Formula 1 drivers think the challenge of Eau Rouge has been made greater by a new 'scary' kerb that has been fitted to prevent them cutting the corner.
As part of some minor changes made to the Spa-Francorchamps circuit ahead of this weekend' s Belgian Grand Prix, small tweaks have been made to the kerbs.
A new 50mm 'Vallelunga' kerb and 100mm combination kerbs have been installed at the bottom of Eau Rouge, while at the Raidillon section at the top of the hill, there is a new 30mm dome kerb featured on the concrete strips behind the main kerb.
Former world champion Jenson Button said the kerb was big enough to be a big deterrent for anyone considering trying to gain time by straight lining the section.
“They have put a new kerb which is a bit scary on the apex of Turn 4,” explained Button. “It does make it harder and if you run a bit wide, you don't want to hit it: you want to go to the left of it rather than go over it.
“I think it was because of the 24 Hours where they [the drivers] were just going straight a few weeks back.”
Drivers always tempted
Sauber driver Marcus Ericsson said that such a kerb was essential to prevent drivers being tempted to take too many liberties at the corner.
“For lap time it is important to be flat there, because after it is a long straight after which is uphill,” he said.
“It may be more difficult now, because there is a bit of a sausage kerb at the top.
“Before you could straight line it a bit at the top, whereas now I think you don't want to hit it. Even though the kerb is small, it will still upset you at that speed.
“I think it is good because always on places where you can cut the corner, it is always a tendency as drivers to go as fast as possible – so if there is a place you can gain lap time by doing it [cutting a corner], then you will do it.”