Welcome at RN365

You are logged in. Benefit directly from all the benefits of your account:

  • Share your thoughts and opinions about F1
  • Win fantastic prizes
  • Get access to our premium content
  • Take advantage of more exclusive benefits

Welcome at RN365

Become part of the largest racing community in the United Kingdom. Create your free account now!

  • Share your thoughts and opinions about F1
  • Win fantastic prizes
  • Get access to our premium content
  • Take advantage of more exclusive benefits
fri 26 mar - sun 28 mar
  • 1 HAM LAP 56
  • 2 VER + 0.745
  • 3 BOT + 37.383
ita
fri 16 apr - sun 18 apr
  • 1 VER LAP 63
  • 2 HAM + 22.000
  • 3 NOR + 23.702
bhr
por
fri 30 apr - sun 02 may
  • 1 HAM LAP 66
  • 2 VER + 29.148
  • 3 BOT + 33.530
ita
esp
fri 07 may - sun 09 may
  • 1 HAM LAP 66
  • 2 VER + 15.841
  • 3 BOT + 26.610
por
mco
thu 20 may - sun 23 may
  • 1 VER LAP 78
  • 2 SAI + 8.968
  • 3 NOR + 19.427
esp
aze
fri 04 jun - sun 06 jun
  • 1 PER LAP 51
  • 2 VET + 1.385
  • 3 GAS + 2.762
mco
fra
fri 18 jun - sun 20 jun
  • 1 VER LAP 53
  • 2 HAM + 2.904
  • 3 PER + 8.811
aze
aut
fri 25 jun - sun 27 jun
  • 1 VER LAP 71
  • 2 HAM + 35.743
  • 3 BOT + 46.907
fra
aut
fri 02 jul - sun 04 jul
  • 1 VER LAP 71
  • 2 BOT + 17.973
  • 3 NOR + 20.019
aut
gbr
fri 16 jul - sun 18 jul
  • 1 HAM LAP 52
  • 2 LEC + 3.871
  • 3 BOT + 11.125
aut
hun
fri 30 jul - sun 01 aug
  • 1 OCO LAP 70
  • 2 HAM + 2.736
  • 3 SAI + 15.018
gbr
bel
fri 27 aug - sun 29 aug
  • 1 VER LAP 1
  • 2 RUS
  • 3 HAM
hun
nld
fri 03 sep - sun 05 sep
  • 1 VER LAP 72
  • 2 HAM + 20.932
  • 3 BOT + 56.460
bel
ita
fri 10 sep - sun 12 sep
  • 1 RIC LAP 53
  • 2 NOR + 1.747
  • 3 BOT + 4.921
nld
rus
fri 24 sep - sun 26 sep
Quali sat 25 sep
Race sun 26 sep
ita
tur
fri 08 oct - sun 10 oct
Quali sat 09 oct
Race sun 10 oct
rus
usa
fri 22 oct - sun 24 oct
Quali sat 23 oct
Race sun 24 oct
tur
mex
fri 05 nov - sun 07 nov
Quali sat 06 nov
Race sun 07 nov
usa
bra
fri 12 nov - sun 14 nov
Quali sat 13 nov
Race sun 14 nov
mex
Fallback flag
fri 19 nov - sun 21 nov
Quali sat 20 nov
Race sun 21 nov
bra
sau
fri 03 dec - sun 05 dec
Quali sat 04 dec
Race sun 05 dec
Fallback flag
are
fri 10 dec - sun 12 dec
Quali sat 11 dec
Race sun 12 dec
sau
Start Russian GP
Days
Hour
Min.
Sec.
Mercedes

Mercedes explain why they initially struggled in Belgian GP qualifying

James Vowles has explained why Mercedes failed to initially get to grips with the wet conditions during qualifying for the Belgian Grand Prix.

Article
To news overview © Mercedes

Mercedes' Strategy Director, James Vowles, says a mixture of reasons led to a tricky qualifying for Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas at the Belgian Grand Prix.

Both drivers were nearly eliminated in the second part of qualifying and relied on their final lap in Q2 to progress to Q3. Mercedes opted to not go with an entirely wet setup, as Hamilton qualified in third and Bottas qualified in eighth.

"We definitely didn't do the right programme during qualifying, not just during Q3, but I don't think we did the optimum in Q1 or in Q2 either," explained Vowles.

"Every single lap that a driver has available to them matters in those conditions. Spa is incredibly difficult as a track in the dry, now add the fact that Turn 1, which isn't really a corner, it's one braking zone, the first proper corner they experience is Eau Rouge, up and through and in the wet that is flat or nearly flat.

"With the W12, we weren't quite on the pace of others. In Q2, I think it is fair to say we had new sets of tyres as did other cars and [Lando] Norris, and his lap was faster, but they were also running a downforce level more suited to it.

"We went for a setup that was a little bit more balanced for conditions that could be drier than they were, and especially the setup that I think that had Sunday been [Intermediate] conditions, or varying between Inters to going towards dry, we would have been very strong, but that's not what happened.

"We had a little bit of a bias that would have suited other cars on Saturday. The second is that in those conditions we missed out on some essential laps for the drivers.

"[At the] beginning of Q2, they were trafficked on their lap, then on the second lap the tyres weren't quite at their best and we stopped and fitted new ones in the box, and when we did, you saw Lewis moved up to the top of the timesheets, so we had a car that could be competitive in those conditions, but everything had to be right for the drivers.

"We had a little bit of locking, a little bit of struggling just to get the car slowed down, not just ourselves but other cars as well into a few of the turns, Turn 1 and Turn 5 probably being predominantly the key areas."

Hamilton was pipped to the front row by George Russell, who executed a stunning lap in Q3 in his Williams.

Russell went for one big effort at the end of the session whereas both Mercedes drivers and pole-sitter Max Verstappen executed a fast lap, followed by a slow lap, and then one a final flying lap. Vowles believes Williams went for the better strategy.

"Come Q3, George's lap was obviously incredible but also the programme they completed I feel would have helped them," said Vowles.

"Verstappen did the same programme [as us], but that middle lap just took a lot of temperature out of the tyres.

"It was there to try and cool the tyres down to make sure that they were ready to go and also make sure that we were just in towards the field, so no one had a big advantage or disadvantage on where they were positioned on track.

"But I feel we just took too much out of our tyres by doing this. They weren't quite ready and that is what we saw in Turn 1, we just weren't in the right place on grip.

"George's programme was one where they knew they couldn't push immediately after they went out on the X Wets, they had to do a slow preparation lap and actually, overall, I think in those conditions that might have been the right programme."

F1 Podcast: Lessons to learn for F1 after Spa-Francorchamps disaster

It's time for the latest episode of our new Formula 1 podcast, with F1 journalists Dieter Rencken, Thomas Maher and Mike Seymour discussing the disastrous Belgian Grand Prix...

RN365 News dossier F1 2021 Belgian Grand Prix

The latest news about the Belgian Grand Prix straight from Spa-Francorchamps.

0 comments

    x