A lap of Spa with Sato

BAR's Takuma Sato describes a lap of Spa-Francorchamps "There have been a few changes to the circuit in Spa for this year and it's great to see Belgian Grand Prix return to the calendar, as it is a favourite with both drivers and the ...

BAR's Takuma Sato describes a lap of Spa-Francorchamps

"There have been a few changes to the circuit in Spa for this year and it's great to see Belgian Grand Prix return to the calendar, as it is a favourite with both drivers and the fans."

Takuma Sato.
Photo by LAT Photographic.

"As you cross the start/finish line on a lap of Spa, you brake hard before changing down to first gear for the tight La Source hairpin. The track is doubly wide on the exit, and so it is very important to get the correct racing line to try to get extra speed in the run into Eau Rouge."

"It is quite a steep drive down hill and the track twists left, hard right and uphill, and then left again. Eau Rouge is an important element of the lap and if taken fast enough, usually in sixth gear and at 290 kmh, you can out-drag an opponent along the Kemmel straight and into the Les Combes chicane."

"Down to third gear through Malmedy and it's on to the very tight hairpin at Rivage, which you take in second gear and 110 kmh. This leads you into the fast Pouhon double apex left hander before a brief straight and the fast Les Fagnes chicane."

"Immediately after the chicane it's up through the gears on another short straight before the next corner, the tough Stavelot right-hander. This third gear corner, taken at 245 kmh, leads onto the main 'straight', so you can slide your car wide here to try and increase your speed to 300 kmh."

"The 'straight' is a series of flat out, left hand kinks including Blanchimont and the revised Bus Stop sequence, where you slow the car right down to 60 kmh and first gear, before returning to the pit straight and the start of another exciting lap."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Takuma Sato