THIS STORY APPEARS IN THE AUGUST 28 ISSUE OF MOTORSPORT ILLUSTRATED NEWS
Do blonds really have more fun? It seems the answer is yes if Sebastian Vettel’s race day at the Belgian Grand Prix is any indication. The German turned up at Spa-Francorchamps after the mid-season break with a garish dyed hairdo, evoking memories of Jacques Villeneuve circa 1997, and prompting plenty of sniggering up and down the pit lane. But after Sunday at Spa, it was the three-time world champion who was doing all the laughing.
Vettel’s follicular faux pas may have been his only mistake of the weekend. From second on the grid, the Red Bull driver made a brilliant start, scorching past pole-sitter Lewis Hamilton on the run to Turn 5 at Les Combes, and wasn’t seen for dust over the remainder of the 44 laps. Two laps into the race, his lead was a commanding 2.8 seconds, and even while being told to slow the pace by ever-concerned race engineer Guillaume Rocquelin late in the race, Vettel still strolled home by 16.869secs for the 31st victory of his career, moving him to equal fifth on the all-time win list with Nigel Mansell.
Emphatic doesn’t do justice to Vettel’s performance, and what was scarier for Red Bull’s opponents is that the one Achilles heel for the team in recent years – straight-line speed – seemed to no longer be an issue if Belgium was anything to go by.
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