grand Prix two days before restrictions on sports events are due to end.

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Comment of the day

Vettel should look for racing opportunities outside F1, says Hal:

I’ve never been a fan of Vettel. I’ve always found the four titles in a row at Red Bull were a bit too easy, didn’t like the way he used his status against Webber. And I definitively think he botched it at Ferrari in 2017 and 2018.

But I have to say I’m a little bit sad at how the whole stuff turns out and how he is now perceived.

After all he is definitively a super fast driver, he did get all those victories and even though I believe these four world championship titles on par with Prost and ahead of so many legendary three times world champions sounds too much, I believe he is a deserving world champion.

I don’t think there is any chance he’ll get that seat at Mercedes, so yeah retirement is probably the best. But I hope to see him winning in another category, potentially adding new records. WEC, Seb?

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Keith Collantine
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24 comments on “Spa could get dispensation to hold Belgian GP in August”

  1. I’ve never been a fan of Vettel. I’ve always found the four titles in a row at Red Bull were a bit too easy

    I’ve never really got that narrative because he certainly didn’t have an easy time winning the 2010 or 2012 championships, He had to fight for both down to the final race. And even looking back at 2013 he only really had it super easy over the 2nd half of the season, Was a bit closer at times in the 1st half.

    Of his 4 championships I think the only one that he had really easy was 2011.

    didn’t like the way he used his status against Webber.

    He was simply faster than Webber, Yes Mark could match/beat him on his day but on the whole Vettel was simply the better, faster & a more consistent than Mark.

    Irrespective of if Mark truly was a #2 or if Seb was given preferential treatment, In none of the 4 years that Vettel won the championship did Mark finish 2nd in the championship (3rd, 3rd, 6th, 3rd) & that included the 2 years (2011 & 2013) when Red Bull had a clear advantage & where Vettel did have an easier time getting the championship.

    For comparison when Rubens Barrichello was alongside Michael Schumacher at Ferrari he managed to finish 2nd to Michael in the standings twice when he was a much more clear #2 than Mark ever was.

    1. Agreed. Vettel took his opportunities to win the title, which is the mark of a true champion. The fact he did it four times is truly remarkable. His barnstorming runs of victories in the latter parts of 2010 and 2012 were inspired (or totally crushing if you’re an alonso fan…). By contrast Webber had his shot in 2010 and blew it in Korea. He was thoroughly outperformed thereafter and can have no complaints, overall.

      Vettel seemed to lose his killer instinct at ferrari, perhaps due to internal politics or simply in the heat of competition with Hamilton, a seemingly indomitable rival in this era. If he does retire his career will be viewed unlike any other great champion, due to the dominance with one team and ‘failure’ with another, but 4 titles and 50+ wins is a fundamentally great career whichever way you cut it.

      1. CotD material.

    2. Really fair assessment, @roger-ayles!

      Everything he does is put into a vicious perspective. When Alonso beats Massa by more than 100 points, he is god. When Vettel does the same at the same contention, it’s the car.

      When Alonso starts by squeezing agressively Vettel at Singapore, it’s GOAT material! When it’s Vettel, he is poor at racecraft.

      When Hamilton cracks under pressure at Monaco and squeezes Ricciardo, it’s fine. When it’s Vettel at Canada, he is weak minded.

      When Ricciardo gets beaten by Kvyat and by an erratic Verstappen, he is what every team should be aiming to sign. When Vettel gets beaten by Ricciardo and Leclerc, he is exposed.

      When Leclerc disobeys team’s orders, it’s a statement. When it’s Vettel, it’s dirty.

      Truth is, when it comes to Vettel, the only possible conclusion is haters are gonna hate.

    3. ColdFly (@)
      16th May 2020, 7:46

      It appears that the CotD ended up in the comments section today.

    4. I think if Alonso had won in 2012 they would have had three world championships each, and that would have ‘felt’ right.

      In some ways the 4 titles actually does Vettel a disservice to his legacy in some ways, because it appears as if he just had a Newey rocketship when we know how hard he had to work for them. Never thought about it before, but ‘3 times WC’ does feel right for Vettel in the history of the sport.

  2. Mercs certainly wont hire services of Vettel given his short-sightedness.

  3. Many people talk about the possibility of Vettel signing a contract at Mercedes, including Hakkinen. But does it makes sense? Bottas is a fast and consistent driver to pair Lewis with. And Mercedes just don’t need to give that up such an valuable asset, and possibly upset the dynamic within the team as a result. Also Hamilton is hell of a benchmark for anyone, and he had the measure of world champion teammates before. So it’s a risky move for Vettel as well.

    But no one entertains this possibility because it makes sense. People want to see this because It just is the right thing for a 4 time world champion to do. Everyone wants him to take up to the challenge, and respond to this situation as a true champion of the sport would.

    I hope he would push for this, and even ask to get the Mercedes seat without any financial compensation if necessary. If this happens and Vettel finds this in him, Mercedes has the responsibility to not to deprive the sport of this challenge coming from one of its champions. It just is the right thing to do in the spirit of the sport.

    1. @serkank – You know what they say… If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. As long as Mercedes continues to rack up both titles and Hamilton breaks records with them, that’s enough success. Current lineup is proven capable of achieving that, hence for a managing standpoint it really doesn’t make much sense.


      it wasn’t broken at 2016. And although they went through a hard time with both ROS and HAM, you know what? They were just fine with it. The numbers under that pairing are far superior than current ones. Back then, the team was on the verge of breaking the almost impossible mark achieved by McLaren Mp4/4. That’s huge for history, for the legacy of a team. Imagine to edge legendary Mp4/4-Senna/Prost combo. Well, they went close.

      Current motorsport Age is coming to its end. No one knows how’s gonna be with what comes ahead. Wouldn’t it be appealing to the board to mark the modern era with the most excellence a racing team can gather? Given what’s for grabs, nothing could be better than the most laureated drivers from past decade racing at the only laureated team under current regs. Also, a German/British pairing for a German/British team. Imagine what numbers Hamilton and Vettel could achieve together. Surely something that will never be reached with Valtteri at the 2nd seat. He is not a bad driver, he even improved his game last season and that’s good but, in the end, he’s still 2nd tier driver at current class.

      It would mean way, way more than sponsoring some race and putting some white decals.

      As for two roosters in the same cage, one may say whatever about Rosberg, and yes he pulled some shenanigans, but in the end he complied to the team. Hamilton managed to play fiercely and ruthless but also without harming the team’s integrity (favouring claims aside). Tracing a parallel to Vettel, he is also a good team player, even when he tries to make things his way. Gotta remember that it was Leclerc, not Vettel, who heated the ambience a bit with over moaning when things didn’t happen his way. Also, when Vettel was getting shown the way by both Charles and Ricciardo, he never complained about them nor hinted some conspiracy theory. That brings us to pairing Hamilton. Situation is, he’s got absolutely nothing to lose: he can’t be more underaprecciated than he is now; losing to Hamilton won’t bring more harm than the former. But if he wins, then he’s got some value to earn. Also, it’s the only available seat to pursue a WDC, and that’s enough reason for a shot.

      Now, if you ask me, I don’t believe for a minute that will happen because, as you rightfully said, it’s more of a fan thing. But who knows if there is a Passionate calling the shots?

      1. @niefer, I very much enjoyed your post – lots of interesting things contained within it, all said eloquently and with reason. Also, I agree: it would be interesting, and it might work too. But I doubt it’s going to happen

        1. Thank you @bosyber, I very much appreciate it! (:

  4. Also today in F1 : Sauber turns 50 years in motorsport

  5. I thought Spa had already got the dispensation to hold the Belgian GP before the beginning of September, though.

    1. Belgian has more then 1 goverments so all have to give the green light orwise it would be a nono.

  6. The funniest thing now would be if Vettel ends up completing the triple crown quicker than Alonso. The irony would be remarkable.

  7. I can see Vettel replacing Hamilton in 2021, the simple reason being money. Who to hire for the big German manufacturer, stick with the British multiple world champion driver at an ever increasing salary or go with the German multiple world champion driver at probably significantly cheaper wages and who could do just as good a job, proving that you do have the best car and it’s not just the driver? On paper it is an obvious choice.

    1. rob91, why do people keep repeating the claim that Vettel would be “significantly cheaper” when his salary in 2019 was, at $30 million, the second highest in the field and only $5 million less than Hamilton, according to Dieter’s article on this site?

      1. Tim Lemmens
        16th May 2020, 23:42

        Because not accepting a lower offer would mean he is out of a drive for next season.

    2. I think the point is, could he do just as good a job? On recent evidence I’m not sure Toto would be entirely convinced.

  8. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    16th May 2020, 10:58

    I’m on the opposite side of the fence to the COTD.

    I rather like Vettel. I think his titles were well deserved in a clearly great set of cars that lacked the engine power of its rivals – that’s common knowledge. His one-lap pace is generally good, his racecraft isn’t completely terrible, ’17 wasn’t a proper shot and ’18’s failure – despite his mistakes, I’d lay at Ferrari’s door more than his. People seem quick to bash him and often unfairly, or tear down his achievements to elevate others.

    In recent years he’s seemed disillusioned by a Ferrari that doesn’t seem to know what it wants to do, and maybe for them a proper change is what they need. Alonso left Ferrari because he didn’t believe they had the capability of delivering a car capable of consistently challenging for the title and he couldn’t help them do it, and it seems Vettel couldn’t either. That’s six world titles of experience and we’re going to blame the drivers?

    1. I am more sceptic of Vettel than you @rocketpanda; however, I do agree with the trend of your post, especially of your last paragraph. Yes, Vettel made clear mistakes and seemed not quite his old self on track. And yes, Alonso, while seemingly still sharp and dependable on track, also seemed to be a source of discontent within Ferrari as he has been with McLaren. But, the fact that in their respective 10 years at Ferrari, neither of these two quite different, but successful multiple-title winning drivers, could make/mold Ferrari into a title winning combination even once, does point to an unfixed issue at the team.

      (One could ask: and what about McLaren – they are not pretending to be Ferrari/WDC contenders atm.; Renault – IMO, that’s why RIC left; Red Bull? let’s see if they can start a season with a strong car, though at least they are a solid, dependable on-track operation)

      1. *respective -> combined (remainder of changing sentence, sorry)

  9. Another episode of media desperately wishing Lewis never joins ferrari. “Lewis, we can’t hate on Ferrari if you are there”

    1. Hamilton to Ferrari would have been gold dust for the media. Maybe it’s time to end the make-believe episodes going on in your mind.

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