Belgian Grand Prix 2010

/ Commentary

Race

Dark clouds are looming above the grid as the drivers set off on their formation lap. Heavy rain is now expected in eight minutes! How quickly the weather changes. It could really mix things up now.

Five minutes to lights out and it's possible that any one of ten drivers could win this one with rain forecast. The sight of cars on full tanks going through Eau Rouge should be very interesting indeed. To lift or not to lift . . .

With ten minutes to go, the track weather radar forecasts no rain within the next thirty minutes.

Sebastian Vettel is starting from fourth and says his car is 'fantastic'. He promises to go flat out on the opening lap. Pole sitter Mark Webber says the track looks good but that it is easy in the dry but a very different proposition in the wet.

Jenson Button starts from fifth and has just been interviewed on the grid. "You can lose this race early on but you can't win it early on." He may also be running slightly less downforce than Lewis Hamilton.

Lewis Hamilton starts on the front row and promises to be aggressive within reason at the start. "I will be aggressive, but I have to be cautious at the same time."

The pit lane is now open and drivers are out on reconnaissance laps.

Hello and welcome to our live text commentary of the 2010 Belgium Grand Prix. The latest news from the circuit is that the race will start dry with a 60% chance of showers forecast between 14.00 and 15.00 local time. Drivers have also been warned not to use the run off area at La Source going into Eau Rouge. Drivers that do so could face subsequent penalties.

Lap 1

The lights are out and it's a brilliant start from Lewis Hamilton as Mark Webber has a shocker! The Australian is down to seventh after a terrible start. It's Hamilton from Kubica, Button and Vettel. Schumacher is up to 17th from 21st. Jenson Button passes for second just at Rubens Barrichello crashes into Alonso at the bus stop. Huge drama at the start.

Lap 2

Webber has gone around the outside of Massa and it challenging Vettel. A good recovery. Rain is falling and there is a yellow flag and safety car out as a result of the Barrichello crash.

Lap 3

With the safety car out, some teams are pitting. Blue sky is coming out as it was just a quick shower. Alonso has intermediates on. The replay shows Mark Webber possibly going into anti-stall, explaining the reason for his poor start. Safety car in at the end of the lap.

Lap 4

They are underway again, Vettel passes Kubica for third. Jenson is right behind Lewis now and Kubica is again challenging Vettel. Spare a thought for poor Rubens on his 300th GP after such a good qualifying performance. There are no signs of further showers at present, bad news for Alonso, who switched to intermediates.

Lap 5

Jenson Button has minor damage on his front wing. Kubica is under investigation for an incident on the opening lap. The radar shows no rain for the next 30 minutes but we have heard that one before . . .

Lap 6

Lewis dials in a 1:50 and he now has a 2.7 second lead from team-mate Button. Bruno Senna retires.

Lap 7

Fernando Alonso is struggling in 20th after his first lap woes and intermediate tyre decision. Michael Schumacher is a big mover, and is currently 12th on his favourite circuit.

Lap 8

Sebastian Vettel is swarming all over Jenson Button's gearbox. It loooks like he could pass him before too long.

Lap 9

Lewis Hamilton still holds a comfortable lead as Alonso is making steady progress up to 16th from the back of the field. Rain is possible in 20 minutes, according to the McLaren weather reports.

Lap 10

De la Rosa takes Trulli into the Bus Stop. It's really tight in the midfield with Vitaly Petrov up to 11th from the back of the grid. Sebastian Vettel and Robert Kubica have escaped any possible steward action.

Lap 11

Vettel is still tight behind Button as Hamilton maintains his five and a half second lead at the front. Michael Schumacher tries an opportunistic move on team-mate Nico Rosberg and removes part of his front winglet.

Lap 12

Rubens Barrichello blames the greasy track on his crash with Alonso. "I touched the brakes early but it was not enough to stop the car."

Lap 13

Vettel is again swarming all over the back of Button again as Alonso challenges Liuzzi. The Italian defends his place well but for how long . . .

Lap 14

Mercedes have decided to let Rosberg carry on despite a slight loss of downforce. It will by dry for the next five minutes according to the Mercedes radar.

Lap 15

Images show a bit of carbon fibre flapping off Jenson Button's front wing. He is currently 8.6 seconds behind his team-mate.

Lap 16

The Red Bull weather report says that a brief shower will hit the circuit in ten minutes. Alonso is past Liuzzi and into 13th place.

Lap 17

Sebastian Vettel has crashed into Jenson Button while attempting to pass! He appears to have been caught out by the conditions, his car snapping sideways into Button, who is completely innocent. Really bad luck for the Englishman. Button is out and will be furious.

Lap 18

Vettel has made it back to the pits but his race has also been ruined. So Hamilton now leads Kubica and Webber. Good news for the Australian, obviously.

Lap 19

Vettel may get a penalty for causing an avoidable accident. The German, having changed his front nose, is running 12th and is still in with a chance of points.

Lap 20

As expected, Vettel has been hit with a drive through penalty, just as he was in Hungary. Michael Schumacher is running sixth, sandwiched between fellow Germans Sutil and Rosberg.

Lap 21

Vettel serves his drive through penalty. He now needs the drive of his life to salvage a decent result, back down in 14th.

Lap 22

Nico Hulkenberg has some kind of drive train problem as Adrian Sutil pits. The weather has improved again with blue sky over the circuit. If it does not rain again, those who have pitted for fresh slicks are in good shape.

Lap 23

Mark Webber is into the pits and it is a good 3.6 second stop. He is back out in fourth. Vettel sets a new fastest lap of the race.

Lap 24

Kubica is into the pits, followed by Massa. Hamlton continues. Webber lines up Kubica but fails to make it stick. He does not want to do what Vettel did!

Lap 25

Lewis Hamilton is in. Another good stop and he rejoins in the lead. Sutil easily passes Michael Schumacher on the exit to Eau Rouge. All too easy.

Lap 26

Jenson Button is clearly not happy. "Very strange and I don't know what he [Vettel] was doing really. It's a massive blow." Vettel has a left rear puncture and is limping back to the pits after hitting Liuzzi. Not a good day for him!

Lap 27

Vettel is still limping around and is losing a massive amount of time. It may rain just before the end of the race according to latest reports.

Lap 28

Vettel has made it back to the pits but is now 20th. Hamilton is now eight seconds ahead of Robert Kubica and is looking good.

Lap 29

Hamilton sets a new personal best and has looked supreme all day, as has Robert Kubica. Vitaly Petrov is also in the points.

Lap 30

If he wins, Lewis Hamilton could re-take the lead of the drivers' title depending on where Mark Webber finishes. If you want to see how all these developments affect the title during the race, we're running the 'Live championship standings' tab for the first time today.

Lap 31

Fernando Alonso is challenging Kamui Kobayashi for eighth place. It has been a great drive from Alonso considering his early woes. It could rain in around ten minutes so it's not done and dusted yet!

Lap 32

Lewis Hamilton's team will only pull him in for intermediates if it is 'absolutely neccessary'. Brazil 2008 springs to mind and Lewis will be well aware of the threat of rain.

Lap 33

Spots of rain are appearing on the helicopter camera above the circuit.

Lap 34

Pedro de la Rosa defends his position well from Nico Hulkenberg into Les Combes. It is raining lightly but this could continue for 20 minutes, making the track extremely slippery. Tyre choice is now critical, to gamble or not to gamble. Lewis looks to be struggling through Stavelot.

Lap 35

Some drivers seem to be twitchy in the wet but with intermediates burning out within a few laps, what to do? Lewis has slipped off into the gravel but rejoins in the lead. A gaggle of cars are now heading into the pits. Vettel is on full wets and the Mercedes drivers on intermediates. Lewis is in!

Lap 36

It is a good stop for Lewis but Webber is into second as Kubica overshoots his box, a criminal error. So it's Hamilton from Webber, both on inters.

Lap 37

Nico Hulkenberg has stayed on slicks and the rain is easing. Could be a good decision but he is struggling to keep it on the road. A pit lane incident between Vettel and Alonso is being investigated.

Lap 38

Lewis Hamilton continues in the lead and it would be his first victory at Spa if he manages to do so.

Lap 39

The safety car is out as Alonso spins and stalls his Ferrari in the middle of the circuit at Malmedy. Not what Lewis Hamilton wanted as Webber is now right on his tail. Lewis Hamilton is complaining that the safety car is going too slowly. He reports the circuit is slippery but not too bad.

Lap 40

The safety car continues for another lap. It will peel off at the end of the lap.

Lap 41

And they're racing again with four laps remaining. Expect a few overtaking moves. Rosberg overtakes Schumacher and Kobayashi and up to sixth. Trulli spins off in his Lotus but rejoins at the back.

Lap 42

Lewis continues to keep his nose ahead of Webber as Liuzzi lines up Alguersuari. Great racing in the wet now.

Lap 43

Hamilton is just 1.6 seconds of Webber with two laps remaining. He must still be very careful in these conditions though.

Lap 44

We're into the final lap and Hamilton continues to lead from Webber, Kubica and Massa. Surely there are no more twists in this dramatic race? And Lewis Hamilton wins his first ever Belgian Grand Prix, leading home Mark Webber and Robert Kubica. Felipe Massa comes home fourth from Adrian Sutil and Nico Rosberg. Lewis Hamilton now leads the drivers' standings by three points from Mark Webber.

Thankyou for joining us on a dramatic day in Spa, don't forget to log on shortly for a full race report and reaction from the teams and drivers.