With more than 100 lbs shed off the front axle thanks to the use of an aluminum engine block, additon of new tyres and other minor updates, the Shelby GT500 seems to have transformed to an even better tool of driving pleasure. Inside Line have had the chance to drive the new Shelby, burn some rubber, and err... shout.
After some time off in the world of Formula 1, the sport returned to our screens with an exciting race waiting to happen at Belgium's Spa-Francorchamps. Mark Webber was on pole, Lewis Hamilton was in second position, while Kubica was in third.
The weather would play a great role in the outcome of the race, with clouds threatening a good spray of rain. Despite the really dark clouds at the begining of the race drivers decided to go ahead and start the race with slicks. Mark Webber immediately lost his first position thanks to a poor start, leaving Lewis Hamilton to snatch the lead, with Button following closeby in second place and Vettel in third.
However, as if the rain was waiting for the race to start, it began to fall before the first lap was even complete, causing nearly every driver to misjudge their braking points at turn 18. The mess at turn 18 claimed Rubens Barrichello as its only victim when he crashed into Alonso's Ferrari, who surprisingly was able to continue racing despite Barrichello's car being destroyed. The safety car was deployed on the second lap.
Despite the slippery surface most drivers decided to hang on to their slick tyres, but Alonso went into the pits for some rain tyres. The safety car went back in at the end of lap 3, with the rain having stopped and the circuit drying up quickly. Alonso would later have to return for slicks, hence losing any chance for a podium finish. Bruno Senna abandoned his race at lap 6.
On the 11th lap, there was minor contact between Nico Rosberg and teammate Michael Schumacher when Schumacher took the opportunity to pass Rosberg, when Rosberg ran wide of a corner and tried to get back on the racing line after fighting for 9th position with Renault's Vitaly Petrov. Rosberg would later pass Schumacher in similar fashion.
A major highlight of the race was when Sebastian Vettel ran his Red Bull into the back of Jenson Button's 2nd place car. The accident forced Button to abandon the race while Vettel managed to nurse his car back to the pits with no front wing. Vettel would later serve a drive through penalty for causing a collision, hence being eliminated from a podium finish.
As if Vettel's race wasn't going badly already, he was forced back into the pits again due to a puncture on his rear-left tyre. The front wing of Liuzzi's Force India made contact with the Red Bull tyre just after Vettel managed to squeeze past Liuzzi.
At around lap 30 of the race, we hear team radios saying that there would be heavier rain coming with the next few minutes, forcing both teams and drivers to rethink their strategies. Sure enough, at lap 34 it began to rain.
With most drivers going into the pits at the end of lap 34 to get rain tyres, Hamilton decided to go for another lap with his slicks, a move that would almost cost him the lead (and maybe even the race) as he slid off the track on lap 35. He only just managed to maintain his lead when he went into the pits, with second place Robert Kubica following him into the pits as well as third place Webber. However Kubica left the pits in third place as more time was wasted at his pit stop, letting Webber take second and Hamilton still in the lead.
Despite Alonso having also changed from slicks to rain tyres, his race would end prematurely as he spun and crashed his Ferrari into the wall with only 6 laps to go. The safety car is deployed and goes back in with 4 laps left, with the rain still pouring. Jarno Trulli nearly causes another accident at lap 41 when he spins his car as well. Making no contact with other cars, he was able to continue with the race.
The dramatic race finished with Hamilton taking first, Webber second place, and Kubica in third. The full points gained by Hamilton mean that he has been put back in the lead of the Driver's championship.