Raikkonen wins Spa, Fisichella second
Kimi Raikkonen can thank his KERS device for winning the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps this year. He had trouble fending off Fisichella all through the race but managed to get past him with KERS power. Vettel meanwhile is third, both here as well as in the championship.
At the start of the Grand Prix, track temperature is 30°C, air temp 16°C. These typically chilly conditions may not bode well for Button especially as he struggled to get his tyres up to temperature all weekend.
As the lights go out, Fisichella launches off the line without any real challenger as Trulli did not make an excellent start. Kubica moved up to second, only to get passed by Raikkonen at Combes thanks to his KERS power.
Barrichello meanwhile was left behind on the grid and only got his car moving when all other cars had passed ahead of him.
At the first pass on the corner complex of Combes, Romain Grosjean hit Jenson Button from behind, while Alguersuari knocked Hamilton off the track. All four men are out of the race, requiring a 3-lap safety car to clean up the track.
Back at the pitlane, several drivers already make a stop. In the order of their race position, the drivers that stopped are Trulli, Barrichello and Sutil. After their stops they are 14th to 16th with nobody behind Sutil anymore.
During the SC period, the positions are Fisichela, Raikkonen, Kubica, Glock, Webber, Heidfeld, Rosberg, Vettel, Alonso, Kovalainen, Buemi, Nakajima, Badoer and the three guys that made a stop already.
On lap 4, the safety car is off the track and Raikkonen immediately challenges the Force India and rolls past him on the Camel straight after the raidillon.
Sebastian Vettel meanwhile also gained a place while Barrichello passed Trulli and Badoer. Surprisingly, Jarno Trulli is seemingly having problems as he is also passed by Adrian Sutil one lap later. The Italian complained on the radio that he is unable to defend his position or attack someone as "on the straight they are all so much quicker, it's impossible".
Barrichello one lap later continues his move towards the front of the field as he passed Nakajima, now up to 12th position and behind Buemi.
On lap 11, Robert Kubica is the first to make a pitstop. He changes the option tyre for a new set of primes. The pole rejoins the track in 9th place, in between the gap from Alonso to Kovalainen.
On the same lap, Glock is in and loses a lot of time due to a refuelling error by the Toyota pitstop crew. They mistakenly had Trulli's refuelling rig ready for the German.
On lap 12, Raikkonen and Fisichella are in for their stops, with Fisichella coming out much closer to Raikkonen than before the pitstop.
At the same time, Webber is put under investigation after an unsafe release in the pitstop. Heidfeld clearly had to brake as Webber came out of the stands unexpectedly. Even though Webber lost 2 places in his outlap, the Australian is handed a drive through penalty for this incident. Webber had already been reprimanded yesterday after blocking during qualifying.
By lap 17, Raikkonen and Fisichella have caught up with Rosberg who is in the lead. Fernando Alonso is closely behind as he, just like Rosberg, have not made a first pitstop yet.
Rosberg however pits at the end of that lap and rejoins ahead of Adrian Sutil, only to be passed at the top of the raidillon. Mark Webber at the same time completes his drive-through and is back on track in 13th position.
Luca Badoer on the other hand has just set the fastest first sector time and repeated that feat one lap later. It doesn't matter a lot though as he is now last after Trulli has abandoned. There was trouble refuelling the car during his second pitstop and the Italian returned to the pitlane one lap later, only to be pulled into the garage.
At the front, Fisichella is closing in on Raikkonen. The Italian is a playing with tenths to close in onto the Finn.
Alonso's race is meanwhile ruined at his pitstop as the team had trouble getting the left front wheel onto the car correctly. The fairing may have been damaged during the start of the race when Alonso bumped with Sutil. The fairing is obviously broken and one lap later the Spaniard is ordered to come into the pit again to check the wheel. He has had to abandon when back into the pits.
13 laps from the end, Raikkonen and Fisichella again make their stops at the same time. Their relative positions remain the same and they are now 2rd and 3th. Vettel is in the lead but still has to make a pitstop.
With 9 laps to go, Vettel makes his pitstop and jumps Kubica for third place. Vettel is now on the option tyres as well as Kubica.
Mark Webber meanwhile is fighting with Rosberg to try and get a single point out of this race.
There are now just 3 laps to go and Barrichello's engine is starting to burn oil. There is blue smoke coming out of the Brawn and the Brazilian is told to back of off. Fortunately he is able to get to the finish with the car catching fire once slowing down.