F1: Vettel Wins At Spa After Tyre Blister Controversy, Webber Second Photo:
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Mike Stevens | Aug, 29 2011 | 0 Comments

Sebastian Vettel returned to the top step of the podium and extended his championship lead on Sunday by winning the Belgian GP.

But the German was sporting an angry face before the Spa-Francorchamps race, after rival teams refused to allow the Red Bulls to change their qualifying tyres due to blistering.

"I can judge a bit from looking at the inside, but when you’re doing 300kph or more and the tyres are always spinning rather than stopped, you can’t really take the time to see, so it was crucial to come in and have a closer look," Vettel said after the face.

Pirelli had reacted to the situation by rushing spare tyres to the fabled circuit, but ultimately the likes of McLaren and Ferrari - and FIA chief Charlie Whiting - made Vettel and the sister RB7 start on their damaged tyres.

"We had a lot of concerns," Vettel said after extending his points lead to 92 points over his teammate Mark Webber. "We didn't feel too comfortable and we both had to stop pretty early."

The Red Bulls finished one-two ahead of McLaren's Jenson Button.

"No wonder Ferrari and Mclaren objected to them wanting to change them (the tyres) before the race," said BBC commentator Martin Brundle.


Spa Results - Top 10

1. Sebastian Vettel Germany Red Bull-Renault 44 laps 1hr 26m 44.893s
2. Mark Webber Australia Red Bull-Renault +00m 03.7s
3. Jenson Button Britain McLaren-Mercedes +00m 09.6s
4. Fernando Alonso Spain Ferrari-Ferrari +00m 13.0s
5. Michael Schumacher Germany Mercedes-Mercedes +00m 47.4s
6. Nico Rosberg Germany Mercedes-Mercedes +00m 48.6s
7. Adrian Sutil Germany Force India-Mercedes +00m 59.7s
8. Felipe Massa Brazil Ferrari-Ferrari +01m 06.0s
9. Vitaly Petrov Russia Renault-Renault +01m 11.9s
10. Pastor Maldonado Venezuela Williams-Cosworth +01m 17.6s


2011 Season Standings

Pos. Driver Team Points
1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 259
2 Mark Webber Red Bull 167
3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 157
4 Jenson Button McLaren 149
5 Lewis Hamilton McLaren 146
6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 74
7 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 56
8 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 42
9 Vitaly Petrov Lotus Renault 34
10 Nick Heidfeld Lotus Renault 34
11 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber F1 27
12 Adrian Sutil Force India 24
13 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 12
14 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 10
15 Sergio Perez Sauber F1 8
16 Paul di Resta Force India 8
17 Rubens Barrichello Williams F1 4
18 Pastor Maldonado Williams F1 1
19 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber F1 0
20 Jarno Trulli Team Lotus 0
21 Vitantonio Liuzzi HRT F1 0
22 Bruno Senna Lotus Renault 0
23 Jerome d'Ambrosio Marussia Virgin 0
24 Heikki Kovalainen Team Lotus 0
25 Timo Glock Marussia Virgin 0
26 Narain Karthikeyan HRT F1 0
27 Daniel Ricciardo HRT F1 0
28 Karun Chandhok Team Lotus 0



Red Bull considered pitlane start at Spa - Horner

Red Bull had serious concerns about tyres before finishing first and second in the Belgian Grand Prix.

That is the claim of team boss Christian Horner, who asked the FIA for permission prior to the Spa-Francorchamps race for Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber to be allowed to change their qualifying tyres due to blistering damage.

Charlie Whiting, and leading rivals including McLaren and Ferrari, refused to oblige.

"It is a fantastic result but we had to be quite conservative," Briton Horner told German RTL television in Belgium.

"We even thought about starting with hard tyres from the pitlane. It wouldn't have been good for the championship but the risk was quite big.

"The blisters were clearly visible," Horner continued, "not only on our cars but also all of the fast cars seemed to have problems as well."

Vettel, returning to the top step of the podium on Sunday after failing to win a single race in July, seems now to be cruising to his second world title.

But Horner admitted that Monza in two weeks will be Red Bull's "biggest challenge of this year" due to its high speed straights.

"We will have a big fight on our hands," he said.



Webber's Words on Finishing Second

“The lights went out and I got anti-stall at the start – I don’t know whether it was due to the start being uphill or not.

We were worried about the tyres going into the race and had a lot of meetings this morning. In the end, the right decisions were made and the team reacted incredibly well and did some good research overnight to work out how we could best get through the race.

We did a lot of damage to the tyres in qualifying and had to stop pretty early to protect ourselves from any issues from the tyre which put us out of position.

We picked some people off, but in terms of the result I was after I was frustrated at that point. Then the safety car came out.

The team wanted me to pit, but when I got the instructions of what to do in the pit lane I was the wrong side of the pit wall – I never heard the call to come in.

I was worried, but we kept going and the car behaved well. I drove well from then on and we got a good result in what was one of the team’s best ever one-two finishes. It was a great weekend for the team and they deserve this result.”

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