August 22, 2011 (F1plus Team).- Formula 1 racing is back after a long and well deserved break. And, what better place to start the second half of the season than doing laps at Spa-Francorchamps.
Some of the most famous turns in the world of car racing are found in this circuit: Eau Rouge, Pouhon, Stavelot and Blanchimont are all corners synonymous with speed.
The Ardennes located track, has a length of about 7 Kilometers, making it the longest of the calendar. It is considered to be one of the toughest of the season giving its mix of straight and high speed corners (and high G Forces as well).
Proof of that is that only six drivers have won at the track more than once and they’re all world champions. The weather usually has an influence on the outcome of races. The region possess a very peculiar weather, and such is the circuit’s length that it can be raining on one section and dry on another.
“There’s no doubt that Spa is one of the great tracks,” says Williams F1 technical director Sam Michael. “To do well there, you often need to be looking up as well as down to see what the clouds are doing.”
Sam Michael, Technical Director: Spa is one of the greatest circuits in the Formula One Championship. Large variations in terrain provide a challenge to the engineers to cover all of the different corner types, from slow speed curb riding to the flat out Eau Rouge. Race day can be really interesting when the weather changes as it can rain on one side of the circuit and be dry on the other! We will bring new rear wings which feature a different drag level and some diffuser modifications to evaluate during practice.
Rubens Barrichello: I love Spa-Francorchamps; the track is very special. It is the place where I claimed my first Formula One pole position back in 1994. It was in very tricky conditions as the track was drying out, but that is something that happens quite a lot at Spa. We are going to have a new aero package for this race that I hope will give us a better chance to fight for points. It is a real drivers’ circuit with no time to breathe during a lap.
Pastor Maldonado: I know Spa well having raced there in Italian Formula Renault (2003), Formula Renault V6 Eurocup (2004), World Series by Renault (2006) and GP2 (2008 – 2010). It is one of my favourite tracks and a place where I have achieved important results in my career, including victory in my Championship-winning GP2 season. I will enjoy the whole weekend in Belgium as it is a fabulous circuit, but Eau Rouge has to be my favourite corner. I’ll do my best to improve on our previous results and I can’t wait to get there