The August shutdown period is over and it's time for the remaining races of the 2010 season. We talk to Sam Michael and the team's drivers ahead of this weekend's race in Spa (when, incidentally, Rubens will celebrate his 300th GP entry). When:...
The August shutdown period is over and it's time for the remaining races of the 2010 season. We talk to Sam Michael and the team's drivers ahead of this weekend's race in Spa (when, incidentally, Rubens will celebrate his 300th GP entry).
When: Friday 27 to Sunday 29 August, 2010
Where: Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium
Round: 13 of 19
Sam Michael, Technical Director
Spa is a fantastic circuit and a definite challenge for the engineers and drivers. Sectors 1 and 3 require low drag, while Sector 2 requires maximum downforce, so a well compromised set-up is crucial for getting a quick lap time. Spa is a real driver's circuit and one of the greatest layouts we have on the calendar. We will have new front and rear wings, plus some mechanical changes for the FW32 for this race. We're also looking forward to celebrating Rubens' 300 Grand Prix in Belgium, an impressive achievement!
Spa is a great racing circuit. I took my first pole there and have won at Spa while racing in the lower categories so I'm looking forward to it. It's always a challenging track and I imagine it will be even more so now we are carrying full tanks. It can be quite tricky in terms of car set-up because it's so long, and you need to have a car fast enough to take on corners like La Source and Eau Rouge. It really all depends on the aero efficiency of the car as to what your lap time is. Drivers tend to go for quite different downforce levels at Spa so there's always opportunities chance to overtake.
This race will be my 300th in Formula One. I feel very privileged to have been in the sport for such a long time and it feels great to reach this milestone. I still think I am at the top of my game and plan to continue being competitive long past my 300th GP!
After Hungary, I spent some time analysing the race weekend with my engineers and have some good data. It was nice to go into the shutdown period with a good result on the score sheets -- it's allowed me to fully relax and I've since had a really nice few weeks' break. It also gave me some time to increase my training schedule in preparation for some quite demanding races that lie ahead of us now.
Next up is Spa, a track I obviously haven't had experience of in an F1 car, but it's such an iconic circuit I'm really excited to get going! We've definitely made progress with the pace of the FW32 in recent races and I definitely feel that I've upped my qualifying and race performance. This gives me the confidence to feel quite positive about the remaining third of the year.