Formula 1 resumes at Spa-Francorchamps

Formula 1 resumes at Spa-Francorchamps

25.08.2021: BELGIAN GRAND PRIX Circuit Spa-Francorchamps 27-29 August 2021 As usual, the Formula 1 world championship gets underway after the summer break in Belgium, with the twelfth race of the season and this time it’s the first part of a triple-header.

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




As usual, the Formula 1 world championship gets underway after the summer break in Belgium, with the twelfth race of the season and this time it’s the first part of a triple-header. Following on from this weekend, the Dutch Grand Prix takes place on Sunday 5 September and the Italian round takes place the following weekend in Monza.


Spa-Francorchamps, one of the most famous race tracks in the world, has already hosted 53 of the 65 editions of the Belgian Grand Prix, ten having been held at Zolder and two at Nivelles-Baulers on the outskirts of Brussels.



Institution.


Spa-Francorchamps is one of the true classic tracks, where drivers can still really make a difference. Coming up to the first corner at La Source, drivers have to deal with the demands of braking from 285 to 80 km/h, before heading for one of the most famous sections through Eau Rouge and Raidillon, a very difficult uphill left-right-left S combination which leads onto the long Kemmel straight.


It’s then flat to the right turn into the Les Combes chicane, which is the heaviest braking point on the circuit. Then the track drops down to the Bruxelles hairpin and on to Pouhon, a fast left hander where the drivers’ neck muscles take a pounding because of the high g-forces.



The following Stavelot corner is the last time the brakes are used as the cars accelerate flat out up through Blanchimont, only slowing for the Bus Stop chicane that leads onto the start-finish line.




Efficiency reigns.


Finding the right car balance is a particularly tricky task for the teams, as each section of the track has very different characteristics from the others. While it’s true that power is very important, with the power units at their maximum for 60 of the 105 seconds it takes to complete a lap, so too is driveability, especially in the second sector and for the first and final corner.



Top speed is essential for overtaking, but a car with too little aero downforce can be a disadvantage in the twistier sections. Therefore the key to a good lap in Belgium is the car’s overall efficiency. The weather in the Ardennes can also make life complicated in the race: it is usually very variable and can go from sun to rain several times on the same day.


Programme.


The cars take to the track on Friday at 11.30 local time, for the first hour of free practice, followed by a second one at 15. The final free practice session starts at 12 on Saturday, in preparation for qualifying at 15. The 66th Belgian Grand Prix gets underway on Sunday at 3pm.

 


- Ferrari also photo

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25.08.2021 / MaP

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