F1 Grand Prix of Belgium - Race

Top five stats from the Belgian Grand Prix

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Sebastian Vettel equaled Nigel Mansell’s victories tally in the Belgian Grand Prix. Here’s the top five stats from Sunday’s race.

Vettel matches Mansell…

Sebastian Vettel’s 31st career win means he is now tied in fifth place on the all-time winners list with Nigel Mansell. It took the 1992 world champion 185 starts to reach the tally – Vettel got there in 112.

The next driver ahead of Vettel on the all-time winners list is Fernando Alonso, with 32 wins. Vettel could soon surpass him as the most successful driver current competing in F1 in terms of victories.

…and Senna

The race’s fastest lap also fell to Vettel. This was the 19th time he’s set fastest lap, giving him the same tally as fellow thrice-champion Ayrton Senna, plus Stirling Moss and Damon Hill.

Raikkonen’s run ends

A visor tear-off halted Kimi Raikkonen’s run of 27 consecutive points finishes and 38 consecutive race finishes, both of which were records.

Hamilton on a hot streak

Lewis Hamilton is in the best qualifying form of his career at the moment. Four consecutive pole positions and seven consecutive front row starts are both personal bests.

Penalties pile up

Four drivers collected penalties during the Belgian Grand Prix: Pastor Maldonado, Sergio Perez, Max Chilton and Esteban Gutierrez.

A total of 26 penalties have been handed out in the 11 races so far this year. So far Sebastian Vettel, Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, Nico Rosberg, Paul di Resta, Valtteri Bottas, Jean-Eric Vergne and Jules Bianchi have stayed out of trouble.

More Belgian Grand Prix stats

IndyCar 2015 Driver Review: Gabby Chaves

Gabby Chaves
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MotorSportsTalk continues its run through the driver-by-driver field in the Verizon IndyCar Series. In 15th and the rookie-of-the-year for 2015, was Gabby Chaves.

Gabby Chaves, No. 98 Bryan Herta Autosport Honda

  • 2014: Indy Lights champion
  • 2015: 15th Place, Best Finish 9th, Best Start 12th, 0 Top-5, 2 Top-10, 31 Laps Led, 19.3 Avg. Start, 14.4 Avg. Finish

Some drivers finish better than their performances show. Some drivers have performances better than their results show. The latter statement applied to Gabby Chaves in his rookie year, in what was an impressive first season after making the step up from Indy Lights, which deservedly earned him rookie-of-the-year honors.

The best comparison I’d make for Gabby is of Josef Newgarden in 2012 with Sarah Fisher Hartman Racing, a first-year driver on a single-car, newish team to the series.

Chaves rarely dazzled in qualifying but that wasn’t his fault; he and engineer John Dick worked well together and Chaves recounted multiple times this year that a tweak here or tweak there, the wrong way, on the aero kit would send them down the wrong setup path.

Results in races didn’t measure up either but again that was through almost no fault of his own. The only time Chaves looked truly like a rookie was at St. Pete, when he had several collisions. Otherwise he was ahead of eventual winner James Hinchcliffe at NOLA before getting punted off, reliable through the month of May in Indianapolis, finally able to break through for a ninth place in Detroit race two, overachieving in Texas, 11th at Milwaukee after some great wheel-to-wheel racing with series winners and champions, and then phenomenal at Pocono as he was on course for a first career win or podium before late-race engine issues – his first DNF of the season.

For both Chaves and Herta, you’d love to see them together for another season, and the results and confidence for both parties will grow as a result. Those who’ve seen Newgarden’s rise over four years with Fisher and now CFH will note the long-term stability, and that’s what Chaves could do if he gets the time.

He planted the seed of being a great IndyCar driver, and he became pretty versatile during the year too with additional appearances in the DeltaWing prototype, a short-track midget and one of Herta’s Red Bull Global Rallycross cars. To boot, he’s a smart, great kid who is mature beyond his years, and someone you should be buying stock in now. Anyone who saw Chaves in the Mazda Road to Indy should not have been surprised by his rookie season in the big cars.

Off The Grid: Monza preview (premieres Saturday 10/10 on NBCSN)

F1 Grand Prix of Italy
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Having already taken you behind the scenes in Barcelona, Budapest, Singapore, Melbourne and Silverstone, Will Buxton and Jason Swales now head to one of Formula 1’s most iconic venues for the latest episode of Off The Grid.

Monza has appeared in all but one F1 season since the formation of the world championship in 1950, and is a firm favorite among drivers, teams and fans alike.

However, there is far more to the Italian Grand Prix than meets the eye, as we find out in Saturday’s premiere of Off The Grid: Monza at 9:30am ET (follows Russian GP qualifying).

Having honed his talents in go-karts as a kid, Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo is now trying to pass on his knowledge to the next generation of racers. But can he teach Will or Jason a thing or two?

We also catch up with Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and get a feel for life on the road as he takes us for a tour of his lavish bus in which he travels in for the European F1 races.

Have you ever wondered just how the suits F1 drivers wear are made? We go behind the scenes at Alpine Stars’ factory in Italy and find out.

Off The Grid: Monza premieres on Saturday at 9:30am ET on NBCSN following Russian GP qualifying.