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The 2008 Belgian Grand Prix, formally known as the 2008 Formula 1 ING Belgian Grand Prix, was the thirteenth round of the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship, staged at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Spa, Belgium, on 7 September 2008.[1][2] The race would see Felipe Massa declared as the victor, after a controversial 25 second time penalty dumped Lewis Hamilton from first to third.[2]

Qualifying had seen the two title protagonists duel for pole position, with Hamilton emerging ahead of Massa by 0.340s.[2] Their teammates Heikki Kovalainen and Kimi Räikkönen would share the second row, while Nick Heidfeld beat Fernando Alonso to fifth.[2]

Race morning would dawn with rain falling on the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, although as the field lined up for the start the circuit was dry enough for the field to start on slicks.[2] Indeed, everyone bar Nelson Piquet, Jr. would start on the softest Bridgestone slicks available, while the Brazilian opted for the harder compound after qualifying in the middle of the pack.[2]

The greasy track surface made the start treacherous, with Kovalainen one of several losers as he slithered away slowly, while Piquet shot up to seventh after acing his getaway.[2] Jarno Trulli also made a strong start but was whacked from behind by Sébastien Bourdais, while Kovalainen made contact with Nick Heidfeld and Giancarlo Fisichella removed himself from contention on the back of Kazuki Nakajima.[2]

Out front, meanwhile, Hamilton had eased into an early lead ahead of Massa, although the Brazilian was powerless to prevent teammate Räikkönen from breezing past down the Kemmel Straight.[2] The Finn then moved into the lead on the second lap as Hamilton suffered a spin at La Source, with Räikkönen duly easing clear over the following laps.[2]

Behind, Kovalainen would collide with Mark Webber shortly before the first round of stops, as Hamilton became the first of the leaders on lap eleven.[2] Räikkönen and Massa stopped on the following laps, with the order remaining stable at the head of the field as a result.[2]

The order remained stable through the second stint too, with Räikkönen and Hamilton both stopping on lap 25 for their second and final stops.[2] Massa stopped three laps later and remained behind Hamilton, with Hamilton himself able to close onto the back of Räikkönen as temperatures began to tumble both in air and on track.[2]

Indeed, the slump in temperatures heralded the arrival of rain, which began thundering down on the circuit on lap 41, with Hamilton eliminating the rest of the gap between himself and Räikkönen.[2] The Brit duly tried a lunge inside the #1 Ferrari into the Bus Stop chicane, only to run wide and cut the corner, and hence emerge ahead of Räikkönen.[2] Hamilton immediately eased off the throttle and let the Finn back through, before instantly chucking his #22 McLaren-Mercedes back down the inside of the Ferrari to claim the lead at La Source.[2]

The duo continued to battle as Hamilton's antics came under investigation, with Räikkönen briefly leading again after Hamilton had to avoid a recovering Nico Rosberg, before spinning himself on lap 42.[2] The Finn's race then came to an end with a half-spin into the wall at Blanchimont, handing Hamilton an unassailable lead over Massa.[2]

Indeed, Hamilton would sweep across the line to claim victory, ahead of Massa and Heidfeld, with the Brit believing that he had acted correctly after cutting the chicane.[2] However, in the hours after the race it was announced that Hamilton had been awarded a 25 second time penalty for cutting the chicane and gaining an advantage, leaving Massa as the race winner.[2]

McLaren's appeal against the decision was taken to the FIA International Court of Appeal, although it was rejected by the Court on 23 September 2008 on the grounds that a 25 second time penalty cannot be challenged.[3]

Background[]

Victory for Felipe Massa ensured that the Brazilian racer moved back up to second in the Championship hunt, and reduced the gap to title leader Lewis Hamilton to six points. Yet, Hamilton's real-time lead had effectively grown by a point as Massa had to overhaul Kimi Räikkönen to secure second, with the Finn himself having slipped thirteen points off the lead in third. Furthermore, Räikkönen was just two points ahead of Robert Kubica in fourth, while Heikki Kovalainen had moved back into the top five in fifth.

In the Constructors Championship Ferrari had retained their grip on the head of the title charge, although their advantage had been cut to just eight points. Indeed, McLaren-Mercedes were continuing to chip away at the Scuderia's lead, and had established a fair margin of seventeen points over BMW Sauber. Behind Toyota had moved ten clear of Renault to enhance their hold on fourth, while Force India-Ferrari were still the Championship's only non-scorers.

Entry list[]

The full entry list for the 2008 Belgian Grand Prix is outlined below:

No. Driver Entrant Constructor Chassis Engine Model Tyre
1 Finland Kimi Räikkönen Italy Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F2008 Ferrari 056 2008 2.4 V8 B
2 Brazil Felipe Massa Italy Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Ferrari F2008 Ferrari 056 2008 2.4 V8 B
3 Germany Nick Heidfeld Germany BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber F1.08 BMW P86/8 2.4 V8 B
4 Poland Robert Kubica Germany BMW Sauber F1 Team BMW Sauber F1.08 BMW P86/8 2.4 V8 B
5 Spain Fernando Alonso France ING Renault F1 Team Renault R28 Renault RS27 2.4 V8 B
6 Brazil Nelson Piquet, Jr. France ING Renault F1 Team Renault R28 Renault RS27 2.4 V8 B
7 Germany Nico Rosberg United Kingdom AT&T Williams Williams FW30 Toyota RVX-08 2.4 V8 B
8 Japan Kazuki Nakajima United Kingdom AT&T Williams Williams FW30 Toyota RVX-08 2.4 V8 B
9 United Kingdom David Coulthard Austria Red Bull Racing Red Bull RB4 Renault RS27 2.4 V8 B
10 Australia Mark Webber Austria Red Bull Racing Red Bull RB4 Renault RS27 2.4 V8 B
11 Italy Jarno Trulli Japan Panasonic Toyota Racing Toyota TF108 Toyota RVX-08 2.4 V8 B
12 Germany Timo Glock Japan Panasonic Toyota Racing Toyota TF108 Toyota RVX-08 2.4 V8 B
14 France Sébastien Bourdais Italy Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso STR3 Ferrari 056 2007 2.4 V8 B
15 Germany Sebastian Vettel Italy Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso STR3 Ferrari 056 2007 2.4 V8 B
16 United Kingdom Jenson Button Japan Honda Racing F1 Team Honda RA108 Honda RA808E 2.4 V8 B
17 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Japan Honda Racing F1 Team Honda RA108 Honda RA808E 2.4 V8 B
20 Germany Adrian Sutil India Force India F1 Team Force India VJM01 Ferrari 056 2007 2.4 V8 B
21 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella India Force India F1 Team Force India VJM01 Ferrari 056 2007 2.4 V8 B
22 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton United Kingdom Vodafone McLaren Mercedes McLaren MP4-23 Mercedes FO 108V 2.4 V8 B
23 Finland Heikki Kovalainen United Kingdom Vodafone McLaren Mercedes McLaren MP4-23 Mercedes FO 108V 2.4 V8 B
Source:[4]

Practice Overview[]

Qualifying[]

Q1[]

Q2[]

Q3[]

Qualifying Results[]

The full qualifying results for the 2008 Belgian Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Grid
Pos. Time Pos. Time Pos. Time
1 22 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 4 1:46.887 2 1:46.088 1 1:47.338 1
2 2 Brazil Felipe Massa Italy Ferrari 3 1:46.873 5 1:46.391 2 1:47.678 2
3 23 Finland Heikki Kovalainen United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 2 1:46.812 1 1:46.037 3 1:47.815 3
4 1 Finland Kimi Räikkönen Italy Ferrari 5 1:46.960 3 1:46.298 4 1:47.992 4
5 3 Germany Nick Heidfeld Germany BMW Sauber 14 1:47.419 4 1:46.311 5 1:48.315 5
6 5 Spain Fernando Alonso France Renault 10 1:47.154 6 1:46.491 6 1:48.504 6
7 10 Australia Mark Webber Austria Red Bull-Renault 11 1:47.270 10 1:46.814 7 1:48.736 7
8 4 Poland Robert Kubica Germany BMW Sauber 7 1:47.093 7 1:46.494 8 1:48.763 8
9 14 France Sébastien Bourdais Italy Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1 1:46.777 8 1:46.544 9 1:48.951 9
10 15 Germany Sebastian Vettel Italy Toro Rosso-Ferrari 9 1:47.152 9 1:46.804 10 1:50.319 10
11 11 Italy Jarno Trulli Japan Toyota 13 1:47.400 11 1:46.949 11
12 6 Brazil Nelson Piquet, Jr. France Renault 6 1:47.052 12 1:46.965 12
13 12 Germany Timo Glock Japan Toyota 12 1:47.359 13 1:46.995 13
14 9 United Kingdom David Coulthard Austria Red Bull-Renault 8 1:47.132 14 1:47.018 14
15 7 Germany Nico Rosberg United Kingdom Williams-Toyota 15 1:47.503 15 1:47.429 15
16 17 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Japan Honda 16 1:48.153 16
17 16 United Kingdom Jenson Button Japan Honda 17 1:48.211 17
18 20 Germany Adrian Sutil India Force India-Ferrari 18 1:48.226 18
19 8 Japan Kazuki Nakajima United Kingdom Williams-Toyota 19 1:48.268 19
20 21 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella India Force India-Ferrari 20 1:48.447 20
Source:[5]
  • T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car to set their best time in that session.
  • Bold indicates the fastest driver's time in each session.

Grid[]

Pos. Pos.
Driver Driver
______________
Row 1 ______________ 1
2 Lewis Hamilton
Felipe Massa ______________
Row 2 ______________ 3
4 Heikki Kovalainen
Kimi Räikkönen ______________
Row 3 ______________ 5
6 Nick Heidfeld
Fernando Alonso ______________
Row 4 ______________ 7
8 Mark Webber
Robert Kubica ______________
Row 5 ______________ 9
10 Sébastien Bourdais
Sebastian Vettel ______________
Row 6 ______________ 11
12 Jarno Trulli
Nelson Piquet, Jr. ______________
Row 7 ______________ 13
14 Timo Glock
David Coulthard ______________
Row 8 ______________ 15
16 Nico Rosberg
Rubens Barrichello ______________
Row 9 ______________ 17
18 Jenson Button
Adrian Sutil ______________
Row 10 ______________ 19
20 Kazuki Nakajima
Giancarlo Fisichella ______________

Race[]

Report[]

Results[]

The full results for the 2008 Belgian Grand Prix are outlined below:

Pos. No. Driver Constructor Laps Time/Retired Grid Points
1 2 Brazil Felipe Massa Italy Ferrari 44 1:22:59.394 2 10
2 3 Germany Nick Heidfeld Germany BMW Sauber 44 +9.383s 5 8
3* 22 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 44 +10.539s 1 6
4 5 Spain Fernando Alonso France Renault 44 +14.478s 6 5
5 15 Germany Sebastian Vettel Italy Toro Rosso-Ferrari 44 +14.576s 10 4
6 4 Poland Robert Kubica Germany BMW Sauber 44 +15.037s 8 3
7 14 France Sébastien Bourdais Italy Toro Rosso-Ferrari 44 +16.735s 9 2
8 10 Australia Mark Webber Austria Red Bull-Renault 44 +42.776s 7 1
9 12 Germany Timo Glock Japan Toyota 44 +1:07.045 13
10 23 Finland Heikki Kovalainen United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 43 Gearbox 3
11 9 United Kingdom David Coulthard Austria Red Bull-Renault 43 +1 Lap 14
12 7 Germany Nico Rosberg United Kingdom Williams-Toyota 43 +1 Lap 15
13 20 Germany Adrian Sutil India Force India-Ferrari 43 +1 Lap 18
14 8 Japan Kazuki Nakajima United Kingdom Williams-Toyota 43 +1 Lap 19
15 16 United Kingdom Jenson Button Japan Honda 43 +1 Lap 17
16 11 Italy Jarno Trulli Japan Toyota 43 +1 Lap 11
17 21 Italy Giancarlo Fisichella India Force India-Ferrari 43 +1 Lap 20
18 1 Finland Kimi Räikkönen Italy Ferrari 42 Spin 4
Ret 17 Brazil Rubens Barrichello Japan Honda 19 Gearbox 16
Ret 6 Brazil Nelson Piquet, Jr. France Renault 13 Accident 12
Source:[6]
  • T Indicates a driver used their test/spare car.
  • * Hamilton was awarded a 25 second time penalty for cutting the chicane and gaining an advantage.[6]
  • Glock was awarded a 25 second time penalty for overtaking Webber under yellow flag conditions.[6]
  • Räikkönen and Kovalainen were still classified despite retiring as they had completed 90% of the race distance.[6]

Milestones[]

Standings[]

The controversial conclusion to the Belgian Grand Prix saw Felipe Massa move right onto the back of the Championship leader Lewis Hamilton, leaving Spa just two off the lead. Indeed, Hamilton had moved onto 76 points to the Brazilian's 74, with the pair effectively the two main protagonists for the crown. Behind, Robert Kubica had remained mathematically in the hunt as he climbed to third ahead of Kimi Räikkönen, while Nick Heidfeld had moved back ahead of Heikki Kovalainen.

In the Constructors Championship Ferrari had managed to extend their lead as a result of the post-Spa fallout, leaving the Belgian circuit with a twelve point advantage. Indeed, McLaren-Mercedes had lost ground as a result of Hamilton's demotion, leaving Spa on 119 points, and just twelve ahead of BMW Sauber in third. Indeed, those three were the only teams capable of taking the Constructors crown, with Toyota 90 points behind Ferrari with five races to go.

World Championship for Drivers
Pos. Driver Pts. +/-
1 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton 76
2 Brazil Felipe Massa 74
3 Poland Robert Kubica 58 ▲1
4 Finland Kimi Räikkönen 57 ▼1
5 Germany Nick Heidfeld 49 ▲1
6 Finland Heikki Kovalainen 43 ▼1
7 Italy Jarno Trulli 26
8 Spain Fernando Alonso 23
9 Australia Mark Webber 19
10 Germany Timo Glock 15
11 Brazil Nelson Piquet, Jr. 13
12 Germany Sebastian Vettel 13 ▲2
13 Brazil Rubens Barrichello 11 ▼1
14 Germany Nico Rosberg 9 ▼1
15 Japan Kazuki Nakajima 8
16 United Kingdom David Coulthard 6
17 France Sébastien Bourdais 4 ▲1
18 United Kingdom Jenson Button 3 ▼1
World Championship for Constructors
Pos. Team Pts. +/-
1 Italy Ferrari 131
2 United Kingdom McLaren-Mercedes 119
3 Germany BMW Sauber 107
4 Japan Toyota 41
5 France Renault 36
6 Austria Red Bull-Renault 25
7 United Kingdom Williams-Toyota 17
8 Italy Toro Rosso-Ferrari 17 ▲1
9 Japan Honda 14 ▼1

Only point scoring drivers and constructors are shown.

References[]

Images and Videos:

References:

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 '13. Belgium 2008', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2014), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2008/belgique.aspx, (Accessed 18/03/2020)
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 2.19 2.20 'Belgium 2008: Hamilton wins and loses epic race.', crash.net, (Crash Media Group, 07/09/2008), https://www.crash.net/f1/race-report/63432/1/belgium-2008-hamilton-wins-and-loses-epic-race, (Accessed 18/03/2020)
  3. [Archived] 'Appeal lodged by the Motor Sports Association (MSA) on behalf of its licence-holder Vodafone McLaren Mercedes, against Decision N° 49', fia.com, (Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, 22/09/2008), https://web.archive.org/web/20081010040214/http://fialive.fiacommunications.com/en-GB/the-fia/court_appeal/judgments/Documents/ICA-23-09-08-McL-en.pdf, (Accessed 18/03/2020) - Original
  4. 'Belgium 2008: Entrants', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2015), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2008/belgique/engages.aspx, (Accessed 18/03/2020)
  5. '2008 FORMULA 1 ING BELGIAN GRAND PRIX - QUALIFYING', formula1.com, (Formula One World Championship Limited, 2006), https://www.formula1.com/en/results.html/2008/races/837/belgium/qualifying.html, (Accessed 18/03/2020)
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 'Belgium 2008: Result', statsf1.com, (Stats F1, 2016), https://www.statsf1.com/en/2008/belgique/classement.aspx, (Accessed 18/03/2020)
V T E Belgium Belgian Grand Prix
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V T E 2008 Formula One Season
Teams Ferrari • BMW Sauber • Renault • Williams • Red Bull • Toyota • Toro Rosso • Honda • Super Aguri • Force India • McLaren
Engines BMW • Ferrari • Honda • Mercedes • Renault • Toyota
Drivers Räikkönen • 2 Massa • 3 Heidfeld • 4 Kubica • 5 Alonso • 6 Piquet • 7 Rosberg • 8 Nakajima • 9 Coulthard • 10 Webber • 11 Trulli • 12 Glock • 14 Bourdais • 15 Vettel • 16 Button • 17 Barrichello • 18 Sato • 19 Davidson • 20 Sutil • 21 Fisichella • 22 Hamilton • 23 Kovalainen
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