Renault's Jenson Button drives a lap of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit. "I will approach the first corner at just over 250 kph in fifth gear, having to drop down to first and 65 kph for this very tight hairpin. As the corner opens up very wide on...
Renault's Jenson Button drives a lap of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
"I will approach the first corner at just over 250 kph in fifth gear, having to drop down to first and 65 kph for this very tight hairpin. As the corner opens up very wide on the exit, my main aim is to get on the power early and use all of the track as I head down to Turn 2 at Eau Rouge."
"I will approach at 300 kph in 6th and will still be accelerating through the first part, as it is flat at around 305 kph. The right-hand part is the one everybody wants to take flat, but even in qualifying last year, this was not quite possible and I will probably lift to around 60% throttle and therefore lose a couple of kph. Nevertheless, I will be pulling about 4.7g through this corner. The final left-hand section of the complex is easily flat, but my speed will have dropped by another 5 kph owing to tyre scrub and the uphill nature of this part of the circuit."
"This leads onto the long top straight, where I will reach around 315 kph before braking hard for the chicane at the end, which is taken in 3rd gear and effectively consists of three corners in succession which are successively quicker at 120, 140 and 175 kph."
"Before reaching Turn 8, I will reach 265 kph in 5th gear. The corner itself is extremely difficult and very long, progressively dropping away from me. I will take it in 2nd at 105 kph but because of the nature of the circuit, I will continually be fighting understeer through here."
"Before Turn 9, I will just get into 3rd gear and perhaps 210 kph, and then hold 3rd through this turn, which is taken at around 150 kph. The short straight that follows will see me in top gear at over 290 kph before dropping down just one gear for the double left-hander of Turns 10 and 11. Turn 10 is taken at around 230 kph and Turn 11 is flat at roughly 275 kph."
"Leading down to the next chicane, I will reach 305 kph before braking and taking 3rd gear, which I will hold through Turns 12 and 13 at 150 kph and 170 kph respectively. I will get in 4th briefly before braking for Turn 14, a relatively slow 2nd gear corner taken at 135 kph."
"Turn 15 always presents a challenge as I leave the artificial part of the circuit and come back onto the public roads. It is taken in 4th gear at 235 kph, but is not quite flat. I will probably have to come off the throttle by around 20% to get through here safely."
"As I head back down to the pit area, I have two very fast corners to negotiate, Turns 16 and 17. They are taken flat, both at around 310 kph, but the cornering forces through Turn 17 are such that I will lose some speed, and hence arrive at the so-called Bus Stop chicane at a very similar speed."
"This final chicane is totally out of character with the rest of the circuit and spoils an otherwise extremely enjoyable lap. I will need to brake very hard to get my speed down to 85 kph in 2nd gear, using the kerbs extremely hard but ensuring I retain control of the car, as the wall on the exit is extremely close -- as I found out to my cost last year."
"The final section of the track has been modified since last year and whereas it was almost flat previously, I now expect it to be easily flat as it leads back to the start and finish line."