Possibly one of the most famous Grand Prix circuits in the world, Spa-Francorchamps is a big favourite for most of today's F1 drivers. Renowned for the daunting 'Eau Rouge' and breathtaking 'Blanchimont', Spa is the ultimate test of man and ...
Possibly one of the most famous Grand Prix circuits in the world, Spa-Francorchamps is a big favourite for most of today's F1 drivers. Renowned for the daunting 'Eau Rouge' and breathtaking 'Blanchimont', Spa is the ultimate test of man and machinery.
The part-road track is the longest track on the Formula One calendar. It runs deep through the Ardennes forest, which brings unpredictable weather into the equation. With only a couple of tight turns thrown into the mix of medium and high speed corners, teams usually opt for a medium downforce setting on the cars to maximise speed on the straights and though the faster corners yet still maintaining ample grip required for the chicanes.
What was expected to be a good race at Spa last year, developed into a particularly eventful one for the OrangeArrows team. Starting from further down the grid than the team had hoped, both drivers had their fair share of difficulties in the race. While Jos battled with understeer, Pedro had to serve with a stop-go penalty for an overtaking violation which set him back somewhat. Finishing 15th and 16th, getting both cars home, was little consolation for a tough weekend, despite the team's determination. This time around, the OrangeArrows team will be hoping for a better weekend.
"I love Spa as it is the best racing circuit in the world - a real driver's circuit. It's pretty much my home race and all the Dutch fans come to Spa, which makes for a terrific atmosphere. It's a very difficult track but very rewarding when you get it right. Hopefully we will be stronger there than we were in the last couple of races. We have put a lot of work in so I hope it pays off."
"Spa is the best, it's my favourite circuit. It really does have a bit of everything - fast corners, slow corners, gradients, and the fantastic Eau Rouge. It's a very traditional track and one of a very few that hasn't been modified extensively. It will be a great experience to race in Formula One there and I am very much looking forward to the weekend."
Mike Coughlan, Technical Director
"This is a medium downforce track where car set-up is critical. As well as the usual corners there are two very special ones - Blanchimont, a very fast left-hander, and of course Eau Rouge. This corner is pretty intimidating as it has a depression with a high vertical g-loading but it is also a great challenge. It's actually the Bus Stop chicane where you can make a good (or bad) lap time as it is possible to lose a lot of time there. Expect to see the teams working very hard during the practice sessions to get the best possible set-up for qualifying and the race."