Insights

Belgian Grand Prix: Spa-Francorchamps Preview

The F1 title battle will continue at the famous Spa- Francorchamps circuit in Belgium after a three-week summer break.

Lewis Hamilton will come to the race as the leader of the driver’s standings just ahead of rival Max Verstappen. 

Hamilton overturned a 32-point deficit to Verstappen – albeit unfairly in the eyes of many – after a very successful run of results to lead by eight points. 

Max will be looking to get back to winning ways after a crash at the British Grand Pix, and a 10th place finish at the Hungarian. 

What to expect at Spa

Every driver loves to race at Spa. The track is the longest on the F1 calendar, and provides a few very long, and fast straights, fast corners, tight hairpins and a change in elevation particularly at Eau Rouge. 

There are plenty of chances for magnificent overtakes and manoeuvres. 

Drivers are able to put their foot down and attack the circuit, if it is dry. 

The size of the track, and nature of Belgian weather can cause a major issue for teams. It could be completely dry in one part of the track, while wet in another.

As wet races go, Spa can be incredibly fun for spectators, where it is expected to rain this weekend during Friday and Saturday. 

Can Red Bull fight back?

Spa – along with the following race at Zandvoort – is a home Grand Prix for Max Verstappen.

He’ll want to re-commence his title battle with Lewis Hamilton given that Verstappen has scored just five points from the last two race weekends.

Verstappen has a very mixed history at Spa-Francorchamps with a third-placed finish to his name having never lead a grand prix at the track.

Unfortunately for Red Bull, pole has been dominated by Mercedes since 2013 – Hamilton with five in that time (six in total), while Nico Rosberg grabbed two in 2014 and 2016.

Hamilton was also fastest in ‘qualifying’ at the previous two races heading into the summer break. He will be Mercedes’ only hope for pole as teammate Valtteri Bottas has a five place grid penalty that has carried on from Hungary.

Mercedes’ domination in qualifying tends to spill over to race day. The team have won four of the last six races – Hamilton winning three of them – with Ferrari picking up victories in 2018, and 2019. 

For Red Bull’s last victory, we have to go all the way back to 2014 when Daniel Ricciardo managed to win.

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