Friday 27 to Sunday 29 August, 2010
Round: 13 of 19
Sam Michael, Technical Director
Spa is a fantastic circuit and a definite challenge for the engineers and drivers. Sectors 1 and 3 require low drag, while Sector 2 requires maximum downforce, so a well compromised set-up is crucial for getting a quick lap time. Spa is a real driver’s circuit and one of the greatest layouts we have on the calendar. We will have new front and rear wings, plus some mechanical changes for the FW32 for this race. We’re also looking forward to celebrating Rubens’ 300 Grand Prix in Belgium, an impressive achievement!
Spa is a great racing circuit. I took my first pole there and have won at Spa while racing in the lower categories so I’m looking forward to it. It’s always a challenging track and I imagine it will be even more so now we are carrying full tanks. It can be quite tricky in terms of car set-up because it’s so long, and you need to have a car fast enough to take on corners like La Source and Eau Rouge. It really all depends on the aero efficiency of the car as to what your lap time is. Drivers tend to go for quite different downforce levels at Spa so there’s always opportunities chance to overtake.
This race will be my 300th in Formula One. I feel very privileged to have been in the sport for such a long time and it feels great to reach this milestone. I still think I am at the top of my game and plan to continue being competitive long past my 300th GP!
After Hungary, I spent some time analysing the race weekend with my engineers and have some good data. It was nice to go into the shutdown period with a good result on the score sheets – it’s allowed me to fully relax and I’ve since had a really nice few weeks’ break. It also gave me some time to increase my training schedule in preparation for some quite demanding races that lie ahead of us now.
Next up is Spa, a track I obviously haven’t had experience of in an F1 car, but it’s such an iconic circuit I’m really excited to get going! We’ve definitely made progress with the pace of the FW32 in recent races and I definitely feel that I’ve upped my qualifying and race performance. This gives me the confidence to feel quite positive about the remaining third of the year.
Grand Prix of Belgium – Round 13
Still the longest circuit on the F1 calendar – and also one of the fastest (it’s second only to Monza in terms of average lap and maximum straightline speeds). Spa features some of the finest corners in modern motorsport – Pouhon and Eau Rouge stand out, in particular – and most drivers cite it as their favourite venue. It isn’t just the layout that’s challenging, though. The local weather is prone to sudden, dramatic shifts. It’s not unknown for blazing sunshine to turn to rain within minutes... or for half of the circuit to be wet while the other remains dry.
Kilos per lap: 2.21 kg/5km
Time loss per 5km of fuel: 0.05 s/lap of fuel
Vmax: 312 kph
Average speed:234 kph
Average corner speed: 153 kph
Turn angle: 108 degrees
Temperatures: Ambient 20°C / Track 24°C
Greatest power reduction: 968 mbar pressure
Pit lane loss: 14.6 sec lost
Pit lane length: 390m
Safety cars: 0.6 average per race
Lap distance: 7.004km/4.352m
Race:44 laps – 308.052km/191.410m
Race start: 14.00 (local)/12.00 (GMT)
Circuit lap record: Jarno Trulli (Toyota) 1m 44.503s (2009)
2009 pole: Giancarlo Fisichella (Force India-Mercedes) 1m 46.308s
2009 fastest qualifying lap: Jarno Trulli (Toyota) 1m 44.503s
2009 winner: Kimi Raikkönen (Ferrari) 1h 23m 50.995s
2009 fastest lap: Sebastian Vettel (RBR-Renault) 1m 47.263s (lap 38)