Belgium Grand Prix 25th - 26th August The Formula One ...
Belgium Grand Prix 25th - 26th August The Formula One family travels this week to another picturesque and popular venue, as the Spa-Francorchamps circuit celebrates its 30th year as host of the Belgian Grand Prix.
Situated near Liege, in the middle of the Ardennes forest, the 6.97km-long circuit has become extremely popular with drivers and spectators alike. The hilly banks to the track provide spectacular viewing for the fans as the drivers tackle a fast and demanding circuit, including the daunting Eau Rouge corner which was recently reinstated.
Last year the drivers had to negotiate a temporary chicane at Eau Rouge which, whilst increasing the safety level, was considered detrimental to the spectacle of Grand Prix racing. In 1995, following Spa-Francorchamps Circuit's acquisition of adjacent land, the organisers have been able to improve the run-off area on this section - a safety measure which has made it possible to remove the chicane and restore the corner to its previous grandeur.
The Marlboro McLaren Mercedes team has continued its intensive testing programme at Silverstone in preparation for the Grand Prix. Mark Blundell tried new chassis development features, which represented an improvement and will be incorporated into the race cars in Spa. He also successfully submitted the Phase 2.1 Mercedes engine to a reliability test over a full Grand Prix distance. "The team is encouraged by the outcome of the Silverstone testing," said Mario Illien, designer of the Mercedes V10, "we are optimistic that the engine problems suffered in Hungary have been overcome".
Meanwhile, Marlboro McLaren Mercedes made the news with the announcement on Monday that four times Formula One World Champion Alain Prost would participate in the team's development visited the Woking factory earlier this week for a seat-fitting and is expected to test the MP4/10 in the next few weeks.