Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya were on their way to the first 1-2 victory of the season for McLaren, but the incident between Montoya and Pizzonia allowed Fernando Alonas to finish the second and reduce the damage in the title fight.
Montoya won pole position (1: 46.391), 0.049 seconds ahead of Raikkonen and 0.205 seconds ahead of Trulli in Toyota, and Alonso’s leading man was the fourth fastest in Renault with 0.369 seconds behind. Fifth Ralf Schumacher was more than a second behind, just like his brother Michael in sixth place.
Belgium was 16th race of the season in which Alonso was 27 points ahead of Raikkonen and despite a much faster car, Raikkonen didn’t cut the gap to Alonso due to numerous penalties for engine change or failures.
Montoya led 32 laps and was on the road to victory, but Raikkonen stayed longer on the track and came out in front of his team-mate who did not fight for the title. And when it seemed that McLaren would get the first 1-2 victory in the season in which they had the fastest car from the fourth race, Montoya collided with Pizzonia, which was then much faster on dry tyres and wanted to return to the same lap with the leaders.
So Montoya lost the second place at which Alonso finished, and McLaren lost eight points and Renault gave two that will be crucial at the end of the season in the fight for a constructors’ title. Montoya was second behind Raikkonen in Turkey where he had an incident with Monteiro and also dropped second place to Alonso.
After Belgium, Raikkonen was 25 points behind Alonso, three races before the end, and McLaren had six points less than Renault.
“We did what we could today, I’m thrilled to have won the Spa for the second year in a row, but Juan Pablo’s retirement was a real shame and I’m sorry for him and the whole team because we could leave the Spa with a lot more as we really deserved a 1-2, “Raikkonen said after the race.
“In the race everything was good, with no drama, and the car was great. When the safety car came out, we took the opportunity to enter the pits and Ralf was able to get out in front of me.”
“When the track dried out, I managed to push and caught up with a series of fast laps. I took the lead after the second pitstop because I could stay on track longer than Juan Pablo and that was it.”
“But our feelings are mixed because we should have to finish first and second.”
RACE – Part 1
RACE – Part 2