With the FIA almost certainly banning the flexi-wings that would ensure a Red Bull or Ferrari victory, and with McLaren’s terrific pace of development, that pretty much puts everyone on a reasonably level playing field. Add to that the best F-Duct in the field that will enjoy the long Belgian straights immensely. But the most important and exciting point is the weather – Spa’s weather system’s are the most unpredictable we visit, and with the McLaren the best car to drive in changeable conditions (see: Australia and China) as well as the amazing wet-weather skills of both Button and Hamilton, could we be looking at a British victory when F1 returns after it’s summer break?
It’s hard to tell. If flexi-wings are banned it will tighten the front of the field up a bit yes, but that isn’t the only thing that makes Red Bull and Ferrari fast (though it does appear to be a decent part of it) and McLaren have still yet to really understand the EBD from the looks of things. Also corners like Pouhon, Fagnes and Stavelot will still benefit Red Bull.
I don’t know if the weather necessarily plays into McLaren hands – they have two of the best wet weather drivers yes, but in Australia and China Alonso’s Ferrari was also quick.
Things will definately be closer though I reckon – could be a Turkey type race, but with Ferrari in the mix as well. Add in a possible surprise like we had last year from Force India and I reckon we could be in for a cracker.
I think Spa will be between RBR and Mclaren and then Ferrari. It’s hard to say though. Mclaren should feel more at home at Spa than the past couple of races and I’m assuming they’ll have their EBD working by then.
I don’t think there will be a big surprise like last year as RBR weren’t on top of their game, Brawn were struggling and the track didn’t suit Mclaren last year whereas the field is so competitive at every track this year. There might be a team well in the mix but anything else will surprise me.
Will McLaren dominate at Monza though? The F-Duct is a help yes, but their car isn’t good over the bumps – and attacking the kerbs at Monza can be the key to a good lap time. Last year the Toyota had a similar problem – and they struggled at Monaco and Monza.
Bear in mind that flexi-wings aren’t banned (certainly no more than they are already banned) – the change is that the test used to check wing flexibility has been ramped up. So it’s not impossible that the Ferrari and Red Bull front wings will stay flexible if they pass the new test.