Uralkali Haas F1 Team heading to Spa for round 12, Belgian GP

Uralkali Haas F1 Team heading to Spa for round 12, Belgian GP

24.08.2021: BELGIAN GRAND PRIX Circuit Spa-Francorchamps 27-29 August 2021 Uralkali Haas F1 Team is raring to get back to action after the summer hiatus with the legendary Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps the venue for the Belgian Grand Prix, Round 12 o

BELGIAN GRAND PRIX
Circuit Spa-Francorchamps
27-29 August 2021





Uralkali Haas F1 Team is raring to get back to action after the summer hiatus with the legendary Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps the venue for the Belgian Grand Prix, Round 12 of the FIA Formula 1 World Championship.



The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is among sport’s most recognizable venues and is this year celebrating its centenary. Baron Joseph de Crawhez and Henri Langlois van Ophem thought that the triangle formed by routes 23, 32 and 440 – connecting the villages of Francorchamps, Malmedy and Stavelot – would provide a fantastic course, winding its way through the contours of the verdant Ardennes Forest.




The first race, in August 1921, was held for motorcyclists but a year later sufficient automobiles were registered for the Belgian Grand Prix to be inaugurated. Those roads were eventually tarmacked in 1928, and in 1950 the 14km road circuit was included on the first Formula 1 world championship season. Only Monza, Monaco and Silverstone have hosted more rounds than Spa-Francorchamps’ 53.




The current Spa-Francorchamps layout, most recently modified in 2007, remains a fearsome challenge and is a favorite among the Formula 1 paddock. At 7.004km it is the longest circuit on the calendar and features fast and sweeping curves such as Pouhon, Blanchimont and the Eau Rouge/Raidillon complex, a waterfall of asphalt which the drivers ascend at full-throttle.



Not only is the circuit a test for drivers but it also provides a trial for teams owing to the varying characteristics, with a power-heavy first and third sectors counteracted by a downforce-reliant lengthy middle sector.



Teams also face a challenge that has been ever-present throughout Spa-Francorchamps’ 100-year history: the weather. Its location within the Ardennes Forest means conditions can change, even corner-by-corner.



Uralkali Haas F1 Team rookies Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher have strong records at Spa-Francorchamps in junior categories. Mazepin was victorious in the GP3 Series in 2018 and last year finished first on the road in Formula 2 prior to a time penalty.



Schumacher recorded his maiden European Formula 3 pole position and win at the track in 2018, going on to win that year’s title, while in 2020 he secured back-to-back Formula 2 podiums en-route to the championship crown.
    


    


    


    


GUENTHER STEINER    


The notable highlight from your personal summer break seemed to be the scaling of the grand Ortler mountain in your native South Tyrol. Can you share that experience and the motivation to climb it – a beach holiday wasn’t an option?



“As a South Tyrolian, there is always one thing you should be doing – climbing the highest mountain of the region! I did it pretty late in my life but it was one of those things I’ve always wanted to do when I was a kid, so I got it done.



I stayed a few days on the beach just to make my family happy – I was obviously happy being with my family – but it’s one of those things when you want to do something, you need to go and do it. I’m pretty happy – it was a nice moment being on the beach. It wasn’t easy work, but it takes what it takes!”





Were you able to successfully strike a work / holiday balance and are you feeling charged up for the second half of the 2021 season? What’s the key to taking a successful break and where do your immediate priorities lie now having had time to reflect on the first half of 2021?



“I am absolutely recharged for the second half. I spent some time with the family but what I’ve learned over the years in this period is doing something constructive is very difficult because everyone is on holiday in our industry so it’s just going backwards and forwards with no real result.



The best thing is to step back, think things through on your own where you don’t need anybody and then when you come back, just work hard. The priority is just to get to the end of the season, do the best we can, as we try to do every race, and then focus on preparation for 2022.”




Do you feel that there’s now a bit of a light at the end of the tunnel in terms of getting the 2021 season behind you, and saying goodbye to the VF-21 package, while ramping up hopes for the 2022 Haas package
?



“Absolutely. We are getting there over the hump. I think there is one more race to go and then we are closer to the end than the beginning but the focus from now is getting ready for 2022 and I think we are making good progress with that.”




The Belgian Grand Prix is the first race in another F1 triple-header. Would you have rather eased the team into competing with some space between races or do you feel a triple-header enables a bit more of an immediate focus given the intensity of the schedule?



“Triple-headers aren’t avoidable with the pandemic still around. Ideally it would be a single race with a week in-between and then the second option would be to have double-headers and one week in-between, but we can’t choose this year.



I think FOM and Stefano are doing a very good job in getting a good calendar together for us and we have to live by it. For sure, it will be a tough second half of the season, but our team is tough, and we will get to the end of it.”
    




Stuart Morrison- photos Haas F1

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24.08.2021 / MaP

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