GP2

Spa: Series preview

Nico Hulkenberg and Vitaly Petrov resume their fight for the GP2 crown this weekend in Spa-Francorchamps Last weekend in Valencia the unstoppable Nico Hulkenberg extended his lead with a fourth win, a third podium and a sixth fastest lap in a ...

Nico Hulkenberg and Vitaly Petrov resume their fight for the GP2 crown this weekend in Spa-Francorchamps

Last weekend in Valencia the unstoppable Nico Hulkenberg extended his lead with a fourth win, a third podium and a sixth fastest lap in a stellar 2009 season. With seventy-five points, the German seems on the way to being crowned GP2 Series fifth champion. However, one man still stands in his way: Vitaly Petrov fearlessly defended his ground to come out victor in the feature race. Along with a podium the following day, the Russian will not give up and has every intention to close the twenty point gap this weekend in Belgium.

The eighth round of the season will take place in Belgium this weekend. In terms of its motorsport heritage, the Spa-Francorchamps circuit is up there with Monaco, Le Mans and Silverstone and is a favourite with drivers and spectators. It is the perfect setting for another glorious battle notably with its elevation changes at Eau Rouge and unpredictable weather. And if all eyes may turn to the Hulkenberg/Petrov unravelling, they must not forget that other GP2 racers are most likely to stand out and shine on the legendary circuit starting with Lucas di Grassi whose weekend in Valencia turned out to be one of the most difficult of his GP2 career, but the Brazilian is a true fighter, along with Sergio Perez. The young Mexican eventually opened his GP2 podium record in Valencia. Finally, Pastor Maldonado could very well put his ART machine to good use and repeat his 2008 success. All will be answered in a few days--

Local hero Jerome d'Ambrosio takes us for a lap of the Belgium track: "Spa is my home track, but even if it wasn't, running there is definitely something very special. It's always the same corner that we're talking about: Eau Rouge. It gives you a certain feeling that no other corner does. You go into Eau Rouge so fast and it's easy to make a small mistake, but you just stay flat. It gives you a good sensation as a driver, and it also gives you emotions. You have to be really focused. I love it. Eau Rouge is also a critical in terms of overall lap time - even though it gives you a great feeling and is special, it's crucial to get it right."

"There are a few places that you can overtake, but the best spots are Les Combes and the Bus Stop. The big variable is the weather, which is why you have to be really switched on. You have to adapt yourself sometimes even during the laps, because it can be dry on some parts of the track and raining somewhere else."

-credit: gp2

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About this article
Series GP2
Drivers Pastor Maldonado , Jérôme d'Ambrosio , Vitaly Petrov , Nico Hulkenberg