The Formula 1 show is back on the road this weekend after its compulsory summer break. Round 13 of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship - the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps - marks the start of the 'business end' of the 2010 season,...
The Formula 1 show is back on the road this weekend after its compulsory summer break. Round 13 of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship - the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps - marks the start of the 'business end' of the 2010 season, Virgin Racing's first in Formula 1. Along with Silverstone, Monte Carlo and Monza, Spa is one of the four circuits used during the inaugural Formula 1 championship in 1950 that are still in use 60 years later.
Spa is widely recognized as the ultimate drivers' circuit - a 7.004 km ribbon of tarmac sweeping through the Ardennes forest. Its unique weather system means that some parts of the track can be wet while others are dry, and the length of the circuit means that a variety of set-ups can be used, as sectors 1 and 3 are both high-speed, requiring low-downforce, while sector 2 favours a higher downforce approach.
Timo Glock, Race Driver #24
"I'm really looking forward to racing at Spa this weekend, and I'm sure everyone else is looking forward to getting back on track too after the break. Spa is a fantastic circuit - a challenge both in terms of car set-up and in predicting the weather. It looks that it's quite likely to be wet at some stage over the weekend, which means that being on the right tyres at the right time will be crucial. This gives us a great opportunity to show how much we've developed as a team, and as always we'll be aiming to outqualify and finish ahead of the other new teams."
Lucas di Grassi, Race Driver #25
"This weekend I'll be racing a Formula 1 car at Spa for the first time which is going to be an amazing experience and one that I am really well prepared for. We've done a lot of laps in the simulator and I finished on the podium here last year in GP2, so I have a really good feeling about the place. We've made some big steps forward with the car recently so we are in very good shape. It will be interesting to see what the weather does throughout the weekend and there could be a great opportunity to achieve a surprise result."
John Booth, Team Principal
"It's been nice to have a bit of a break but we are all raring to get back to racing, especially as this weekend's race is at Spa. It's a real racers' circuit and we are relishing the challenge of our first Grand Prix there. This weekend is the start of the seven race run towards the end of the season, during which we intend to build on our recent results and performance improvements and deliver on our goal of being the best of the new teams. Both of our drivers have had some great races here in the past and we are looking for a good result with both cars this weekend."
Nick Wirth, Technical Director
"Spa is one of the classic Formula 1 tracks and a great venue for Virgin Racing to start the final part of our debut season. The extreme 3D nature of the circuit, the long straights plus the wide variety of corner speeds, represents a good set-up challenge. We've learned lessons from our experience in Montreal, and have a new updated low-downforce aero package based on the latest developments that we've introduced recently. In addition to the new aero parts, we have continued to develop the mechanical package, so we're looking forward to continuing our recent strong progress. As ever, we'll be keeping a careful watch on the weather during the weekend, but we should be in good shape, wet or dry."