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Belgium GP Recap; KERS is the defining factor

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On: Tue, Sep 1, 2009 at 2:08PM | By: John Welch


Belgium GP Recap; KERS is the defining factor

Formula One is maniacal in its approach to timing and scoring. During a race broadcast we are treated to each driver's times through each sector of the track, on each lap. The track is usually divided into three or four sections, called 'sectors' and each driver has his sector times recorded along with his time for the overall lap. Sector times allow us to see where one driver is fast as compared to a rival. This gives the average fan a ton of insight as to where certain chassis are good and where they are not so good. This could also extend to the driver, or the power plant, in question.

During Sunday's Belgium Grand Prix the sector times were able to shed some much needed light on the effective use of KERS. Looking at the data, Kimi Raikkonen was slow in the middle of the three sectors, a portion of the Spa-Francorchamps (say "Spah-Frank-or-Shahh") where the track closes in on itself. The long open straights of Sector One become a mass of tight corners and chicanes, exposing any bad habits a particular chassis may have. In this instance it did highlight how well the Force India chassis is suddenly working, but more importantly it made it clear that KERS can be used to great effect. Though he was significantly slower then Giancarlo Fisichella's Force India in Sector Two, he was able to maintain his lead by blasting away from the Roman driver on the endless straights in Sectors One and Three. This proves that even though the Ferrari is not the best handling chassis on the grid, they are still able to utilize the oft-panned KERS to gain, and then keep, a strong position on the track.

Riakkonen was able to secure the victory for Ferrai, Fisichella in tow for Force India's first podium finish. The celebration in the Force India pits was epic; obviously the team was thrilled. This was also a huge deal for Ferrari, who looked like they may not win a GP this season, for the first time since 1993. As usual, the television coverage was excellent, F1 being the one thing Speed does really well. They have the best commentator line-up/chemistry of any sport on television. Bob Varscha, Steve Matchett and David Hobbs are simply the best threesome in the world; they deserve more press in America. Wittisim and humor are lost on other sports broadcasts at times.

Tomorrow we'll have a wrap up on the ALMS race at Mosport as well as Grand-Am news. Also, NASCAR runs in the rain, creating some compelling racing and an extremely exciting final five laps.

For full coverage of the Belgium Grand Prix, visit Formula1.com


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