BBC Sport motorsport

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

Related BBC sites


Belgian Grand Prix
Spa-Francorchamps, 5-7 September



Revised positions after 44 laps.

1. Massa (Ferrari)

2. Heidfeld (BMW Sauber)

3. Hamilton (McLaren)

4. Alonso (Renault)

5. Vettel (Toro Rosso)

6. Kubica (BWM Sauber)

7. Bourdais (Toro Rosso)

8. Webber (Red Bull)

LATEST ACTION (all times BST)

To get involved, text us on 81111 (UK users only) or contribute to 606 Join the debate on 606

By Sarah Holt


1735: "Lewis drove a great race, one of the most thrilling races ever and for it to end like this, I'm totally shocked and utterly disgusted!"
Schumiejoe on 606

1720: And yet more drama folks. Hamilton is stripped of victory after stewards handed him a 25-second penalty for cutting a chicane whilst trying to overtake Raikkonen on lap 42.

After reviewing video footage, stewards decided the McLaren driver had gained an illegal advantage even though Raikkonen later crashed out.

Hamilton made a move going into the Bus Stop chicane and as they battled for the lead, the Englishman veered off into the run-off area. Hamilton then let the Ferrari move back into the lead but was still retrospectively punished.

All that means that Massa is promoted to first place with Heidfeld moving up to second and Hamilton down in third.

Hamilton's championship lead over Massa is cut to two points with Raikkonen 19 points adrift.

1453: "Great job by Lewis to have kept the pressure right on Kimi - It took its toll in the end!"
Maccabi on 606

1432: Gosh sorry if that got a little bit muddled but it really was just like watching cars sliding around on ice out there as the rain began to fall heavily in Spa. Here's what you need to know:

Hamilton has now extended his lead in the championship to 80 points with Massa now eight points behind. The Ferrari driver did enough to hang on to second place while Heidfeld ran a stunning last lap after going back to the pits for some wet tyres to take third while Alonso hung on to fourth.

Sebastian Vettel matches his best finish of the season in fifth for Toro Rosso, who also have Sebastien Bourdais coming home in seventh. Kubica settles for sixth while Timo Glock collects the last of the points in eighth.

1429: "Raikkonen seemed to lose his cool no question about it. Hamilton hunted him down and it was Raikkonen who cracked. I think Ferrari have to start saying this is the end of his title challenge now."
BBC Radio 5 Live analyst Maurice Hamilton

Chequered Flag
Hamilton takes the chequered flag for McLaren at the Belgian Grand Prix.

Lap 44: Hamilton doing everything he can just to hang onto his lead and the race victory.

Lap 43: Late drama! Hamilton gets past Raikkonen at La Source to take the lead. But the rain is playing havoc and making grip almost non-existent. There's more drama still to come as Hamilton slides off the track and Raikkonen re-takes the lead only to lose it again as he slides off again.

Then it's all over for Raikkonen as his tyres just cannot hang on and he crashes his Ferrari into the wall. Is that his title defence over?

Alonso dives back into the pits for some wets.

Lap 42: Have I spoken too soon. Here's somewhere in the know: "Raikkonen has responded big time. He's found another four tenths of a second in the middle sector. Hamilton locks up his tyres at the Bus Stop and that's really cost him."
BBC 5 Live analyst Maurice Hamilton

Heidfeld comes back to the BMW Sauber pits for a set of wet tyres.

Lap 40: Raikkonen and Hamilton set identical times as they fight for the chequered flag in Spa. The Ferrari is less than a second ahead now. Nail-biting, right?

Lap 39: Hamilton continues to eat into Raikkonen's lead inch by inch. He's just 1.5 seconds behind the Ferrari's rear wing right now. There are anxious faces in the Ferrari garage.

Lap 38: Hamilton continues to close down Raikkonen. He cuts his lead to 1.6 secs. If things finish as they stand right now then Hamilton will have stretched his championship lead to eight points while Raikkonen will be 11 points adrift with Massa still sandwiching the pair of them.

Lap 37: More insight from Alonso's team radio. Reports say any rain that does come will come at Pouhon - not the best place to have slippy tyres. Lo and behold Alonso reports back "some drops of rain".

Lap 36: Raikkonen picks his way through the backmarkers with Sutil moving his Force India out of the way. The Finn's lead over Hamilton is now 1.958 seconds.

Lap 35: Alonso's team tell him on the radio to keep building his gap just in case he has to come in for some wet tyres. The skies are darkeningso we'll see.

Lap 33: Kubica and Vettel come into the pits. Kubica gets a bit stuck in the BMW pits and seems to be taking ages to get his fuel loaded. He rejoins in eighth. It's not been the best weekend for the Pole.

Lap 32: Bourdais comes into the pits from fourth place. If he is able to keep up his good work and pick his way though the field then he'll do his chances of holding onto his seat for 2009 the power of good. What's even more impressive is that he's running with a damaged nose cone in Spa.

Lap 31: Heidfeld comes into the pits from seventh place. Rain about 10 minutes away now say the men in the know.

Lap 29: Hamilton cuts Raikkonen's lead to 1.978 seconds.

Lap 28: Massa pits and hands over the lead to Raikkonen. His gap over Hamilton is now 2.4 seconds. By the way, did I tell you that rain is forecast for 15 minutes and its getting darker now in the skies over Spa. There could still be more twists to come yet.

Lap 27: Hamilton is really catching Raikkonen now and the Finn's gap has been decreased to three seconds. After two laps of warming up the tyres though, Raikkonen should be feeling enough pace to retain his lead - once team-mate Massa pits. Alonso comes into the Renault pits from fourth.

Lap 25: Raikkonen comes into the pits as does Hamilton. They are both on the hard tyres for the rest of the race. Massa takes over the lead.

"The final stints are the longest stints. Now Hamilton must know this could be a problem for Ferrari, getting temperatures into the tyres so he must push like crazy now. He must attack but with the gap at 5 seconds he's got some way to go."
BBC Radio 5 Live analyst Maurice Hamilton

Lap 23: Barrichello tells BBC Radio 5 Live's Holly Samos why he retired from 12th place in Spa. He says: "I lost sixth gear and I've done ten or 12 laps without sixth gear. Unfortunately you over rev the engine and I still have another race to get through with the engine."

Lap 22: It's all looking nice and easy for Raikkonen out in front as he holds a 5.8 second lead over Hamilton. Massa is 4.4 seconds further adrift. Alonso is running a race of his own in fourth - he's 19.9 seconds behind Massa with chasing Bourdais 13 seconds behind his Renault.

Lap 19: Raikkonen is banging down fastest lap after fastest lap in Spa. Is it going to be Ferrari's day in Spa after all?His new fastest lap is 1:47.932.

Meanwhile, I just want to update you on something I didn't have time to mention earlier. Kovalainen was handed a drive-through penalty for his collision with Webber and came in to serve it on lap 15. He's now down in 13th and that's pretty disappointing for the Finn.

Lap 18: Heidfeld gets past Timo Glock's Toyota to move up into eighth place. Barrichello returns to the Honda pits and he doesn't come back out. His race is over, not sure why though.

Lap 17: Vettel returns to the Toro Rosso pits from fourth and rejoins in seventh.

Lap 15: Bourdais, who was running behind Raikkonen in second, returns to the Toro Rosso pits while Kubica returns for a glug of fuel at BMW Sauber. Rosso gets out just ahead of Kubica, and the Pole is desperately trying to make a move on the Frenchman, but he can't.

Lap 14: Piquet takes a big spin down down at Fagnes. He pops into the tyre barriers and most of his front wing is gone. He comes on the radio and says "I'm OK but I'm out." A bit of a mixed race for the Renault man, who took a gamble starting on the intermediates to be fair.

Lap 13: Race leader Massa comes back into the pits as does Kovalainen and Alonso.

Lap 12: Raikkonen dives back to the pits just one lap later. The Finn gets out back in third - and more importantly a few car lengths ahead of Hamilton.

Lap 11: Hamilton comes back into the McLaren pits. He is in and out in 6.8 seconds, but that is a very early first stop for the world championship leader. Hamilton is back out in seventh.

Lap 10: Kovalainen is very busy in Spa. He tangles with Webber's Red Bull coming out of the Bus Stop chicane. The McLaren man clips his left front wheel into Webber's right rear and the pair end up spinning. It's hard luck for Webber who's pushed down the field. Stewards are looking into the incident.

Lap nine: Kovalainen gets past Kubica down the straight between Eau Rouge and Les Combes. Meanwhile, his McLaren team-mate Hamilton sets the fastest lap of 1:48.892 and is 0.8 secs behind Raikkonen.

Lap seven: It's tight, tight, tight everywhere on the track right now as the tyres start to pick up some heat as the track continues to dry. Kovalainen is pushing Kubica's BMW Sauber hard now for seventh place. Hamilton is closing on Raikkonen but Massa is five second behind the leader.

Lap five: The track is drying out now and Hamilton makes it count by nailing the fastest lap. He's still 1.1 seconds behind Raikkonen.

Lap four: Raikkonen sets the fastest lap of the race so far and he's now stretched his lead over Hamilton to more than one second now. The Finn is also believed to be fuelled for a longer stint than the McLaren driver, so Raikkonen's bid for a fourth consecutive Spa victory is going in the right direction. Kovalainen in the second McLaren sweeps past Piquet and into eighth at Blanchimont.

Lap two: Drama on lap two as Hamilton spins going into the first corner - La Source. Yellow flags signal that the McLaren is facing the wrong way and Raikkonen takes advantage and gets around him on the outside to take the lead. Meanwhile, Alonso is pushing Massa hard third place. McLaren says there is no damage to the car.

Lap one: Plenty of smoking tyres and moves from the start. Here's the headlines: Hamilton holds onto his lead. A Ferrari and Alonso's Renault run wide but Raikkonen gets up alongside Massa. Alonso moves into fourth as Kovalainen has a bad start. Piquet jumps up from 12th to seventh.

1303: The Grand Prix gets under way in Belgium.

1302: "At least Hamilton knows Massa won't be able to get the jump on him but he's still got to get away cleanly and in all the support races this weekend there have been collisions of one sort or another."
BBC Radio Five Live analyst Maurice Hamilton

1300: Scrap that, Hamilton, Massa, Raikkonen and Kovalainen are going for dry tyres. Renault's Piquet is the only one on intermediates.

1259: The drivers are nestled in their cars, helmets and gloves on. No rain is expected for the next half an hour at least, so we stay dry for now and expect most drivers to start on the intermediate tyres.

1254: Nearly ready to go in Spa. But just time for this first. With driver line-ups for 2009 causing a buzz in the paddock, Force India boss Vijay Mallya hinted that he'll be sticking with wily old Italian Giancarlo Fisichella for next season. The 35-year-old Fisi looks set for a 14th season in F1 after Mallya said: "This team needs the experience of Giancarlo, has needed it, and as we design the 2009 car, needs it even more."

Mallya, who also has his own football and cricket teams, also revealed Indian GP2 driver Karun Chandhok could have a testing role with the team next season but is not ready for a race seat yet.

1252: My top 5 today: 1 Hamilton 2 Raikkonen 3 Massa 4 Heidfeld 5 Kovalainen
Muambananas on 606

1250: More weather updates for you. The race is expected to start dry but there could be sporadic light rain throughout the race. The track is in parts damp and in other parts dry.

1247: Hamilton says he's not going to let Massa or any other driver overtake him at the start. "I said I will never be overtaken around the outside again - and that's not going to happen," he said. "It's going to be an interesting start, but I plan on staying ahead."

Though he's not that keen on been overtaken himself, Hamilton reckons Formula One could do with a few more passing up to keep the spectators interested. "Sometimes it is boring because we don't do any overtaking. I remember watching Formula One before I got here and some races were boring to watch, you'd fall asleep."

1243: News just in from Hamilton's team radio. Apparently, he's having problems with his clutch. Could that play into Massa's hands at the start?

1240: If Massa wants to get the jump on pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton getting a good start is probably the way to go - although with Hamilton probably fuelled lighter then pit-stop tactics may play a part too. But the Brazilian is not expecting to get off to a flyer as he did at the Hungarian Grand Prix, when he passed both McLarens into Turn One.

With the first corner - La Source hairpin - just 150m from the front row he says: "It will be difficult to repeat what happened in Budapest. We will have to see what the various strategy choices are and how the weather evolves, because if it rains the race could turn into a lottery."

Celebrity spot!
1235: The cars emerge from the pits and whizz off to line up on the grid. There are a distinct lack of celebrities in Spa. According to those in the know it's because it's too rainy, and rain = unglamorous. Dutch prime minister Jan Peter Balkenende has got his brolly out though and has been hanging round the pits. That's all I've got for you.

1230: "Heidfeld will surprise us all today."
ThanksALot on 606

1221: Germany's Nick Heidfeld is trying to convince BMW Sauber to keep him on board for the 2009 season. The 31-year-old did a decent job by beating team-mate Robert Kubica in qualifying for only the second time this season with fifth place on the grid. Kubica lines up in eighth. BMW chief Mario Thiessen says: "Nick is now in a strong position for the race. For Robert things were just not right this weekend."

Another fella whose 2009 seat is also under pressure is Sebastian Bourdais. But the Toro Rosso driver qualified in a career high ninth and said: "It's beginning to come together and it's been a good weekend so far."

1221: Life isn't getting any easier for Raikkonen even though he's racing on his favourite circuit. After his rear wing fell off in Friday practice, Raikkonen qualified in fourth place alongside Kovalainen. That sounds OK but the defending champion is looking to end a winless run that stretches back to the Spanish Grand Prix in April. Here's what he has to say for himself: "Fourth place is far from ideal to go looking for the win but it doesn't mean I've given up hope."

Sunshine
Rain
1216: It has been raining in Spa this morning and still looks pretty damp out there. In fact, some chaps are out in the pit lane trying to dry up the track with heated blowers - and I believe that's the technical term. Temperatures are around 16C and the forecast is rain, sunshine and black clouds - um?

1213: "I am not even going to attempt to predict what the result is going to be because you never know what could happen and there is even more possibilities in Spa. I have not written Raikkonen off because Hamilton and Massa could have a first corner collision and Raikkonen will be back in the championship."
Vidic4ever on 606

1200: Hello again. It's time to go racing as Formula One swings into Spa, famed for its romantic setting, its healing springs - and the historic Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

There probably won't be much love lost between main title rivals Lewis Hamilton and Felipe Massa on the front row of the grid.

McLaren's Hamilton leads Massa by six points and the Ferrari man will be looking to gain any advantage he can to whittle that gap down even further.

Reigning world champion Kimi Raikkonen is also a man of a mission as he attempts to reignite his faltering title defence as speculation about his future at Ferrari swirls around the F1 paddock.

Raikkonen, who has not won since April, lines up in fourth, just behind Hamilton's team-mate Heikki Kovalainen.

All the drivers love the challenge of Spa, with its demanding mix of fast and slow corners and plunges through the Ardennes mountains.

The unpredictable weather means anything can happen at Spa. But just what will happen on Sunday and what will that mean for the title race?

I want you to get involved as much as possible via 606 or text on 81111.

Join the debate on 606


related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.