Martin Brundle on Mark Webber's stunning overtake at Spa

By Martin BrundleBBC F1 commentator

My motorbike ride home from Spa to Norfolk on Sunday night after the Belgian Grand Prix was very therapeutic.

I can listen to music in my crash helmet and so some Clapton was called for - it was great to see Eric on the grid - and then plenty of Deep Purple and a little Led Zep before migrating to my background music playlist.

Through all of that, I frequently thought about Mark Webber's pass around the outside of Fernando Alonso in Eau Rouge at 170 mph during the race.

How did he do it? Why did Alonso yield? Is Alonso thinking: "Next time, buddy, you'll be in the hedge"?

What would have happened if they had touched? Is there any point in my career where I would have done that? Would Webber have done it without modern safety cells and large run-off areas at the top of the hill?

Whichever way you look at it, that pass was spectacularly impressive, skilful, and brave.

Webber may not have won a race for more than a year but he won my eternal respect for that one.

Overtaking was once again the order of the day at the Belgian Grand Prix, and I stand by my comment of a few weeks back that all the new goodies and tyres have opened the drivers' minds up to overtaking in general this year.

There were eight lead changes in the first 18 laps. With the benefit of hindsight, in my view, the DRS overtaking aid was not necessary at Spa.

There was so much overtaking due to highly variable exit speeds over the top of Raidillon after Eau Rouge, and also mighty out-braking moves into the first hairpin and the last chicane. DRS simply made overtakes a formality before the Les Combes chicane at the top of the hill.

But I'm not critical because as always there are other factors. With virtually no preparation time because of a wet track, the teams had to second-guess car set-ups, overall downforce levels, tyre degradation, and race strategy.

Such variation, along with a specific front-tyre blistering issue, was guaranteed to create a roller-coaster race.

Next year the tyres could well be more stable, and the cars better and more consistently set-up, at which point we might be grateful of a touch of DRS to bring overtaking into play as a possibility rather than a certainty. It must be said, though, that historically Les Combes has been a solid overtaking zone anyway.

There was a lot of friction on race morning as tyre supplier Pirelli wanted to protect themselves from potential tyre failures due to blistering and Red Bull were trying to protect their grid slots and race prospects.

Blistering occurs when the rubber overheats and literally bursts open like a small volcano. A critical area for a highly loaded racing tyre is always where the carcass turns the corner from the tread surface into the sidewalls. Blistering is an obvious sign of severe stress in this area, and total structural failure can follow.

Overheating happens on long straights where the tyres are being forced into the track relentlessly at high speed, and also where a less loaded inside front tyre is literally dragged across the surface during cornering.

The front suspension geometry of a racing car tends to have very high camber levels to increase thrust and grip during heavy cornering.

This means the top of the wheel leans in towards the chassis (it's easy to see when looking at a car directly from the front), and as you can imagine this then puts extra load on the inside edge of the tread surface.

On extreme circuits such as Spa, and especially at the next race in Monza, tyre manufacturers tend to prescribe limits of maximum camber and minimum tyre pressure on safety grounds and to protect their reputations. I have often known this to be a demand rather than a recommendation, especially at the Le Mans 24 Hours.

Blisters were visible on many cars after qualifying, especially those of the front-runners. Changes to suspension or fitting different tyres would have meant a pit-lane start. Governing body the FIA was surely right to say teams could not make changes as a result of problems caused by self-inflicted tyre damage.

In the end, Red Bull took a calculated gamble to start the race, and then pitted very early.

Crucial information from the first set of tyres would then help them manage the rest of the race, which ended with a spectacular one-two result, Sebastian Vettel ahead of Webber.

Their relief at the end was visible, and it begs a simple question. If the team were so worried, why didn't they change the car and start from the pit lane?

The answer is that they are supremely competitive animals, and chief technical officer Adrian Newey is famous for not compromising, which is probably why his cars win so much.

With higher tyre pressures (a change that is permitted under parc ferme rules), and communication between the driver and pits, they monitored the situation. Judging from their comments post-race, it seems clear to me that Pirelli were not too impressed by this.

The driver of the day had to be McLaren's Jenson Button, 13th on the grid after backing off without realising he was on his last lap in the second part of qualifying.

Button endured first-corner contact, a change of front wing, and losing his right-hand mirror - which is even more significant than you might imagine in wheel-to-wheel combat. He made some supreme overtakes to grab the final podium spot, his 37th.

Button even led the race through a pit-stop phase on lap 31 of 44. He already held the record for most overtakes this season and it was a peach of a drive to move him ahead of team-mate Lewis Hamilton in the championship.

Hamilton's last four non-finishes have come from accidents. I said on the BBC F1 post-race forum on the red button that I felt his contact with Sauber driver Kamui Kobayashi was 50-50 in the blame stakes.

Hamilton did not seem to realise Kobayashi was still so close, even though he had moved to defend against him, and the Sauber driver had no need risk his own race on the outside after a clear loss of position against a front-running car, and then starting to turn in. Hamilton has subsequently said it was 100% his fault now he has seen the footage.

However you view the incident, if he wants to win more championships, Hamilton has to find a way to stay out of trouble and stop making contact with other cars.

On that subject, Williams driver Pastor Maldonado scored his first point in a well earned 10th place, the first for a Venezuelan since Johnny Cecotto in 1983. Johnny is a high quality guy; I don't know Pastor but he was very lucky to be on the grid at all after side swiping Hamilton in qualifying.

A final word for Michael Schumacher. He seemed emotional after the race and why not?

Twenty-fourth to fifth on the 20th anniversary of his F1 debut, navigating his way through all sorts of turmoil, chose the right strategy, and then made it stick, along with the special pleasure of beating his team-mate home.

It's strange in a way to see fifth as a good result for Schumacher, but it was.

Bring on Monza.