2016 Track Preview: Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps

All rights reserved to F1 Mix

All rights reserved to F1 Mix

Lewis Hamilton wins the German Grand Prix ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen. Ferrari, Williams and Force India all managed to gain some much needed points from the race.

The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is one of the classic Formula One tracks, but it is sometimes called “The greatest modern motor racing circuit in the world”. It is thoroughly enjoyed both by F1 drivers and spectators.

There are many reasons that drivers love Spa but mostly because it is fast, hilly, twisty, challenging and difficult to master. The circuit probably demonstrates the importance of driver skill more than any other track in the world. The Belgian Grand Prix is a challenge both in terms of car set-up and in predicting the weather.

Over the years, the Spa course has been modified several times. The track was originally 15 kilometers in length, today it is 7 kilometers with 19 sweeping medium and high-speed corners, 9 right turns and 10 left turns. It still retains much of its previous character and charm. Spa has the longest full throttle section in Formula One.

From the hairpin at La Source to the chicane of Les Combes at the top of the hill; the cars spend more than 20 seconds at full throttle. This period at full throttle includes the passage through the legendary Eau Rouge.

There are many reasons that drivers love Spa but mostly because it is fast, hilly, twisty, challenging and difficult to master. The circuit probably demonstrates the importance of driver skill more than any other track in the world. The Belgian Grand Prix is a challenge both in terms of car set-up and in predicting the weather.

Over the years, the Spa course has been modified several times. The track was originally 15 kilometers in length, today it is 7 kilometers with 19 sweeping medium and high-speed corners, 9 right turns and 10 left turns. It still retains much of its previous character and charm. Spa has the longest full throttle section in Formula One.

From the hairpin at La Source to the chicane of Les Combes at the top of the hill; the cars spend more than 20 seconds at full throttle. This period at full throttle includes the passage through the legendary Eau Rouge.

As the longest track on the Formula 1 calendar, Spa-Francorchamps has its unique problem. The place is famous for its unpredictable weather and it often rains at one end of the track while the surface is dry at the other which has given us some great races over the past few years.

And here are the facts and figures heading into this weekend…

Facts and Figures

  • Belgium has hosted the Grand Prix since 1950.
  • Michael Schumacher is the most successful driver at the track with six wins.
  • Kimi Raikkonen is the most successful driver currently to win the Grand Prix with four wins.
  • Ferrari is the most successful constructor to win the Grand Prix with sixteen wins.
  • Race distance: 308.05km (191.41miles)
  • Number of turns:19
  • Top speed: 329kph
  • Lap record: Sebastian Vettel- Red Bull (2009)- 1.47.263

Winners from the last five Belgian Grand Prix:-

  • 2011-Sebastian Vettel,
  • 2012-Jenson Button
  • 2013- Sebastian Vettel
  • 2014- Daniel Ricciardo
  • 2015- Lewis Hamilton

My top five finishers of the Belgian Grand Prix:-

In no particular order, here’s my top five predictions for the Belgian Grand Prix as follows:-

  1. Nico Rosberg
  2. Lewis Hamilton
  3. Sebastian Vettel
  4. Kimi Raikkonen
  5. Valtteri Bottas

Based on what the top five drivers have managed to achieve in the first half of the season, I believe that Rosberg has to beat Hamilton this weekend again in order to show that he cannot be discounted for challenging Hamilton for the title.

Hamilton will also want to win this weekend at a track that has been kind to him over the years in front of his fans who will be attending this weekend and also maintain the small championship gap over to Sebastian Vettel who I believe could challenge the Mercedes pairing this year; provided that Ferrari keep going in the same direction they are currently. And finally, I believe that Raikkonen and Bottas could both have solid weekends provided that they are able to get the right set ups on their cars over the weekend.

Do you agree with my predictions for this weekend? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Sky Sports F1 are showing uninterrupted coverage of every Practice session, Qualifying and race for the Grand Prix (and every race of the season) and Channel Four also are showing coverage, details for both are below:-

  • Sky Sports F1:- Friday (Practice 1 and 2) 8.45am and 12.45pm [Replays throughout Thursday and Friday], Saturday (Practice 3 and Qualifying) 9.45am and 12.00pm [Replays throughout Saturday], Sunday (Race) 11.30am
  • Channel Four- Friday (Practice 1 and 2) 8.55am and 12.55pm, Saturday (Practice 3 and Qualifying) 9.55am and 11.55am, Sunday (Race) 12.00pm

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s