The Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday not only completes the Monza – Spa back to back, but also marks the end of the European season for 2007. Europe's finale will be hosted by the classic Spa-Francorchamps circuit, which is making a welcome return to the calendar following a season's absence. Nestled in the Ardennes forest, Spa evokes a sense of romanticism for many having provided the stage for some of the sport's most epic battles over its long history.
Renowned for its long sweeping straights and challenging, fast corners, most notably the magical Eau Rouge, Spa is a firm favourite amongst the drivers. With just a handful of races remaining, Spa provides a perfect platform for another potentially great battle and one in which ATT Williams will be looking to enhance its position in the Championship.
Spa is a fantastic race track so I'm very much looking forward to racing there. In terms of performance, I'm not really sure what we can expect. We tested there a few weeks ago, but it's difficult to tell how we will go in the race, but I think it'll probably be pretty close again. As a team, we'll go there with high hopes following Nico's sixth place in Monza. If we can secure some more points, we'll help to strengthen fifth in the Constructors' Championship for the team and that's my goal for the race.
Spa is wonderful. It's a great track for drivers, maybe the best one for us. It's very, very fast. I'm not overly optimistic, but we've clearly made progress since the test there and I hope we can keep that momentum going. As we've shown in the past few races, we've delivered over and above our expectations, so I hope that we can continue that form and exceed our targets this weekend.
Sam Michael, Technical Director, Williams F1
Spa is a truly great circuit with so much natural terrain creating challenging corners and sequences for the drivers and engineers. Of course, Eau Rouge and Blanchimont are the "great" corners but there is much more to the track, particularly as it has been re modeled around the famous "Bus Stop" chicane. Set-up is geared towards high and medium speed stability to ensure that when the cars make their way back from the far stretches of the circuit that they are quick through the flowing parts. At the same time, the car must handle well over the kerbs through the chicane.
The weather will no doubt play a significant role, while there's also the chance of rain affecting different parts of the circuit due to its length. We tested at Spa two months ago which enabled us to check out all our systems and complete some advance tyre and set-up work.
The 7 kilometre Spa Francorchamps circuit makes a welcome return to the Formula One calendar after a brief absence and some light re-modelling. However, Spa remains both the longest circuit and the only one on the calendar where drivers experience vertical G with a significant compression before the climb up to Eau Rouge. Spa is also the circuit with the longest period of full engine demand and for Formula One's return, has a new complex before the Bus Stop which most drivers will have experienced in the recent test.
- Liam Clogger, Claire Williams -