If you don’t want to waste time reading the entire blog, here’s the long and short of it: Warmup Lap, Huge banner on grandstand, Start, Vettel leads, Vettel’s record, pitstop round 1, Grosjean’s record, Alonso’s pace, Raikkonen’s record, pitstop round 2, Maldonado acting like a lunatic, i.e. being himself, world order restored, waiting for rain, Vettel takes chequered flag, awkward moments in green room, drivers take the podium, Greenpeace banner at the podium, Interviews by David Coulthard, Boos for Vettel, DC gets sprayed with champagne, More boos for Vettel, The End.
Before I tell you about the race, let me give you a little history lesson. You see, earlier, man used to be satisfied with whatever he had. He used to eat whatever he’d hunt that day and go to sleep. Then one day, a Chinese guy came along and taught people to save up for future. That’s how man was introduced to the 4th sin called “greed.”
Now, there are some greedy people who wants to ruin one of the only two virgin pieces of land left of the planet – the Arctic. At the North Pole, they’re poking the mother earth with huge injections and sucking out the black gold. Sure, it’s black gold but the price our children will pay in future would be enormous. Apparently, they were the same people who sponsored 2013 Belgium GP. To protest against these greedy bastards, a group of tree-huggers came to the race and boo-ed them. They didn’t stop at that. Some guys had climbed to the top of the Grandstand to get a better view. These tree-huggers, let’s call them Greenpeace, promised to buy a round of beer to these adventure junkies if they’d put up a couple of banners at the top of the grandstand roof.
The first banner read: “ARCTIC OIL? SHELL NO!”
A deal couldn’t be made for the second banner else this was also slated to be alongside the first banner: “Jimmy, Johnny, Celina, Mom & Dad, I’m in Belgium. Sorry, I sold off our dog and ran away with Ted the hippie, but we really needed money to go to Belgium. See you soon. XOXO”
Anyhoo. The race started.
This race also featured Romain Grosjean’s moment of glory. Grosjean and Perez had an incident where Perez overtook the Lotus driver during which Romain ran off the track and lost couple of places. FIA thinks “forcing another car off the track and gaining an advantage” is a punishable offense and hence, awarded Perez a drive-through penalty. I would’ve called it a bit harsh had Perez got this punishment against another driver but given the fact that he got it against Grosjean, I’d say, it’s downright preposterous. This was the first time in F1’s 65 year history that the other driver and not Grosjean incurred a penalty. The world all of a sudden looked a different place.
After starting from P8, Kimi was running a good race. But because Lotus had given him a set of brakes made up of thermocol, they turned soon to dust and the Finn had to retire. This was his first retirement in a long lonnnng time. Some so-called statistician are saying that he retired after 39 races but I’m pretty sure it’s longer than that. Because, the last time Raikkonen had a retirement from the race, Russia was still called USSR and John Lennon was learning meditation in India.
All this while, Fernando Alonso kept climbing up the ladder. His Ferrari was on weed or something, since he made up 4 places on the first lap itself. Hamilton couldn’t manage to overtake Alonso even with his DRS and ego ON.
Though Grosjean was behaving like a new-and-improved, fresh-out-of-rehab Hollywood star, that wasn’t going to dampen Pastor Maldonado’s spirit of ruining someone else’s race. To compensate for his crash course batchmate Grosjean’s good behaviour, Maldonado decided to take on an entire team and not just a single driver. First, he clipped the side of Adrian Sutil’s Force India. And that was just a trailer; seconds later he released the entire blockbuster at the rear of Paul Di Resta’s VJM06. Crash kid is back. World order restored!
Race Control: “We’re investigating incident involving Di Resta and Maldonado.”
In short, what they meant was, “We haven’t reached a consensus whether to make him walk barefoot on coal with pit limiter on or give him a 100 lashes.” In the end, they gave him a boring “10 sec stop/go penalty” hoping it would be enough for Di Resta to have a nice chat with him but since Paulie had no prior experience of KO-ing a person in 10 seconds, it ended up being a routine penalty. Tch!
Maybe, FIA doesn’t realize that guys like Grojean and Maldonado eat “stop/go” penalties for breakfast. They should innovate and find new ways to penalize drivers. Something like, turning the pit limiter on in DRS zone. Or blasting Priyanka Chopra’s Exotic on team radio for 3 full laps.
Elsewhere, Jenson Button had found a new gear in his McLaren and was showing good pace. Combined with his P6, teammate Nico Rosberg’s P4 and outside help from one Mr. Maldonado, the McLaren team managed to overtake Force India for 5th place in Constructors’ Championship. Not a good day to be a Force India supported, eh?
And while fans were praying for rain and Greenpeace supporters for snow, up ahead of the pack, Sebastien Vettel ran more-or-less a solo race. During this race, Vettel became the 7th driver in the history of F1 to have lead 2000 laps, including 10 laps under MULTI 21 setting. Seb was 17 seconds ahead of second placed Alonso when the German started his last lap. Enough time for him to stop before the finish line, argue with the team, sign a couple of autographs, show the infamous finger and cross the finish line. Fortunately, he did no such thing and simply took the chequered flag, with Alonso’s Ferrari in second and a nervous Hamilton’s Mercedes in third.
Though it didn’t rain or snow, the green room containing Vettel, Alonso and Hamilton was one helluva cold place. With Vettel and Hamilton talking and Alonso looking on, one could almost hear the Spaniards thoughts, “Shut up, idiots!”
Drama didn’t end there. At the podium interviews crowd kept interrupting Seb’s speech with boos and loud horns. Also, David Coulthard got sprayed with with champagne and though he cribbed about how his rented jacket is ruined, he did thank the drivers for giving him a taste of champagne after years.
And here’s something that the broadcast director didn’t show you: A popup banner hidden by Greenpeace fellas months before the race. Brilliant!
Final Result of the dry Belgium Grand Prix:
1. The Annoying Finger
2. Real Talent
4. Raw Talent
5. Lady Injustice’s Favourite Aussie
6. Jessica Mischibata’s husband
7. Timo Glock hater
8. Talented Crash Kid
9. Comeback Kid
10. Employee of the Year
Update: FIA: Kimi Raikkonen gets a 5 place grid penalty for leaving the track and gaining an advantage, i.e. going to the pub before anyone else.
Update 2: Pakistan’s ISI has decided to honor Maldonado with Nishaan-i-Haider after he ruined 1.5 Force India cars.