Formula One is back after the summer break, and this week on #F1Chat we have a race to discuss, so here’s what’s coming up…
Let’s begin with Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull’s pace. He overtook pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton along the Kemmel Straight on the first lap, making it look seemingly easy and he quickly pulled out a comfortable lead. Within a couple of laps he was told to pace himself and look after his tyres and later in the race it became apparent he could have pulled out an additional 20 seconds over second-placed Fernando Alonso – what did you make of his pace? What about Mark Webber? He finished fifth.
Qualifying was one of the best we’ve seen in a long time thanks to rain in Q3 which saw times tumble as the rain eased. Hamilton was the last over the line and took pole – but what did you make of his and the Mercedes’ pace over the weekend? Were you surprised by his pole lap when you later saw his race pace? What did you make of Paul di Resta’s gamble for pole position?
What about the pace of the Ferrari? It looks like they’ve found some pace since Hungary with Alonso going from ninth on the grid to second in the race. Do you think their title fight is back on? After Kimi Raikkonen’s first retirement after 28 consecutive points finishes, he’s slipped back to fourth in the drivers’ standings – do you think he’s still in with a chance of the title, and if not, which drivers do you think still have the chance to fight Vettel in the remaining 8 races?
Let’s talk penalties. Perez received a drive-through for forcing Romain Grosjean off the track at Les Combes early in the race after completing an overtaking manoeuvre and driving across Grosjean as he went to take the racing line. Do you think this penalty was fair? Pastor Maldonado received a ten-second stop-go penalty for causing a crash with Paul di Resta – the pair were part of a tangle at the Bus Stop Chicane along with Esteban Gutierrez and Adrian Sutil. After Maldonado was clipped by Sutil, he cut across the track to take the pitlane entrance and went into di Resta. Did you agree with his penalty? Gutierrez received a drive-through for his part in the incident as before they reached the Bus Stop, he left the track and gained an advantage against Maldonado. Thoughts on this?
So who was your driver of the day? Overtake of the race?
Elsewhere in the paddock this weekend, and Mark Webber has been quoted saying to James Allen about his successor at Red Bull: “The decision is made. We all know who it is. I’m happy with that decision. It’s good for him and it’s good for Australia.” Thoughts on this?
There are doubts that New Jersey will be on the calendar in 2014, but Autosport has reported that Mexico may be making a surprise return to the calendar – thoughts on these developments?
Join us tomorrow at the usual time of 4pm Eastern US, 9pm UK, using the #F1Chat hashtag to answer the questions. We look forward to discussing the race tomorrow!