Kimi Räikkönen & Sebastian Vettel

Kimi Räikkönen & Sebastian Vettel

sunnuntai 30. syyskuuta 2012

Season 2013: the game is on!

On Friday it finally became official: Hamilton will leave McLaren at the end of this season and will replace Schumacher at Mercedes AMG in 2013! There had been talks about Hamilton leaving the British team already during the summer and there had been many signs showing that Hamilton didn´t feel very comfortable with the team any more. No celebrations with the team members after conquerring pole for example... You don´t have to be a scientist to figure out that something wasn´t right any more.

In terms of Hamilton´s career going to Mercedes is a huge risk! Hamilton has been with McLaren since he was 13 years old and the team has always been able to provide him with a competitive car. It hasn´t always been the best on the grid but the team has had all the resources needed to develop the car and improve their performance. This is about to change when Hamilton goes to Mercedes next year. Although they also have all the financial prerequisites to build a winning car there has been only very little success by this far. But for Hamilton it´s very healthy and maybe eyes-opening to start with a team where you have to develop both yourself and the car in order to gain success. Starting his F1 career at McLaren meant that the Briton got to start his career at a top team and didn´t have to fight his way through to gain success. At Mercedes he can´t take the success for granted any more but he has to work extremely hard to win races. Next year we´ll see how talented and skillful Hamilton really is! Is his success all about getting everything "on a silver plate" or is it because of his talent and skills? Can´t wait to see!

Hamilton himself has said that he made this move not because of money but because of motivation. Although you can´t completely ignore the fact that the Briton is said to get about 100 million dollars for the three year contract with Mercedes I can understand his point. McLaren is the only team where he has ever competed with during his entire F1 career and he has already won the world championship title with the team. There isn´t much more to achieve, is there? Moving to Mercedes will be a fresh start for the Briton and will definitely mean new challenges for him. But the question is, whether the man has the right attitude to face the challenge... This is my opinion only but Hamilton seems kind of arrogant and I get a feeling that his feet aren´t firmly on the ground any more. All the talks about him wanting to create a "Hamilton brand" and stuff like that... Is his focus on F1 racing slowly slipping through his fingers? He should look in to the mirror and ask himself why not everyone liked his personality at McLaren. I started feeling some sympathy for the Briton last season when he had difficulties in his personal life and they were reflected to his driving. I can understand easily that a pay check of 100 million dollars make you lose the grip to the "real world" but I hope that he will be able to find his down to earth side of him very soon.  I mean he is an excellent racing driver, no doubt about that.

About the other moves then. I was stunned when I read about Perez replacing Hamilton at McLaren in 2013! I couldn´t have imagined that in my wildest dreams! In terms of Perez´s career it´s an absolutely awesome move! And the Mexican is definitely one of the drivers that we´ll hear a lot about in the future. I´m sure that they will regret it a lot at Ferrari that they thought Perez was too "inexperienced to become a Ferrari driver." Perez has achieved already three podium finishes this season and I´m convinced there are more to come in the future.

Perez leaving the team means there is a vacant race seat at Sauber for 2013. Maybe even two if Kobayashi doesn´t get a new contract with the team. Who will replace Perez then? As a Finn I would love to see Heikki Kovalainen at Sauber next year. He has done a tremendously good job at Caterham, at the wheel of such a lousy car he has got the best out of it. But I´m afraid getting the seat at Sauber isn´t a question of talent but money... I wouldn´t be surprised to see the Sauber´s reserve driver Esteban Gutierrez getting the seat. He has a huge sponsor supporting him so money wouldn´t be a problem. I´ve also heard rumours saying that Alguersuari would get the seat. Nothing has been confirmed yet...

What about Ferrari? Will Massa get one more year with the Prancing Horse? I´m sorry to say this but I hope not! It´s unbelievable how long the Brazilian has been allowed to stay in the team despite his lousy performance. But there have been rumours that Massa would be offered one more year in the team because no driver would like to get only a one year contract with the team as it´s said that Vettel will move to Ferrari for the season 2014... It´s very difficult for me to believe this would be true! Somehow I can´t see both Vettel and Alonso driving in the same team! Sorry but that´s impossible. Alonso has always needed a team where he is the number one driver. I guess we can all remember what happened when Alonso and Hamilton were both at McLaren. Two equally talented drivers fighting for success didn´t work out for Alonso so I don´t see that driving for the same team with Vettel would be any easier for the Spaniard! But what I´ve learned, Formula 1 is a wondrous world where anything can happen so the word "impossible" doesn´t exist!

Before the season 2013 begins there are still 6 races to go and a world championship to win! So back to this season and one thing that has caught my eye recently. I have tweeted to the Finnish F1 reporter and commentator Oskari Saari a few times and asked for an interview of Heikki Huovinen, who is Vettel´s trainer at the moment. Saari answered to me writing that all the interview requests have been denied by the team. I can´t help wondering about the reasons for that! Sebastian´s former trainer Tommi (Pärmäkoski) was interviewed quite a few times by the Finnish media during the previous season and I can´t see that Tommi would have caused any harm either for the team or his trainee by his comments! From my selfish point of view I´d absolutely love to hear Heikki´s comments on his work but I do respect that not everyone enjoys the publicity. Sebastian seems to have a lot in common with Kimi Räikkönen: neither one enjoys the publicity or wants to be in the lime light. And the same implies to Antti Vierula, who works as Hamilton´s trainer. He too is not allowed to give any interviews. Which would be so great to hear and it may help getting a better image of the Briton who hasn´t got the best possible reputation... But the reasons for not being allowed to give interviews can only be guessed.

sunnuntai 23. syyskuuta 2012

Singapore GP: Seb took his second win of the season in his mesmerising blinking helmet!

I got home right in time before the lights went out. And what a race we got to see in the dark night of Singapore! Hamilton was able to maintain his lead at the start. Vettel managed to get past Maldonado on the first corners and the Venezuelan was also overtaken by Button in his McLaren. Kimi starting in P12 passed Hulkenberg and gained a position. Hamilton and Vettel seemed to be cruising away from their rivals but Kimi instead got stuck behind Schumacher. Even using DRS didn´t make overtaking possible.

After the first pit stops the situation in the front was unchanged. It seemed that no one could prevent Hamilton from winning the race. Until on lap 23... Hamilton´s car stopped on the track due to a gear box failure! What a frustrating turn in terms of Hamilton´s championship hunt. But this meant one thing only: Vettel took the lead and I kept my fingers crossed down to my elboes that there wouldn´t be any alternator or other technical issues today!

More colourful events were about to take place soon. Karthikeyan in his HRT crashed into the wall and safety car was deployed. Right before the restart Vettel was warming up his tyres when he suddenly braked and Button behind him was very close to crashing into Seb´s car! Luckily that didn´t happen! After the restart it was soon time for another safety car episode. This time Schumi crashed into the rear of Vergne´s Toro Rosso and both men were out of the race.Maldonado was also forced to retire the race due to a hydraulics problem.

After the two safety car episodes it became clear that there was not time to drive all the 61 laps planned as 2 hours is the limit that one race is allowed to last. So finally there were 59 laps driven in the night of Singapore. Vettel was finally able to clinch his second win of the season in his fascinating bling-bling helmet! Button finished 2nd and in spite of the fact that Ferrari is seriously lacking speed at the moment Fernando Alonso managed to make his way to the podium as well! Di Resta finished 4th which is the best result in his career so far. Rosberg finished 5th and Kimi 6th. Once again Kimi fought his way from the midfield of the grid and finished in the points.

We saw a team order from Lotus today. Kimi was driving behind his team mate Grosjean but with 13 laps to go the Frenchman was told on the team radio that "Kimi is faster than you" and after that Grosjean made no effort to prevent the Iceman from overtaking him. I know I´ve been critisizing team orders a lot, especially those given by Ferrari. And I have to admit this one didn´t seem right to me, either although they aren´t forbidden in Formula 1 at the moment. On one hand the team order today was very understandable as Grosjean doesn´t have any chance to win the championship any more and Kimi does... But on the other hand team orders are against the spirit of sportsmanship and fair play. But I do admit that it´s easier to accept a team order from Lotus than from Ferrari! And it´s just because I´m a fan of Kimi, it´s as simple as that. So things are almost never eiher "black" or "white" but there´re also shades of "grey" depending on the angle that you´re looking from...

Singapore GP / Qualifying: Hamilton on pole -again!

I had a different qualifying Saturday this time. Usually I watch the qually at home and write my blog post right after that but yesterday I wasn´t at home. I spent my day at spa (not at Spa Francorchamps unfortunately ;) ) and attended water bike and aquazumba classes which were a lot of fun. Then I drove to my parents´ house to watch the qually with my father. And after that I drove back to the hotel and enjoyed some more swimming and sitting in different kind of saunas and drinking some vanilla cognac as well ;) I spent the evening with my twin sister and I´d be lying if I said I didn´t mention names like Kimi Räikkönen and Sebastian Vettel during the evening... ;)

I had high hopes for the qualifying as Sebastian had topped all three free practice sessions. In Q1 it was surprising to see that Kobayashi in his Sauber didn´t make it into Q2. Sauber have had very promising race pace in recent races so I was kind of astonished to see the Japanese been knocked out of Q2!

Q2 instead held many surprises. No way I could expect in any case that Kimi wouldn´t make his way through in to the final section! Lotus seemed very competitive in Q1 and Grosjean was able to set a very decent lap time also in Q2. Kimi had problems with the tyres. Odd enough, the Iceman set faster lap times with the used tyres than with the fresh ones. So it was a disappointing 12th place for the Finn. Massa either couldn´t make it in to the Q3 but qualified 13th. Perez in the other Sauber was also out of top ten!

Most drivers had only one run in the final section. Hamilton went out when the Q3 got underway and actually the Briton´s first attempt was fast enough to make him the pole sitter! Maldonado in his Williams surprised most of us by making his way to the front row by qualifying 2nd! Very well done from the Venezuelan who seems to either astonish everybody with a staggering result or destroy somebody´s race... So it´s either very good or catastrophic result for him, there´s nothing in between ;) Sebastian managed to qualify 3rd, which was naturally a fantastic result! But after topping all of the practice sessions I knew he´d have every possibility to make it on pole at Singapore! But something happened to the German in the final section and he couldn´t get everything out of his car. Button qualified 4th  right ahead of Alonso. The Mercedes duo Schumacher and Rosberg didn´t set a lap time in Q3 so once again we saw some playing with the tyre tactics.

sunnuntai 9. syyskuuta 2012

Italian GP: A catastrophic race for Red Bull!

I have counted slowly from 1 to 10. VERY SLOWLY. I´ve got something to eat. I guess I´ve calmed down enough and I´m ready to write this blog post. This was definitely a race with some extremely strong emotions!

Let´s begin with the start. Hamilton maintained his lead but Massa managed to pass Button and the Brazilian was second. No collisions on the first corner this time! The first laps were tight and there were some nice overtaking moves. Vettel made his way to 4th by overtaking his fellow countryman Schumacher and everything looked so promising... It seemed that Sebastian could easily reach a podium finish. Kimi on the other hand wasn´t as fast as I had hoped him to be and he was in trouble with Perez for example who made an awesome pass on him.

The majority of the drivers had a one-stop strategy. All the top drivers had started the race on the option tyres except Perez who started from P12 with the prime tyres. The Mexican had a perfect strategy as he was able to stay out longer than the others and gained many positions due to his excellent strategy. Vettel in P5 and Alonso in P6 had a breathtaking wheel-to-wheel battle going on for many laps! It was extremely close that the Spaniard would have overtaken the German in the pits but Vettel managed only just to maintain his position. But then on lap 26 there was a crucial turn in terms of the outcome of the race... At Curva Grande Alonso made a move on Vettel. I don´t know what happened exactly but Alonso went wide on to the grass and Vettel kept his 5th place. Alonso managed to overtake the Red Bull driver three laps later but the Ferrari driver had whined on the team radio about Vettel´s manouvre. Shortly after that the stewards gave Vettel a drive-through penalty which lead to Vettel dropping back to 11th place!

I can´t help writing a few lines on this! I´m not a steward or an expert on the rules but I consider this penalty totally unfair! Vettel didn´t deserve to get a drive-through penalty for his action! In my opinion he defended his position but didn´t FORCE Alonso OFF the track! It seemed to me that Alonso deliberately drove on to the grass trying to overtake Vettel and then whined about it on the radio to get a penalty for Vettel. I´m sorry but Alonso´s action hasn´t always been completely fair or sportsmanlike so this wouldn´t surprise me at all. I have never been a fan of Alonso but this made me feel absolutely no respect for the Spaniard! Last year Alonso made a similar move on Vettel and no penalties were given! This is my opinion only but for me it seems that the FIA is playing for Alonso´s favour... To me it looks that the FIA is helping Alonso to win the third championship. And I´m utterly gutted about it!

Back to the race then! After the pit stops the McLaren duo was in the lead followed by the Ferrari duo. Massa held the third place for quite some time but it was just a matter of time when Alonso MOVED ahead of the Brazilian. Alonso didn´t need to actually overtake. This time the team order was told to Massa on the team radio like this:" You need to think about saving your tyres. Fernando is behind you." This is one of the reasons why I dislike Ferrari so much. Fair play isn´t the word to desbribe their actions on the track! Makes me feel sick.

More dramatic turns were about to emerge. Button in the second place had to retire the race on lap 34 due to a technical failure. And Vettel had another alternator failure and had to retire only 4 laps before the chequered flag! So in that sense it doesn´t really matter if his penalty was justified or not because he had to retire the race once again... Very very disappointing indeed! :( Red Bull had a catastrophic race as also Webber had to retire the race at the end. I´m starting to get a flashback of the 2010 season with all these technical failures... To be honest, it doesn´t look too good for the championship at the moment!

Hamilton cruised to the victory but the Mexican Sauber driver Sergio Perez had made a staggering recovery from his 12th position and claimed the second place! After the pit stops he was significantly faster than the other top drivers and had no difficulties at all to overtake both Ferrari drivers with fresh option tyres! An absolutely great and well-deserved 2nd place for him. Alonso finished 3rd, Massa 4th, Kimi 5th and Schumi 6th. Kimi´s 5th place made him 3rd in the WDC standings so it´s looking quite good for the Iceman. Alonso extended his lead and has now a 37-point gap over his closest rival Hamilton. All three drivers, Hamilton, Räikkönen and Vettel have only one point separating them in the standings. So it was the last race in Europe this season. Hopefully it was also the last DNF for Sebastian this season! Red Bull can´t afford having any more car failures!

As a huge fan of the Iceman I have to write a few lines on him as well. I was impressed yesterday when I read an interview of him on the official Formula 1 website. The Finn was asked something like what has been the best thing about being back to Formula 1. The Iceman answered that definitely not talking to the media and how he doesn´t like all the bullshit questions asked by the media. After that Kimi was asked that what kind of a question he would be happy to answer. Kimi stated that such a question doesn´t exist! I was utterly amused by his answers! He stands out of the crowd in such a personal way! Who else of all the F1 drivers would give an answer like him! NO ONE! He´s such a legend! :)

lauantai 8. syyskuuta 2012

Italian GP / Qualifying: A front row lock-out for McLaren!

I actually didn´t know what to expect from today´s qualifying. I was afraid Red Bull would face a tough qualifying as their straight line speed was the slowest of all in the free practices. I knew I couldn´t afford taking it for granted that Vettel would even make it in to Q3... But I trusted in Sebastian with all my heart and I knew he would do everything he can to be in top ten! On the other hand I had high hopes for Lotus, especially Kimi. At Spa they had also suffered from not having enough straight line speed but the team had fixed the issue for Monza and D´Ambrosio replacing Grosjean had the highest speed on the straights!

Force India had shown very promising pace in the free practices but Hulkenberg had a car failure in Q1 and he wasn´t able to set a lap time so he was naturally out of Q2. Ferrari seemed to be flying at Monza in front of the tifosi! Alonso topped the time sheets after Q1 so I knew he was going to be a strong contender for pole...

Alonso dominated Q2 as well. It seemed that the battle for pole was going to be between the McLaren drivers and Alonso. In spite of the impressive straight line speed Lotus didn´t seem competitive enough to fight for a front row position. As expected, D´Ambrosio didn´t manage to make his way through to Q3. There were some surprise names knocked out of the final session as well. Webber at the wheel of RB8 just fell short of Q3 after his eleventh position on the time sheets at the end of Q2. Maldonado was out of Q3 as well. He qualified 12th but he will be dropped back to 22nd on the grid due to his penalties from the previous race. Perez didn´t make it to the top ten, either which I found a bit surprising because the Mexican has performed pretty well during this season. I was relieved to see both Sebastian and Kimi among the ten fastest!

When Q3 got underway I was very worried that Alonso might well conquer pole this time... But no, not this time. He had a mechanical fault in his car at the rear axle rod which made him 1,5 seconds slower than he had been in the first two sessions! Hamilton instead pulled out an awesome lap and made it easily on pole today! It turned out to be a front row lock-out for McLaren as Button qualified 2nd today. Massa was 3rd fastest which can be considered quite a surprise! Di Resta in Force India qualified 4th but due to a gear box change he got a five-place grid penalty and will start from 9th tomorrow. Although Red Bull´s performance didn´t look so promising in the free practices Seb will still start from P5! Mercedes were extremely competitive and fast today. Schumi  will start in front of Seb and Nico right behind him. Kimi will be in P7 tomorrow. Lotus´s race pace is strong so I´m definitely expecting some good points for Kimi in the race!

As you might have noticed by now I´m not a huge fan of Alonso and also because the Spaniard is the most dangerous opponent in the championship battle I was very glad that the Ferrari driver was left 10th today! Iam counting firmly on Seb´s possibilities to finish on the podium tomorrow! Mercedes have had problems with their tyre degradation so I don´t think their performance in the race will be as good as in the qualifying. I am afraid the McLaren duo might be unbeatable tomorrow but what I´m hoping for the most is that Seb will score more points than Alonso at the wheel of his Prancing Horse! The bigger the difference in points tomorrow the better! Now is the time to achieve the best possible result! So I´m expecting Seb to drive flat out and show his passionate fans some staggering and undescribable overtaking manoeuvres!

sunnuntai 2. syyskuuta 2012

Belgian GP: Breathtaking overtaking moves by Kimi and Seb!

What an epic race we saw today! The start was absolutely crazy. In addition to Maldonado taking a jump start there was a collision in the first corner caused by Lotus driver Grosjean (not the first one for him this year!). The Frenchman crashed to Hamilton´s McLaren and it lead to both Grosjean´s and Hamilton´s cars flying in the air and crashing to Alonso´s Ferrari. Perez in his Sauber was also involved in the crash and all four were out of the race! Luckily none of the drivers were hurt because it really looked like a nasty crash! Anyway, I have to admit I was a bit mean being happy that Alonso was out of the race... I was happy that he didn´t get hurt but I was delighted that the Spaniard didn´t score points today.

Naturally the crash caused safety car to come out but after the restart it turned out to be Button´s race. He disappeared to the horizon immediately. Kimi seemed to be struggling with his tyres and was lacking grip. He was struggling with both Force India drivers and the team decided to take the Iceman in for an early pit stop. That seemed to be the right call as Kimi´s pace got better with the fresh set of hard tyres.

Vettel started the race in P10 but his race pace was absolutely excellent. He took positions one by one and it was such a pleasure to watch his driving. Sebastian´s overtaking moves on his team-mate, Massa and the 7-time world champion Schumacher were legendary! I enjoyed every moment from the bottom of my heart. I have to admit there was some screaming, too when I sat on the sofa watching the race on TV ;) Before the race I was certain that Seb would be able to make it to the podium and he didn´t let me down!

Both the race leader Button and Sebastian on the 2nd place had a one stop strategy. Kimi had pitted twice and was fighting for the 3rd place with Schumacher and Hulkenberg. Kimi´s battle with Schumi almost caused me a heart attack! On lap 31 Kimi was able to pass the German but Schumi took his position back when the duo got into the DRS zone. But on lap 34 Kimi did a breathtaking overtaking move and passed Schumi at Eau Rouge! That pass made me absolutely speeechless! That was an overtaking move that you couldn´t have expected from most drivers but the Iceman seemed to be on fire today! Schumi had intended to run with a one stop strategy as well but at the end of the race he had to pit again due to heavy tyre degradation. After passing Schumi Kimi was able to build up a few second gap to Hulkenberg and finished the race 3rd.

This was definitely one of the most eventful races this season and some penalties were handed as well. The Venezuelan Williams driver Maldonado was back in the limelight again and not in a very positive way... He was handed a 5-place grid penalty for taking a jump start and another 5-place penalty for colliding with Glock. Heikki Kovalainen crashed into Karthikeyan in the pits and Caterham got a fine of 10 000 euros for the unsafe release of the Finn. Grosjean was handed a one-race ban for causing the collision at the start which I personally consider quite a heavy punishment. I believe Grosjean had no intension of crashing to Hamilton, I see the incident more like caused by his lack of racing experience. So let´s see who will be driving the other E20 at Monza next weekend...

Will Bottas get a race seat at Williams for 2013?

The second half of the Formula 1 season has now started and this is the time when the drivers have negotiations with different teams on their future. Williams reserve driver, Finnish Valtteri Bottas is one of the drivers in the limelight at the moment. The 23-year-old Finn hasn´t been participating in any other racing series but purely concentrated on the work with Williams. He´s been driving in most first free practices on Fridays and he has done a tramendously excellent job. At the beginning of the season it seemed to be a clear fact that after working this year as a reserve driver Bottas would be given a race seat at Williams for 2013.

Now this fact seems to have changed! I had already taken Bottas´s future race seat for granted as especially Senna´s work at Williams has been less impressive. Of course there´ve been some decent results but many mistakes as well, like destroying the car in practices... Maldonado instead has been extremely fast and his victory at Barcelona showed there´s a huge potential in the Venezuelan driver! On the other hand I guess Maldonado holds some kind of an unofficial record of causing collisions this season! But I always thought it would be Senna who would be replaced by the young Finn.

But... (Why there always has to be a "but"...?) Both current drivers bring a great deal of money to the team! So now there have been talks that in order to get a race seat for 2013 Bottas has to bring a significant amount of money to the team, some have talked about 10 million euros... I´m so angry about this! This is so unfair! Bottas is a brilliant young driver who definitely deserves to get the race seat due to his skills and the impressive work that the man has done! I understand that the teams need money to run the team but money should never be the key factor when hiring drivers to the team!

Of course sponsors and financial support is a part of the Formula 1 world. And I´d be very happy if there were some Finnish companies which would like to support Bottas´s Formula 1 career financially. And I think they should do that because an awesome young talent like Valtteri Bottas makes us all very proud to be Finnish. But money should never be the number one condition for getting a race seat! Talent, skills and raw speed are the things that make a staggering Formula 1 driver, not the contents of your bank account! Money of course helps the team to develop the car and bring the upgrades but no matter how many 100-dollar bills you have in the cockpit they don´t help you drive the car faster if you´re lacking the talent! Valtteri Bottas has everything in terms of talent and speed that are needed to win races and he deserves to get the race seat for 2013! I hope from the bottom of my heart that they realize this at Williams at the end of the season.

One of the reasons why I respect and admire Kimi Räikkönen so very much is the fact that he has had to fight his way to the very top. He doesn´t come from a very wealthy family who would have given him everything "on a golden plate". Everything that he has achieved in the racing world is due to his exceptional talent and skills. Of course you can´t choose your family and this doesn´t mean that Hamilton for example wouldn´t have the talent. But it´s different when your career has always been financially secured ever since as a kid. I do consider Hamilton an exceptionally fast and gifted driver but he has never been forced to fight for his race seat like many other drivers. But Kimi is a great example that you can achieve anything if you´re devoted to what you do and you have the talent.

lauantai 1. syyskuuta 2012

Belgian GP / Qualifying: Button on pole!

Gosh I was more than happy when this weekend finally arrived and the massive 4-week summer break was over at last! And there´s always some extra anticipation in the air from a Finnish point of view as Kimi has clinched victory four times at Spa Francorchamps :) Though I have to admit that this is a weekend with mixed emotions. My father has just been diagnosed with cancer so it´s these moments that remind that although Formula 1 means a world to me there´re also things more important than that... Today I drove to my parents´ house with my three sons and watched the qualifying together with my father, who is a huge Formula 1 fan as well.

Luckily the weather was sunny and the track was dry today. The surprise name eliminated after Q1 was Mercedes´s Nico Rosberg who was left in P18. Lotus´s Grosjean was right on the edge as well as there were only 55 thousandths of a second that separated Rosberg and Grosjean in P17! Kimi´s pace seemed a lot more promising although Lotus had decided not to use the brand new "double DRS" at Spa due to the lack of testing. Such a shame that it had been pouring rain the whole Friday because I´d have been sooo eager to know how fast the new system would have made the E20...

From my point of view Q2 was disappointing! Kimi seemed to be flying and everything seemed fantastic for the Iceman but Sebastian at the wheel of his RB8 didn´t make it to the top 10! What makes me really worried about his situation is that he didn´t actually make any clear mistakes on his flying laps and the car had felt quite good in his opinion... Seb told that he simply wasn´t quick enough. Doesn´t sound comfortable at all! It´s hard to know what to fix in the car if there isn´t any clear issue in the car... I just keep my fingers crossed that Red Bull will be able to come up with some magical solution tomorrow... Massa, Schumacher and Senna were out of Q3 as well.

Q3 was surprising. I hoped from the bottom of my heart that Kimi would be quick enough to fight for pole but not this time unfortunately. Button in his McLaren "came from nowhere" and clinched pole after a disappointing and difficult first half of the season! Kobayashi completed the first row which was a huge surprise as well. Maldonado in his Williams qualified 3rd but after the quali he was handed a 3-place grid penalty due to impeding Hulkenberg in Q1. Kimi was 4th fastest but he´ll start the race in P3 on the clean side of the track due to Maldonado´s penalty. Kimi was also investigated by the stewards for shortcutting at Eau Rouge but no penalties were given for the Iceman -thank God! Perez will start in P4 and Alonso in P5. Hamilton qualified 7th and Grosjean 8th. McLaren has brought a new rear wing to Spa but after this morning´s P3 Hamilton decided not to use the new wing at qualifying. That obviously turned out to be a wrong call as Button seemed to be flying!

Webber and Rosberg have both got 5-place grid penalties for a gear-box change. Webber will start in P12 so Red Bull have a lot of work to do tomorrow! Luckily Maldonado got a penalty, I mean to be honest, I was VERY worried about Kimi starting right behind Kobayashi and Maldonado who both have a reputation of causing collisions... Kimi has an excellent chance to win tomorrow. He has snatched victory starting from P10 so tomorrow´s race should be like a walk in a park :) SHOULD be... But you never know what will happen and how scaringly fast Button will be with his new rear wing! But Lotus´s race pace has been consistent and superb throughout the whole season and with Kimi behind the wheel... There´s something magical about Kimi and Spa. Even the Finnish Formula 1 commentator and ex F1 driver Mika Salo said that he was amazed by Kimi´s brave driving today. Kimi drove through the Blancimont corner with his DRS open which not every driver is brave enough to do! So Kimi is capable of doing miracles tomorrow, that´s for sure!