Just one week after Rubens Barrichello achieved Brawn GP's seventh victory of the 2009 Formula One season in Valencia, Round 12 takes the team to Spa in the forests of the Ardennes for the Belgian Grand Prix. One of the most historic races in ...
Just one week after Rubens Barrichello achieved Brawn GP's seventh victory of the 2009 Formula One season in Valencia, Round 12 takes the team to Spa in the forests of the Ardennes for the Belgian Grand Prix.
One of the most historic races in Formula One having been staged in the World Championship's inaugural season in 1950, the Spa circuit has been shortened over the years from its original 14.9km length but remains the longest track on the calendar. The current 7.004km lap retains much of its original character and follows the natural undulations of the Ardennes region.
The circuit is dominated by straights at the start and end of the lap with a twisty middle section from turns five to 14. Fast and sweeping corners, including the legendary Eau Rouge, make the venue a favourite with Formula One's drivers.
ROSS BRAWN, TEAM PRINCIPAL
Q. The back-to-back races are at two contrasting venues. How will you approach the weekend in Spa?
"Our return to form in Valencia and the very well-deserved win for Rubens has given everyone at the team a timely boost as we head into the final part of the season. Looking ahead to the race in Spa, this will be another challenge with a very different type of circuit and ambient weather conditions. Although we believe that we now have a better understanding of our recent tyre issues, the lower track temperatures at Spa will be the proving ground for this. We will have another busy testing programme on Friday to validate the conclusions reached in Valencia and then build our weekend from there. Spa ranks as one of the great classic racing circuits, loved by drivers, engineers and fans, so we hope to put on a good show."
Q. Are you looking forward to racing at Spa this weekend?
"Spa is one of my favourite circuits and has a layout which gives everything you could want as a driver. It's one of the fastest and most challenging circuits in the world with hills, fast corners and long straights which combine to give you a real buzz to drive, just like Suzuka and Silverstone. It's also a very beautiful circuit with the forest setting although the weather can be unpredictable! It can play a big part in the race weekend, even in the summer, so you have to be ready to react but that unpredictability is part of the thrill of racing at Spa. Eau Rouge is still a legendary corner, although it is usually easy flat for us in the dry, but the feeling when you hit the bottom of the hill, touch the ground and shoot straight back up again is amazing. It's been a tough few races for me recently but the car felt very good in Valencia and the pace was right up there when I was able to run in clear air during the race. So we're feeling positive and very much looking forward to the weekend."
Q. Following the win in Valencia on Sunday, what are your thoughts ahead of the next race at Spa?
"Valencia was a fantastic weekend and the memories will stay with me for a long time. Winning again feels pretty good! I always knew that we had both the car and the pace to deliver a win this season and stayed positive. I've had a few days to relax and reflect now but I can't wait to get back in the car again in Spa! For me, Spa is unquestionably on one of the best circuits in the world and I love racing there. The lap is really long and fast with some great corners and it gives you a fantastic feeling in a Formula One car. Experience is a key factor as you can pick up a lot of time if you get the car set-up just right and you have to be precise in your timing to make the most of the track time in practice and qualifying. We've picked up some momentum again now after the result in Valencia and know that we have to make the most of the next few races."
-credit: brawn gp