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GP Week : Issue 131
RED Bull recorded their second 1-2 finish of the season in Spa on Sunday, marking a huge surprise for many pundits who expected the Renault-powered team to struggle on the circuit’s long straights. While Red Bull has traditionally been exceptionally strong in the high-speed corners of the second sector, the high- speed runs in sectors 1 and 3 have resulted in their downfall here in recent years. But it was far from straightforward for the Milton Keynes outfit, who spent the morning considering whether or not to start their cars from the pit lane after encountering severe blistering on their front tyres in qualifying. Concerns over safety prompted the team to potentially break parc ferme regulations by starting the race on tyres they hadn’t used in qualifying, which would have forced them to start from the pitlane. But the team’s decision to take the risk with the damaged tyres proved worthwhile as they left Spa with a maximum haul of 43 points on Sunday evening. Vettel said the team had to take quite a lot of risks and the concern over tyres prompted him to stop earlier than usual. “ We had a lot of concerns going into the race after the damage we had on the tyres from qualifying, so we weren’t quite sure. We took quite a lot of risk,” said Vettel after Sunday’s race. “ We didn’t feel too comfortable and both of us stopped fairly early, I think right at the beginning of the race. “Compared to previous years we were very competitive so I am very, very happy with the result and very happy with the race. How we managed the tyres in particular so we need to learn from that and head down to the next race.” Team-mate Webber was especially pleased with his result having dropped to eighth at the start after bogging down when the lights went out. However, he had risen to second by the time the safety car period ended, but was immediately overtaken by Vettel and continued to drop back in the following stint. “ The start was shocking. Dropped the lever and had anti-stall immediately,” explained Webber. “I think Seb also had a very close call as well through the anti-stall, so that was a very disappointing way to start the grand prix. “It was not an easy grand prix for the guys on the pit wall today watching the two drivers out there. It was reasonably sensitive for them so in the end we got a good result. I would have loved to have had a normal grand prix but still an enjoyable race and got a good result.” Red Bull take 1-2 at one of their weakest tracks Webber compromised by another poor getaway 30