Belgium with its famous 7 km Spa- Francorchamps circuit provides one of the most entertaining races of the season. With its high elevation changes, varying weather conditions and high speed corners, the circuit is surely a favourite for most of the drivers on the circuit. As much as it is enjoyable to drive here, it is equally challenging as well. Spa has often been the venue where a daring F1 overtake has been performed. Mika Hakkinen’s double overtake on Michael Schumacher and back marker Ricardo Zonta may have been spectacular, but it found a worthy successor in Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso.
The 2011 race witnessed Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel on pole followed by teammate Mark Webber. Vettel went on to win while Webber grabbed the second place after a dramatic race. What Webber did in this race, blew away the minds of all F1 pundits who called the move as-‘ballsy’, ‘life-threatening’ and ‘scary’.
What he did had never been done before. At nearly 300 kph, the daring Australian running behind Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso tried to overtake him at the Eau Rouge, a corner where the cars drive uphill with drivers experiencing a compression force as high as 2G, with both cars inches close to collision.
Webber did say that it was only Alonso that he could have thought about doing such a risky move on, considering his experience. One little collision, and the two cars would have been flying on two different sides. It certainly proved why Webber earned the nickname Aussie Grit.
That’s how it is in Formula One. The pinnacle of motorsports with men crazy enough to risk their lives for a few additional points. This move was, to put it in simple terms, pure wheel-to-wheel action. Only drivers of Webber’s and Alonso’s calibre could pull off such a move and escape unscathed.