Spa’s long straights offer hope to Red Bull’s rivals (Belgian Grand Prix preview)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

After a four-week break, F1 bursts back into life at the stunning Spa-Francorchamps circuit.

The seven kilometre track in the Ardennes is a fabulous place to watch F1 cars at the peak of their performance. Which is why dozens of F1 Fanatic readers are making their way to Belgium this weekend.

Force India impressed here last year but this weekend all eyes will be on Red Bull who are expected to be strong on the fast track.

Spa-Francorchamps has several high-speed corners – so this should be a Red Bull walkover, right?

It’s true that the RB6 has been fearsomely quick through F1’s fastest corners so far this year. So it should eat bends like Pouhon, Fagnes and Stavelot for breakfast.

But its greatest weakness is its poor straight line speed. That’s partly a consequence of all that downforce, which brings with it a lot of drag, but also due to its Renault engine not being quite as powerful as the Mercedes or Ferrari.

Red Bull’s deficit in this area has always been most clearly exposed at tracks with long flat-out sections. Like Montreal, where the RB6s were 11.6kph slower than the fastest cars through the speed trap in qualifying.

Spa-Francorchamps, 2010 Belgian Grand Prix
Spa-Francorchamps, 2010 Belgian Grand Prix

Spa has two of the longest flat-out blasts on the calendar. In the first sector, the stretch from the La Source hairpin through Eau Rouge and up the hill to Les Combes takes 24 seconds. Then in sector three, the cars accelerate out of Stavelot around Blanchimont and on to the chicane without lifting for 20 seconds.

So the key question in practice will be whether Red Bull’s advantage through the twisty stuff will be great enough to cancel out that deficit. And what new parts they might have on the car to help them with that task.

Red Bull’s weakness on the straights is a McLaren strength. The MP4-25 also likes smoother circuits and so should be more at home at Spa than the Hungaroring. But expect Ferrari’s revitalised F10 to be the biggest threat to the Red Bulls.

However there is an X-factor this weekend: the new static load test being imposed by the FIA in response to the flexing observed on Red Bull’s front wing in recent races.

Technical director Adrian Newey has denied the Red Bull’s front wing will have to be changed as a result of the test. But that doesn’t mean that other parts on the car which may be contributing to the flexing – such as its splitter – won’t be affected.

Keep a close eye on the RB6’s front wing at the end of those long straights to see if it’s still moving as much as it was at the Hungaroring.

Spa is a great track for drivers and Sebastian Vettel was quick here last year, though he could only finish third in the race after losing ground at the start. Despite losing another likely win at the Hungaroring, he must be favourite ahead of this weekend’s race.

Drivers to watch

Four driver to keep an eye on this weekend. Name your top picks in the comments.

Michael Schumacher – Schumacher has a lot of history at Spa: he made his F1 debut, won his first race and final world championship at this track. But he arrives under a cloud, facing a ten-place grid penalty which could see him start from last place if he fails to qualify in the top 13. Encouragingly for him, the W01 went well at Catalunya and Silverstone.

Vitaly Petrov – Had his best performance of the year so far at the Hungaroring. How close will he be to his team mate at this drivers’ circuit?

Adrian Sutil – The Force Indias flew at Spa last year, though Sutil could not quite match the performance of team mate Giancarlo Fisichella. The VJM03 may not be quite as well-suited to Spa as its predecessor, but it is quick in a straight line. A good weekend could put Sutil ahead of Schumacher in the drivers’ championship.

Pedro de la Rosa – Has had more DNFs than anyone so far this year, largely down to car failures. But he finally brought the car home in the points at the Hungaroring. He’s usually out-qualified his attention-grabbing team mate too. The C29 is another car which has been at its best on quick tracks, so more points could be on offer this weekend.

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2010 Belgian Grand Prix

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90 comments on “Spa’s long straights offer hope to Red Bull’s rivals (Belgian Grand Prix preview)”

  1. Strange that again red bull are favourites and will be judged very harshly if they don’t get a 1-2, even though webber, horner and most knowledgable people have noted that this will not be a strong circuit for them and that they’ll be in damage limitation.
    They will still qualify very strongly but should be happy with both cars in the top 5 on sunday.
    would be nice to see the mclarens or ferraris hounded if they dont grab a 1-2 at circuits that suit them.
    (just to clarify only a webber fan, not a red bull fan)

    1. i too believe that red bull are favourite cause despite being a low downforce track it has a technical 2nd sector and 2 hairpins last year red bull were as outpowered as today but this year fuel economy makes ultimate power less important they didnt had the double diffuser i think that this track is so low downforce that the benefit of having the f duct may be reduced definatly on monza no team will use it cause the large box and shark fin isnt perfect aero dynamically by opening it it makes less inneficient but if the car has it almost all the time opened it might as well not be there

      1. anyway mechanical grip top speed and low aero pack are very important and of course the drivers probably the best track on the world and definalty the weekend we were all waiting for i tip ferrari for the win

    2. Let’s see if the Red Buls still have an edge – lot of things could have changed over a few weeks in F1!

  2. A great race to have after the summer brake. Great circuit, nice atmosphere and interesting weather.
    A shame it’s pretty expensive, but the best places are booked early so it works. Let us hope it stays on the calendar for quite a few years.

    I am curious what the race will be like this year. As Keith points out, it might be a bit like Turkey with RBR winning a great deal of time at places but losing at others, so a tight race with RBR, Ferrari and McLaren with some others close behind would be nice.

    Also watch out for the weater, there is rain expected, it might even be the first completely wet race (that would probably favour Red Bull).

    1. I’m hoping for one of those strange races that only happens at Spa where it’s soaked on one side of the circuit and dry on the other so the drivers really have to manage their tires well!

      1. That would be nice. But i am pretty sure it will be an interesting race anyhow.

  3. Welcome back Keith, and I hope you had a great time with your wedding and other festivities.

    For me it is really a toss up as to who will have the advantage. Red Bull may lose out with a lack of top speed, but they still never seem to be off the pace. Ferrari should be quick, and as long as their package for the race gives optimal drag vs downforce levels they should be easily in contention for the top spot. McLaren should also be in the mix, but I have been disappointed with their pace recently. They first have to show they have a improved car, before I would support them for a win. Finally Michael should be well at home here. The Mercedes engine is fantastic, and as long as they have a reasonably efficient package, they should be near the best of the rest so to say, though Michael’s 10-Stop penalty would get them ahead for sure.

    1. Sorry – Keith will be back on Thursday. He will be reading back through the comments..

      1. And hope you enjoy your day tomorrow :-)

        1. Thanks Everybody. I don’t remember adding it to the list but I guess I did at some point in time….

    2. I hope you enjoy your birthday today Lord Stig!

  4. You watch, Vettel will grab pole from Webber than Hamilton and Alonso then Button. Hamilton will get Webber into turn 1. Then up to le combes Hamilton will pass vettel and alonso will overtake Mark. Than at the pit stops Button will also get Mark. Hamilton, from Vettel then Alonso is my tip.

    1. fairly accurate i second your prediction

      1. as fast as the redbulls may be, the mc’s n farraris have advantage when it comes to key overtaking points

  5. I think the Ferraris will be really strong at Spa. The really slow speed corners and straights should suit the Ferrari’s and McLarens, while the Red Bull’s will be stronger on the high speed corners of the track. I’m guessing Lewis, Fernando, Sebastian and Mark, all have an strong chance of taking pole. But my guess would be Alonso taking Ferrari’s first pole position of the year.

    1. Slow speed corners don’t help McLaren. Just take a look at Monaco and Hungary. The sections of track where McLaren is faster than RB is on the straights.

  6. BrownyNSW you don’t seem to have any faith in mark being able to defend his position against any of the other top drivers, where as i would say he can defend faster cars with greater competence than vettel. if the red bulls take the front row and can avoid losing places at the start i think the leader should be able to nullify the top end speed of the mclaren/ferraris with faster lap times provided his team mate can buffer the other for at least a a lap or two.

    saying that if they get jumped at the start i see it being very hard for them to win.

    If vettel does take pole from mark do you think the dirty side of the track will play as bigger role at spa as it did in hungary? Anyone?

    1. I don’t think it will be as bad, but the dirty side should be worse for the front runners than the midfielders just because of the normal lines the cars take.

      But if the track is wet before the race, then the clean side won’t be much of an advantage.

      The Red Bull’s I think will be in trouble, just because if they aren’t in first and second after the first corner, the chances of them making passes on the other front runners is very slim at best in my opinion.

      I agree, if they can pass mark, I don’t see why they couldn’t pass Vettel. I doubt the Red Bull’s will be the fastest team here though, they have only struggled really this year at Canada, And I think that is telling for the coming weekend.

      1. IIRC, they qualified 2nd and 3rd in Canada, only behind a cheating low fueled Hamilton and then kind of stuffed up on the strategy.

        But even so, Spa is nothing like Canada as the latter has no high speed corners to speak of.

        I think the RBs can lock out the front row but are in danger of getting overtaken by the time the cars reach Les Combes.

        1. AK, The amount of time Hamilton gained because of having slightly to little fuel, would be no where near the difference between 1st and 2nd.

          Secondly… It wasn’t cheating. A rule to ban short fuelling only came in after that…

          1. I agree you cant call it cheating if there were no rules aginst it at the time.

            I think the RB’s will still most likley lock at the front row, what happened in canada was more a result of a freakish lap by hamilton under favourable conditions for the car, possible for a repeat but i’d put my money on the bulls on saturday.

            will be interesting though, anything can happen after the break and a track like this.

          2. Oh well…Austria 2002 wasn’t cheating either then.The rule came afterwards.

          3. thats right you can’t be classified a cheat if you don’t break a rule.
            these things happen, then rules are made so they are not repeated(legaly).
            austria 2002 wasn’t cheating at the time just extremly unsportsman like, hence the rule change!

  7. Why would Red Bull be favourites because of the straights…? The thing they tend to dislike is the straights because of the power disadvantage they have (which isnt a massive one). What Red Bull will be looking forward to will be the twisty mid-sector.

    I reckon Ferrari and Mclaren are looking forward to the straights more.

    1. Who said Red Bull will be strong on straights?

      1. Uhhh my bad, helps when I read the title properly.

  8. My top three team. Mclaren, Red Bull & Ferrari. If Red Bull do struggle then this is the one of two opportunity where the rest can catch them. Early days but I bet for Hamilton.

    The stretch from La Source through Eau Rouge and up the hill to Les Combes & from Stavelot via Blanchimont and on to the bus stop chicane those are the places where I think we will see some overtaking. Can’t remember whether this circuit ever had a boring race since 2004 this weekend will be great.

    1. 2007 Belgiam GP was more or less boring.

      1. I have to disagree with you. Yes the amount of racing was less but it was better in 2007 then 2010 Bahrain, Valencia & many other races after that race.

        The wheel to wheel action between Alonso & Hamilton at Eau Rouge was spectacular. The top 4 in those days (kimi,massa,alonso,hamilton) didn’t fight but there were some good racing at the back of the field especially by Webber, Sutil & Hekki who was defending Kubica for a very long time.

      2. I agree with Gill. I remember there being loads of hype about returning to Spa, and then the race was a damp squib.

        But then again it was Spa, just like Monaco it doesn’t matter if it’s a good race or not, it still brings a smile to my face.

  9. Which engine is more powerful ? Merc or Ferrari ?

    1. given the peak output is around 750bhp – i think the total difference between lowest power (renault?) up to highest power (mercedes) of about 30bhp tops is really not that much. The cosworth delivers solid reliable power as we have seen with the williams this year and no engine failures from the new teams. The Ferrari seems best all rounder, in my opinion, whereas although down on power, and as Martin Brundle pointed out, has the best driveability – i.e. best mid range punch and delivery of power.

      Given all those factors, i believe the engine situation to be very evenly matched across the teams, and certainly don’t see any need for £equalisation” as horner wants.

      Anyone remember racing games of the past, where you would choose between the car with great handling, acceleration but poor top speed, or the flat out fastest car with lower cornering abilities. This is healthy for the sport, and the best chance of overtaking in this current F1 is if two cars have very difference characteristics over the course of a lap. Red bulls faster in sector 2, but mclarens and ferraris catch them on the straights.. i can’t wait!!!

      1. Not that much? Given the peak output of 750bhp, 30bhp is about 4%. This is a lot in Formula One, where every tenth of a second counts.

        You say that Cosworth delivers solid reliable power. Great, but is it enough? Is it possible for a Cosworth driven car to fight for podiums?

        This isn’t a computer game. Here more power is a clear advantage. Most of everything else teams can improve, but they can’t touch the engine.

        1. The talk of the renault engine being down on power vs the ferrari and merc drives me nuts. Peak power really is not that important in actual engine performance. If you can visualise a power curve graph (not easy to draw one here so you’ll have to go with your imagination), the engine with the most power is not necessarily the one with the highest peak, it’s the one with the biggest area under the line.

          Without knowing the full power curve of all the engines it’s impossible to say which is the most powerful. Horner really annoys me with his comments about being 30bhp down because he know’s much better than that.

          I’ll look for a link to a graph to demostrate… hold on.

          1. The other thing to note is that intake an exhaust design could easily create/flatten a 30bhp peak on a 200bhp engine, let alone a 700bhp engine.

          2. phew, found it at last…


            the caption reads, “Which of these two hypothetical engines would you chose[sic]? Even thought[sic] the broad curve peaks 50 horsepower less than the peaky curve, it has more area under the curve and is therefore faster over the course of a lap.”

            Despite the typos, this is how you compare one engine’s power to another. Peak power is not that important. With the peakier engine you’ve got a much narrower rev band to work with while accellerating through the gears, change up a fraction too early and you’ll lose a load of power as the revs drop.

    2. They are equal but I think that Ferrari is just a little ahead of Mercedes. It just that Mclaren with their F-Duct is doing a better job with the engine then the Mercedes.

      1. SO u mean that F10 with an F-Duct will be faster than MClaren with an F-Duct provided both cars’s F-Duct system are same ?

        1. I think so dispite the fact that both engine are producing same same amount of BHP the Ferrari will be faster then the Mclaren.

          1. The mercedes engine is more powerfull than the ferrari engine.Because I know for a fact that the merc engine delivers around 780 bhp ,where the ferrari engine produces about 750 bhp.

  10. I’m torn between whether I want this race wet or dry. I think it would be fascinating to see the battles in the dry, watching the bulls pull away through sector 2 only for the mclarens and ferraris to catch up with them through sectors 1 and 3 but you’re almost guarenteed a good race in the wet at Spa.

    Ideal situation- Starts wet and the track drys up but either way we are in for a cracker this weekend.

    1. As we’re going to see it in person, I’d like a dry one :-)

  11. “Keep a close eye on the RB6’s front wing at the end of those long straights to see if it’s still moving as much as it was at the Hungaroring.”

    I can’t wait to see this in FP1. If it doesn’t flex, perhaps the others have a chance (albeit a minimal one) to close the gap towards the end of the season. If it does, it’s goodnight Vienna.

    PS: what’s with the ‘X-factor’ reference Keith… is this part of a bet?! $:)

    1. I hope that if it does flex, the FIA do what it should have done ages ago and punished them in some way…

      The rules state that flexing wings (amongst other bits) is banned, and that the FIA is able to produce a verdict even if the wing passes the test.

      Not that I particularly want Vettel or Webber punished though…

      1. What are you talking about? They have new tests and if RB pass those it’s too bad for the rest and the FIA.

        1. I’m wondering if RBR would have redesigned the wing to suit the new test, or to beat it, or if they are going to leave everything alone and prove everyone wrong…..
          (And if Ferrari have done anything similar)

          1. Redesign the wing in one week? Nay, I believe, based on the the murmurs from Newey and Co., that they’ll keep the wing same…

      2. And I though moving aerodynamic parts were banned? like say, the f-duct?

      3. Speaking of betting, the odds are 9/4 Vettel, then 11/4 Alonso, 4/1 Webber, 9/2 Hamilton, 12/1 Button & Massa, 40/1 Sutil, 50/1 Rosberg & Kubica, etc. So the gambling world likes Vettel and Alonso’s odds..

    2. I am sure the RB6 wing will flex.

      I would rather look out for front wings of other cars. Every innovation this year has been copied fairly quickly. Foolish to assume that Mclaren, Mercedez won’t try their own version of flexi-wing.

  12. I have a question. If Merc engine is so powerful then why dint Mclaren and Brawn qualify well last year.
    IF I remember, Button and Hamilton werent even in top 10 and were taken out in the very first corner in the race.

    1. But BAR was 4:th, so the Brawn was good enough, just not BUT. The McLaren still lacked a bit of downforce back then.

      1. and still does ;-)

      2. But downforce is only needed in sector 2 if I m not wrong.

        1. True, but if you’re lacking it you can loose a lot of time.

          1. *lose, not loose! Sorry!

    2. dragon_2712 (@)
      24th August 2010, 4:02

      Rubens qualified 4th, so Brawn were still well placed. By that point of the championship, the BGP001 was no longer running on rails like it was at the start of the season, and Jenson struggles with cars that aren’t perfectly balanced, which is why Rubens was able to close the gap somewhat in the latter races.
      The MP4-24 was just a terrible car, no other explanation needed really. Pointless having a good engine if your sector 2 time is shocking.

  13. Force india had last year a good car for this circuit, So i wonder if they are going to use the blower or just the old diffuser.

  14. Honestly, I don’t really care who’s going to win, I just want the race to start :) I’d like, however, a bit of rain drops in the middle of the race, some heavy winter storm and then back to the summer again. May the best man win.

  15. Pending weather conditions i think the race will be vastly decided in qualifying and the first corner. Although the Mclarens and Ferraris will have the jump on the RB6’s in the straights i think the track is such that the gaps will open up sooner rather than later and those opportunities will only be present on the first lap. By no means do i think it will be a boring race however. I think the top 3 teams will be very evenly matched. Im a Webber fan but suspect it will be a Hamilton, Alonso, Vettel podium. Hope im wrong.

  16. I love Spa. But if Red Bull doesn’t qualify ahead of the McLarens or Ferraris, I think at the front the race might be over at corner 1 (barring any major mistakes or reliability issues of course). The Red Bulls might be faster through section two, but there isn’t much space there to overtake, so pretty much their only hope of overtaking is at the end of section two getting closer to the back throughout the section and then getting a ridiculous amount better drive out of Stavelot than the opposition. Whereas the McLarens in particular but the Ferraris as well, have two good chances: at the chicane before the start/finish and at the end of the Kemmel straight.

    I’m thinking the midfield battle will be more interesting for the race, with the Williams and Sauber getting better all the time, the Mercedes slowly slipping backwards and the Force India going up and down a bit it will be interesting to see who does the best job this weekend.

  17. It’s going to be tight.

    Red Bull will probably lock out the front row, or Alonso might sneak into 2nd. Hamilton and Massa will contend for 4th or maybe 3rd if either has a stellar lap.

    If this happens, you’d expect Hamilton to make up one or two places by Les Combes, possibly more if he’s started 5th. It all comes down to what those places are. If he’s stuck behind a Red Bull or two going into Sector 2 it’ll be an ask to hang on until the long Sector 3, but if he can he’s in a prime spot for another place. After that the cars should be spaced out enough to prevent more overtaking by anyone.

    And then it’ll rain, probably ;-)

  18. I’m off to SPA on Friday for the race! First time been to any other than the British GP – can’t wait!!!

    1. Have a lot of fun! I hope for you it doesn’t rain all the time – here in the south of the Netherlands we are having spells of sun and severe rain alternating – I wish you more of the sun bit :)

  19. I think Ferrari should be real strong here, unless the FIA test change holds them back. But maybe McLaren have a new somewhat-flexy front wing now too. I have the feeling that Red Bull will lose too much in the speedy sectors, but I have been surprised about the bits around the diffuser they have before.

  20. I think that Red Bulls will be uncatchable in Spa. They will struggle a bit in the first sector but in the middle sector of the track I believe they will humiliate all the other cars

  21. People are plugging for either Red Bull or McLaren. But if there is a jack-of-all-trades car out theres it’s the Ferrari, and as much as it pains me to say it, I’d put Alonso down to win.

  22. I’m going to Spa on Thursday morning. Spa will be my first ever Grand Prix, although I’ve been a F1 fan for more than 10 years!

    I’ve been at the Spa track twice: I visited the track when there was a sports car owners day (somewhere in 2002 or 2003) and I went to the 2004 pit walk.

    I have a ticket for the Silver 1 grandstand at block G, close to the Gold 2 grandstand. Really looking forward to be there!

    1. theRoswellite
      24th August 2010, 17:12

      Fantastic, nothing like your first GP, hope you have good race.

      Back in the 70’s I was able to attend a couple of races at Long Beach…a fairly good track for taking photographs, as people would let you come into their apartment for, a couple of bucks, and shoot (or just watch) out the windows.

      I was young, just out of the military, and trying to break into the sports photo business (which didn’t work out). I can stll remember hanging out, as far as possible, from a couple of stories up…it was a spectacular angle, all most straight down. Somewhere I still have some old BW prints of Lauda and Schecter, which I was able to get autographed the following year.

      Hope you create some great memories, and hope you post them here.

      1. Thanks theRoswellite!

        I can imagine it must have been a great time for you at Long Beach, unbelievable you just could get into these apartments for a few bucks!

        My plan is to upload some of my Spa pics to Flickr and of course share my experiences here :)

  23. Given their likely speed advantage on the straights, I expect McLaren to run YellowG1 early on, as in Turkey, to put RBR under fuel pressure on this high consumption track. If RBR have to burn extra fuel to keep ahead on the straights, this could really hurt them. I can even see Button, by team strategy or his own habit, saving his fuel while Hamilton attempts to wear down the quarry. Ferrari is also a thirsty car, so I expect them also to see trouble if the race plays out this way. But overall its not clear if McLaren have found enough down force to permit them to exercise the top speed potential.

  24. The RB6 is the most flexible car on the grid with Ferrari a close second. The only hope for a McLaren podium is a bit of luck and balls out fight by Hamilton in setor one.
    The MP-25 may have potential but, potential has never won a race. I think it has turned into a put together piece of junk.

  25. So jealous of all of you that are going.

  26. I’m betting there’ll be August rainstorms all weekend and there’ll be one, long, epic Belgian race :P

  27. I wonder if the RB6 will take Pouhon flat?

    1. dragon_2712 (@)
      24th August 2010, 4:09

      Doubt it. I’d gladly be wrong, but if they take that first sweep in without lifting, I’m sure they’ll run wide.

  28. Well it’s tough to predict but I’m sure Red Bull will be strong. I just don’t know whether McLaren has improved their car to catch Red Bull and Ferrari or not. Renault is going to bring their F-duct in Spa and it will be a step forward for them as they already caught Mercedes. Williams, Sauber and Force India along with Renault were doing better than Mercedes in the last 2 races. I really doubt Mercedes will do anything special with Schumacher’s penalty and the fact that they don’t have a good car and Rosberg is going to fight Renaults and Willimas in both qualifying and the race(As a Mercedes fan I feel so disappointed). But all in all, I hope for an exciting race that we all enjoy.

  29. I think it’s obvious who is going to win… Kimi will casually turn up on race day in his Citroen WRC car, mumble a few words, take his 5th Spa win, do a couple of doughnuts then get drunk on the podium :p

    1. Maybe eat a choc ice too?

    2. And thats why we all love Kimi.

      1. yeah, i miss him, hope he comes back

  30. Alonso should win this race. The F10 should have enough new things on the Spa package to partially cancel out the deficit to the RBR in the fast corners and then take advantage of the straights. I would not be surprised if Mercedes does well here too. But a lot depends on the weather.

  31. The F-duct will not be nearly sufficient for McLaren to make up the near 2 second deficit from Hungary.

    Ferrari have to be in with a shout but you can’t look further than the Red Bulls

  32. Instead of looking out for the flexing of the Red Bull and Ferrari wings, I would say look closely at the Mclaren and Mercedez front wings this race. I am sure that a professional team like Mclaren is working on their own version of the flexi-wing and not banking on the FIA to ban the Red Bull and Ferrari flexi-wings.

    In all probability, the flexi-wings are not going to get banned, it is foolish to assume that Red Bull and Ferrari wouldn’t have thought of a solution for this. Besides, the new test isn’t stricter, it doubles the load applied on the front wing and checks if the wing doesn’t flex by double the allowable length. It is a test for linearity, not for stiffness of the wing.

    Curious choices for the ‘Drivers to watch’ though.=: No Red Bull, Mclaren or Ferrari drivers!! I think it is the first time this year.

  33. theRoswellite
    24th August 2010, 17:38

    In a very tight season, it would be a bit of a twist if the RB’s are brought back to the field a touch by the new front wing requirements.

    I think we all deserve a race for the ages…or at least of the season.

    How about a final lap with LH, FA, and at least one of the RB’s all nose-to-tail..and throw in some showers…some where out on the circuit.

    Yea, let’s have a No Guts – No Glory finish! We deserve it.

  34. The parts causing the “flexing” are not at the front, but far back and under the vehicle.

  35. theRoswellite
    25th August 2010, 1:56

    @ happy: I hadn’t picked up on this, as an established fact.

    Is this your opinion?

    If this is the case I would think they would be risking a huge penalty under….spirit of the rules? I certainly hope that I’m wrong, besides, “flexible engineering” is one of the reasons to love F1.

  36. Heading there tomorrow morning. Actually, kidnapping my brother from a Swedish crayfish party in 11 hours. The irony of it is that he’ll probably go for it because of his envy of me going. I’m the best brother ever.

  37. As I said in my previous post: here’s my update on day 1 at Spa!

    First of all it was a bit difficult to find the right parking spot, because the directions are quite confusing… but we eventually found a nice parking spot at a campsite close to the track.

    After we waited almost an hour at the gates at La Source, the pit walk kicked off at 16:30.

    According to the speaker, the drivers of every team would sign autographs at a given time. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case. For my idea, every driver came out the pit box to give some autographs when he wanted to give them.

    I started at Virgin Racing and got both drivers’ autographs. I moved on to Force India where both drivers where also outside for the fans. While Sutil was very patient and signed load of autographs, Liuzzi signed just a few autographs and got back in his car to try some adjustments.

    At Renault, both drivers where also present, but there were so much people there (lots of Russians!) that I missed out on one of their autographs.

    At Williams I managed to get Nico’s autograph, while Rubens was gone very quick after some autographs.

    I walked back to Lotus where it was less crowded and got Heikki’s autograph. I did’t see Jarno though…

    After that I tried to walk to Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes and McLaren, but it was just way too crowded there. Because there was no way out at the start of the pit lane, everyone sort of ended there at the top teams, where it was already very busy. It was definitely too crowded there, so no autograph for me from one of the big drivers!

    At 18:00 the session was over, and we headed to our accommodation for some nice spaghetti and tiramisu!

    It was a nice first day, and I’m looking forward to see the action tomorrow!

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