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2008 Belgian Grand Prix

Grand Prix ING de Belgique

Sunday, September 7, 2008
Cool, dry and cloudy at the start, light rain later
Fastest Lap:
Raikkonen, 1m47.930
2008 season:

Let us begin with a simple fact – a simple fact this particular week, anyway. The penalty for almost causing a collision in the pitlane is a drive-through penalty. This we know because Bruno Senna was thus punished in Saturday’s GP2 race at Spa, and it cost him the race. In the following day’s Belgian Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton drove a quite brilliant race, scoring his fifth victory of the season, and moving himself into a commanding lead in the World Championship, with five races to go. After the race, though, those dreaded words appeared on the TV screens in the press room: ‘Incident involving cars 1 and 22 under investigation’. This referred to Kimi Räikkönen’s Ferrari and Hamilton’s McLaren, which had been locked in battle all afternoon. “I’d been pushing and pushing,” said Lewis, “but four laps from the end I thought, ‘I can’t catch this guy’. I was praying for rain, because I knew it was my only chance to pass him. When I started getting spots on my visor, my hopes were raised – and when I saw Kimi start braking earlier, I knew it was on…” On the increasingly slippery surface, Hamilton swiftly closed on Räikkönen, and as they approached the right-left chicane at the end of the lap, with two laps to go, he jinked left of the Ferrari, as if to pass it on the outside. Kimi, Lewis said, had braked very early, and that had presented this opportunity. Side by side into the turn, though, Räikkönen was not ready to cede, and Hamilton, keen to avoid a touch, went over the corner, in the process momentarily taking the lead.