Races and qualifying

A brilliant race saw polesitter Charles Pic fail to make it to the grid. He started from the pit lane, but later retired with mechanical issues. Giedo van der Garde then led the race until he was given a drive-through penalty after setting the fastest lap under yellow flags. Oops. Romain Grosjean finished the race well in the lead, maintaining his grasp on the championship.
The demoted van der Garde came racing back through the field from fourth. He overtook Dani Clos fairly easily, but a harder challenge was Davide Valsecchi. Unfortunately the AirAsia driver made a mistake on the second-to-last lap and let the Dutchman through. Valsecchi still finished third.
Further back, Luiz Razia also had a good race for AirAsia to finish sixth – his first points since Turkey. Esteban Gutierrez got his first points as he finished 7th, though his ART teammate Jules Bianchi continued to have a terrible season and retired on the first lap in a collision with Marcus Ericsson. Sam Bird also scavenged points in fifth, and Josef Kral finished eighth for the final point to take provisional pole tomorrow.

In GP3, Alex Sims was demoted ten places from sixth to sixteenth for clashing with Gabby Chaves in qualifying. Pedro Nunes was demoted to 24th. A multi-car pile-up off the line saw the safety car come out; Trummer, Zimin and Hylkema all went out, and Nico Muller also went out after hitting debris, but Adrian Quaife-Hobbs took the lead from Lewis Williamson.
More retirements were to follow, with Finn Aaro Vainio and Pedro Nunes abandoning the race. Championship leader Nigel Melker also failed to finish. Alex Sims didn’t take long to get up into ninth, and continued battling his way up the points. Dean Smith lost speed right at the end of the race, putting Arden’s Williamson and Evans second and third on the podium next to Manor’s Quaife-Hobbs. Evans now leads the championship by a single point!

In F2, there were only two retirements but plenty of mistakes made at a wet Spa-Francorchamps. With Bortolotti demoted from pole, Pineiro looked like he could do well but made a mistake to slip back in the field. He climbed up again to finish 7th, taking the fastest lap. Jordan King finished 17th, but the winner was Will Bratt. Christopher Zanella did enough to maintain the lead of the championship by two points.

Vettel qualified on pole for F1. The only real excitement in the session was Maldonado stalling in Q2 and causing a red flag. Despite this, he still starts ahead of Buemi and Perez on the grid.


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