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GP Week : Issue 131
F1 EUROPE >>F1 BELGIUM >> Team-By-Team: BelgianGrand Prix, Spa Force India’s traditional strong performance at Spa was scuppered by a dismal qualifying session on Saturday, but the Silverstone team still managed to bring six points home courtesy of Adrian Sutil’s seventh place. Sutil and di Resta qualified 15th and 17th after a crash and an early call to the pitlane respectively, but the fundamental pace of the VJM04 shone through on Sunday. Both drivers made up many places off the start, before pitting, but while Sutil was able to pit immediately when the safety car emerged, di Resta had to wait a further lap, dropping him outside the points. Otherwise tenth was possible. A potential double points score was robbed from Toro Rosso on Sunday after two race- ending collisions for their drivers. Jaime Alguersuari produced the best qualifying performance of his career to secure sixth on the grid but was taken out by Bruno Senna before even reaching the apex of the first corner. Although Buemi survived the turn one melee, he survived only until lap 6 before getting rear-ended by Perez in an attempted overtaking manoeuvre, knocking his rear wing askew and beckoning retirement. Kamui Kobayashi enjoyed an action-packed and collision-filled Grand Prix in Belgium on Sunday, but his efforts failed to produce a top ten finish in the below-par Sauber. He damaged his front wing at the start of the race, but continued without a replacement, and was holding off Hamilton in fourth when the Briton steered into his path, making wheel-on-wheel side contact. He was able to continue but left his pitstop too late behind the safety car and lost three seconds in the stop itself. Team-mate Checo was handed a drive-through penalty for colliding with Buemi after the Swiss changed his line under braking, before retiring later in the race due to damage sustained. Belgium’s Jerome d’Ambrosio enjoyed a successful return home at the weekend, after beating team-mate Glock to 17th place. Although the 25-year-old failed to make the 107% cut in qualifying, the stewards allowed him to race, and with Glock getting tied up in a first-corner incident, for which he later received a drive-through, d’Ambrosio was ahead of him when the safety car emerged. But even with Glock in close attendance thereafter, d’Ambrosio kept his cool and brought it home with almost two seconds in hand. Ricciardo continued to improve at the wheel of the HRT in Belgium, after spending the entirety of his race ahead of experienced team-mate Tonio Liuzzi. Unfortunately for the Australian however, his race lasted only 13 laps before retiring with a problem at the rear-left of his car, marking the first race he hasn’t finished. He had been running 15th at the time, ahead of team-mate Liuzzi who took the flag in 19th and last place, over 30 seconds behind nearest rivals Virgin. Team Lotus had one of their best races of the year in Belgium, after dominating the fight at the back of the grid, finishing just over half a minute behind the nearest driver and beating a Williams to the line. Kovalainen and Trulli made contact at the start as a result of a collision moments earlier, requiring an unscheduled stop for the Finn. Once the safety car had bunched them up again the two were very closely matched, but Trulli was able to keep a steady gap and beat him to the line. They survived until the final five laps before being lapped by the leaders and finished almost a minute clear of the Virgins.