27.08.2009: The next round of the FIA Formula One World Championship, the Belgian Grand Prix, will take place just one week after last weekend's European Grand Prix in Valencia. Held at the 7km
Belgian Grand Prix Preview 28 - 30 August 2009
The next round of the FIA Formula One World Championship, the Belgian Grand Prix, will take place just one week after last weekend's European Grand Prix in Valencia. Held at the 7km Spa-Francorchamps circuit in the heart of the country's Ardennes Forest, the Belgian Grand Prix is famed for its dramatic undulation changes and challenging corners that generally produce close, exciting racing.
The Force India Formula One Team looks forward to Belgium following a competitive weekend performance in Valencia where new upgrades saw the team secure a slot in Q2 yet again and a promising double top 12 finish in the race.
Team Q&A Dr Vijay Mallya, chairman and team principal
Were you pleased with the results of Valencia?
I was really delighted with the entire weekend performance from the team, right through from practice. Going into the weekend we anticipated a step forward of over half a second with the new aero package, but you never know what the other teams will be bringing with them and how our performance will translate. I think we can all be very proud of the progress we made. From the off we were quick and we really achieved the maximum we could do.
Two top 12 finishes might seem frustrating as we're still outside the points, but when you look at the people in front of us and then behind we can't be disappointed at all. I don't think I've looked forward to a race quite as much as I am looking forward to Spa!
Adrian Sutil (car 20, VJM02/01)
How would you review the Valencia weekend? I feel we did the maximum possible performance in Valencia. It was a tough race in very, very high temperatures but the whole team did a fantastic job. Our stops were great so we could jump Heidfeld in the pits and then in the final third of the race I was just behind Webber, which was very encouraging considering how well the Red Bulls have been performing this season. Getting P1 on Saturday in practice was a real bonus but top 12 is where we are at the moment. This is itself is a real boost for everyone after so long being at the back. What are your thoughts looking forward to Spa? Along with Monaco, Spa is one of my favourite tracks. It's a real nature track through the forest where you really get into the rhythm of the corners. It also gives very interesting racing - last year the race was dry until two laps from the end, then it all changed suddenly. This year I think we are looking good. Our new aero package gave a very good step forward and we've been quick at lower downforce tracks so far this year so I'm very confident of getting another good result. I hope top 10 or even better.
Giancarlo Fisichella (car 21, VJM02/04) Looking forward to Belgium, it's a real drivers' favourite. What makes it so special?
Every driver loves Spa and, for me, it's the best circuit of the year. It's 7km long so you get a lot of different corners, from hairpins to fast sections and then obviously the best corner of the year, Eau Rouge. Actually this corner is not as exciting as it was a few years ago when you only took it flat in qualifying. Now we have more downforce and a bit less power with the V8 so you are usually flat out every time you go through.
Even though it's not as challenging now, it's still very exciting. There's a lot of compression when you go down and then you have to jink left and right - it's a complete corner. The weather in Spa is always unpredictable as well. You can have rain in sector one and then it could be sunny in sector three so anything could happen. We are going there at the end of August this year, but we could have any type of weather!
You've had some good results at the circuit - what have been your high points? My first appearance at Spa was in 1997 with Jordan and I had a great result. I finished second, just behind Hakkinen - at the time it was my best career result. Then I went on to have some more good results and was third in 2001 with Renault. At the time the car was not too good but the team brought some new upgrades to Spa. I made a great start from eighth on the grid and going into the first corner I was fourth. For the rest of the race we were very competitive and I finished third, which was a fantastic result for the team. What would the aims this year be? Valencia was a great result for Force India. We could really race in the midfield and seemed to have an advantage over quite a few teams and drivers now. The upgrades made a big difference and the car was nice to drive. Spa is a bit different to Valencia but it's still very quick so I hope we can transfer the performance this week. My aim will be to qualify well so we can start a bit further up the grid, have a strong race and finally score some points.
Force India Belgian Grand Prix points of note:
Force India will be using a new low downforce rear wing in Spa to cope with the lower drag levels needed as it's the first true low downforce circuit of the year and something of a build up to Monza, which will be the lowest level the team runs. The new upgrades debuted in Valencia will be used yet again but there is a new front wing to match as the one used in Valencia will be too powerful to balance the reduced rear downforce.
Adrian was perhaps not surprisingly the most improved driver in Valencia compared to 2008. He managed to go eight tenths quicker than in '08, when the average performance was six tenths slower. He even bettered the improvement shown by Barrichello and Button who were in last year's Honda. He is now the only driver to have improved in every qualifying session so far '08 compared to '09.
Post Spa the team will be conducting yet another aero test: its third of the year. Tonio Liuzzi will be driving at Kemble airfield, UK, on 3 September.
Both drivers returned to their respective homes (Adrian near Zurich in Switzerland and Fisi to Rome) between Europe and Belgium. The team's mechanics and truckies travelled directly to Belgium to begin set-up for the race. At over 1,600km distance this is the longest European double header in recent memory.
Force India's predecessors Jordan Grand Prix scored its first-ever win at the Belgian Grand Prix in 1998 with Damon Hill. Ralf Schumacher, also driving a Jordan, was second for a 1-2 result.
Giancarlo Fisichella scored his second-ever podium at Spa in 1997 (second, driving a Jordan) and has finished on the podium again in 2001 with Renault.
Adrian Sutil set the Euro F3 lap record round Spa in 2005 when he was team-mate to Lewis Hamilton. When the series visited the track that year he won one of the two races and finished second in the final round.
Belgian Grand Prix: View from the pit wall with Force India's chief engineer, Dominic Harlow: Spa is a classic circuit and motorsport in its purest form. The Spa-Francorchamps track incorporates three of the most challenging high speed corners on the calendar and these combine with nearly 7km of flowing corners and elevation change starting at the first gear La Source hairpin and ending at the new Bus Stop chicane.
One thing we can be sure of is that it will almost certainly be wet at some stage, although the race is slightly earlier this year so not in the wetter conditions of autumn. The team has a good history at this event and it should suit the VJM02 technical package well. This race will see the introduction of a lower downforce rear wing that will allow speeds of up to 330km/h. With these long straights the engine is given its toughest work out of the year in terms of inertial loading in Spa and so we will carefully manage the use of our Mercedes Benz engines.
BELGIAN GRAND PRIXVIEWWhat do you mean, no rain at Spa?According to the forecast from Meteo France, there’s only a very slight chance of rain this weekend.At Scuderia Toro Rosso we firmly believe that tradition is an important element of the Formula 1 calendar and we could all use a refreshing shower after the weiter >>
BELGIAN GRAND PRIX PREVIEW Lewis Hamilton“Like Monaco, Silverstone and Monza, it’s one of the historic circuits that I grew up watching on television when I was younger – which makes it just that bit more special fo weiter >>
Belgian Grand Prix - PreviewDate: Sunday, 30 August, 2pm CETRound: 12 of 17Venue: Spa-FrancorchampsDistance: 7.004km (44 laps)Lap record: 1min 47.930s (2008)
History: First held in 1925, the Belgian Gran weiter >>
28. – 30. August 2009 12. von 17 WM-LäufenDie Formel 1 tauscht mediterranes Flair gegen die raue Landschaft der Ardennen: Nur sieben Tage nach dem Großen Preis von Europa in Valencia steht der belgische Grand Prix in Spa-Francor weiter >>
Le 30 août 2009 le Grand Prix de Belgique F1 sera le plus chaud de la saison sur le Circuit de SPA FRANCORCHAMPS Vous aussi, rejoignez LE ROANNAY à 300 mètres du virage de la Source.Réservez votre table en notre Restaurant qui accueille les décideurs F1 !. weiter >>
The following hearing of the International Court of Appeal will take place in Paris:
At the Grand Prix of Belgium, run on 7 September 2008, and counting towards the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship, the Stewards of the meeting imposed a drive-through penalty upon the driver of car No. 22, Lewis Hamilton, for a breach of Article 30.3 (a) of th weiter >>
Martin Whitmarsh said: "Following our decision to register our intention to appeal the penalty handed out to Lewis Hamilton by the FIA Stewards at the 2008 Belgian Grand Prix, we hereby confirm that we have now lodged notice of appeal. Lewis describes the incident as follows."
Lewis Hamilton said: "In the closing stages of the race I was catch weiter >>
Formula One World Championship Round 13: Belgian GP
Jenson Button was the only Honda Racing F1 Team driver to finish the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. The British driver came home in weiter >>
2008 BELGIAN GRAND PRIX
Spa-Francorchamps, Sunday 7th September 2008
Lewis Hamilton MP4-23 07
Heikki Kovalainen MP4-23 05
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was classified third in the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, behind Felipe Massa (Ferrari) and Nick Heidfeld (BMW-Sauber); he lost victory followin weiter >>
UPDATE: Mark Webber secured eighth position after Toyota's Timo Glock received a time penalty of 25 seconds for ignoring waved yellow flags. Red Bull Racing therefore receives a Championship point
Car 10, MARK WEBBER, (Finish Position 9th, Start Position: 7th)
"The first few laps were quite tricky due to the conditions, but our start was okay. weiter >>
Ferrari’s Felipe Massa has been declared the winner of Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix after McLaren’ Lewis Hamilton was handed a 25-second time penalty following the race. Hamilton drops to third as a result, with BMW Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld moving up to second place.
Hamilton was penalised after stewards decided he had gained an advantage by cutting the final chicane in his weiter >>
Stewards at Spa are looking into an incident in the closing stages of the Belgian Grand Prix involving McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, the eventual race winner, and Ferrari rival Kimi Raikkonen.
Battling for the lead as rain started to fall in the dying laps, Hamilton ran across the Bus Stop chicane as he attempted to pass Raikkonen. He correctly surrendered the position, but t weiter >>
Car 10, MARK WEBBER, (Finish Position 9th, Start Position: 7th) "The first few laps were quite tricky due to the conditions, but our start was okay. I was running a bit short and when doing that i weiter >>
Today's Weather: Cool and overcast with a late shower, air temperature 16°C, track temperature 15-18°C
Constructors' Championship Points: 42 points (4th)
Drivers' Championship Points: Jarno Trulli 26pts (7th); Timo Glock 16pts (10th)
6. September 2008 – GP Belgien, der Samstag
Der Grand Prix auf der „Ardennen-Achterbahn" kann aus Sicht des ING Renault F1 Team kommen: Mit Startplatz sechs für Fernando Alonso und Rang zwölf für Nelson Piquet ist die Grundlage für weitere WM-Punkte gelegt.
Hoffnungsvolle Ausgangsposition für den Großen Preis von Belgien: Das ING Renault F1 Team nimmt den v weiter >>
2008 BELGIAN GRAND PRIX - SATURDAY 06/09/08 DRIVER RUMOURS?...
Sébastien Bourdais (STR3-04)
"A qualifying session when I can get out of the car and say that I drove well and that the team, as usual did weiter >>
Car 10 MARK WEBBER, Position 7th (1:48.736), Chassis 05
"We've got more pace here than in Valencia. It was a stress to get into Q3, it was very tight as usual and all the drivers were pretty e weiter >>
BELGIAN GRAND PRIX - QUALIFYING SATURDAY 06 SEPTEMBER, 2008
The AT&T Williams team struggled with performance today at the Spa Francorchamps circuit, especially across the twisty, eleven corner sector two from Les Combes to
Fagnes and, as a consequence weiter >>
Mark Webber, Red Bull (7th, Q3 - 1m 48.736s):
"We’ve got more pace here than in Valencia. It was a stress to get into Q3, it was very tight as usual and all the drivers were pretty evenly matched so you had to find that extra few tenths to get into the final group.
We’ll see how tomorrow goes with the strategy, we’re in a reasonable position to mount an at weiter >>
2008 FORMULA 1 ING BELGIAN GRAND PRIX SPA -FRANCORCHAMPS
1 3 Nick Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:47.876 19
2 23 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:48.165 0.289 10
3 5 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:48.307 0.431 19
4 22 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:48.356 0.480 10
5 2 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:48.692 0.816 6
6 15 Seb weiter >>
5. September 2008 – GP von Belgien, der Freitag
„Spa stellt uns Fahrer vor immense Herausforderungen"
Die beiden Piloten des ING Renault F1 Team können auf einen ereignisreichen ersten Tag auf der „Ardennen-Achterbahn" von Spa-Francorchamps zurückblicken – weiter >>
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes drivers Heikki Kovalainen and Lewis Hamilton finished Friday’s second Free Practice session for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps in third and fourth positions respectively. In a session which was disrupted by light rain and a red flag half an hour before the end, Heikki completed 19 laps and set a time of 1m48.740. Lewis did 17 laps and was on weiter >>
Das ING Renault F1 Team startete mit einer soliden Trainingsleistung in das Rennwochenende zum Großen Preis von Belgien in Spa-Francorchamps.
Fernando Alonso, Renault R28-02
1. Freies Training:
P5, 1.48,104 min, 25 Runden
2. Freies Training:
P1, 1.48,454 min, 21 Runden
Nelson Piquet, Renaul weiter >>
Belgian Grand Prix - Free Practice Round-Up
Today's Weather: Cold and overcast with rain in the afternoon. Air temperature 15-18°C, track temperature 14-17°C
Toyota's Best Belgian GP qualifying: 4th (Jarno Trulli, 2005)
Toyota's Best Belgian GP race result: 7th (Ralf Schumacher, 2005 & Mika Salo, 2002)
Jarno Trulli weiter >>
2008 BELGIAN GRAND PRIX - FRIDAY 05/09/08
Sebastian Vettel (STR3-03)
"It was an interesting day and as expected, the weather made for some pretty strange conditions. Especially in the afternoon, it was important that we got some dry laps, to get another look at how the car was performing, having made some changes to it, as I was not completely happy weiter >>
BELGIAN GRAND PRIX - PRACTICE
By the end of this afternoon’s practice session, the AT&T Williams team began to derive some gains from the new development parts brought to the FW30 for this race, despite variable weather conditions which made optimisation of these components a more complicated task.
Nico Rosberg closed out the day in P6, although Kazuki weiter >>
'Name five famous Belgians' is a cliché question, but how well do you know your Belgians?
Try our test: which of these pairs is Belgian?
Tintin - Tin Opener
The Singing Nun, Jeanne Deckers - Double Decker Bus
Jean Claude Van Damme - Hoover Dam
Jackie Stewart - Jacky Ickx
Plastic Bertrand - Bertrand Russ weiter >>
1 5 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:48.454 21
2 2 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:48.504 0.050 16
3 23 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:48.740 0.286 19
4 22 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:48.805 0.351 17
5 1 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:49.328 0.874 10
6 7 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:49.405 0.951 17
7 15 Sebastian Vettel STR-Ferrari 1: weiter >>
2008 FORMULA 1 ING BELGIAN GRAND PRIX
1 2 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:47.284 26
2 1 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:47.623 0.339 26
3 22 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:47.878 0.594 27
4 23 Heikki Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:47.932 0.648 24
5 5 Fernando Alonso Renault 1:48.104 0.820 26
6 10 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:48.428 weiter >>
Welcome to the 13th round of the 2008 FIA Formula One World Championship, the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps.
The chances of a wet weekend look high, which is no surprise here. The forecast for Thursday is for showers and an ambient temperature high of 16 degrees Celsius. That is currently predicted to continue through to Sunday, when a rise of a few degrees is a weiter >>
TSF Branding to Appear on AT&T Williams Race Car during Formula 1 Weekend to Highlight Milestone for Charity Supported by AT&T
AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) today announced that it would mark the 10th anniversary of the global charity Télécoms Sans Frontières (TSF), the first humanitarian organization specialised in providing emergency telecommunications, t weiter >>
5. – 7. September 2008 13. von 18 WM-Läufen
Die Formel 1 tauscht urbane Schwüle gegen frische Bergluft: Nach dem valencianischen Stadtkurs, auf dem das BMW Sauber F1 Team seinen achten Podestplatz der Saison holte, steht nun der Große Preis von Belgien in den Ardennen an. Spa-Francorchamps ist mit gut weiter >>
BELGIAN GRAND PRIXVIEW
Red Bull Racing comes to Spa after a couple of disappointing outings in Budapest and Valencia. In fact, after an encouraging front row grid position at Silverstone was followed by a spin for Mark Webber at Becketts on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix, points have proved hard to come by.
How does Team Principal Christia weiter >>
Der verantwortliche Renault F1-Motoreningenieur beim Partnerteam Red Bull Racing analysiert im Interview das Geschehen beim Europa-Grand Prix und blickt voraus auf das Highlight in Spa-Francorchamps.
23 Mal ging Renault bislang beim Belgien-Grand Prix an den Start. Das Debüt erfolgte in der Saison 1978 in Zolder. Insgesamt sammelten Renault Piloten 7 Pole Positions und 16 Podestergebnisse – darunter 5 Siege (Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, zwei Mal Damon Hill und Michael Schumacher). Seit der Rückkehr als Werksteam erzielte Renault F1 in Spa eine Pole Position (2004) und einen Pod weiter >>
Spa-Francorchamps stellt im gesamten Formel 1-Kalender die umfangreichste Herausforderung für die Technik der Autos dar. Die Strecke weist 320-km/h-Geraden ebenso auf wie Haarnadel-Kurven, die mit maximal 70 km/h durchfahren werden, oder Ec weiter >>