David Coulthard must have thought he’d forsaken Formula One for the marathon after his Red Bull died of a hydraulics problem on a most inconvenient section of the sport’s longest circuit.
But he was spared a lengthy hike back to the pit lane after managing to hitch a lift on a passing motorbike.
It must have come as a diversion to have the RB3 fall over due to something other than transmission problems – this week it was the hydraulics rather than its flawed gearbox that saw DC taking an early bath.
Speaking with the post-race stoicism that he’s had so much chance to practise this season, he said: “I had to stop due to a hydraulic related issue, I lost throttle control and power steering.
“On Friday the car failed in Eau Rouge, which is never good, but fortunately this time it happened on a straight, so I had more room to manoeuvre my car out of the way of the others.
“There’s no way you can get it back to the pits in that situation, as you have no throttle control.”
He said he had found the car very heavy at the beginning of the race, which left him getting off to a slow start.
“But, as the fuel came off, I found more performance. The car wasn’t too good when exiting the corners today, or braking into the chicane and the hairpin.
“In fact there were a lot of problems which aren’t usual for this car, so we need to try and understand what went wrong.”
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner added: “David was running to a different strategy and aided the team strategically by holding up Kubica for a number of laps.
“It was unfortunate for him to have what looks like a hydraulics failure, but he was running to schedule and it was disappointing that he wasn’t able to capitalise on his good work and make it to the finish.”