F1: Belgian Grand Prix Preview
The summer break is finally over and after a very inconsistent first half to the season, there is now no more than a fortnight between races right through to the climax in Brazil. Silly season is upon us with driver change rumours flying around, we’ll take a look below as well as a recap from Hungary all those weeks ago.
Hungaroring F1 Recap
The Hungarian Grand Prix allowed us Brit’s to go into the summer break with something to cheer about. Lewis Hamilton was able to take the win in the extreme heat which everyone, including Lewis, felt was pretty impossible before the race. It wasn’t just a case of taking pole position and running away with the race for Lewis, he made key passes quickly after pit stops, making it look easy while Vettel was unable to do the same and allowed Jenson Button to effectively ruin his chances of a race win. With a potential resolution to Mercedes’ rear tyre issues, could this spark the start of an assault on the title for Lewis and a run at the constructor title? Mercedes are the only team with both their drivers to win a race this season.
Belgian Grand Prix Preview
With Mark Webber retiring, there is a race seat available in the best car over the last few years and there has been much talk of Alonso, Raikkonen and Ricciardo vying for that place. Rumours yesterday were that it would be Ricciardo to be announced over the race weekend as Webber’s successor but Christian Horner is giving nothing away and says that there are more contenders for the seat.
Spa is one of the tracks that all the drivers love and provides a real test for the who team as well with extreme demand being put on the cars. Tyres will be under immense scrutiny once again and Pirelli will be hoping they have truly solved the blowout problem from Silverstone. Spa will also give an indication of how much progress Mercedes have made with their tyre issues and a good showing on Sunday here should put all that talk to bed and allow the team to concentrate on extracting more speed out of the car.
A compromise is needed when setting up for Spa, the track has sections where high speed is required and others where downforce is vital so the teams need to try and find the best balance between the two. With the summer break now over, there will be huge pressure on drivers who haven’t been performing to save their seat for next year; Massa and Grosjean are prime examples of this and the latter will be looking to forget last year when he caused a huge collision at the start and took out two title contenders in Alosno and Hamilton on the way to picking up his one race ban. A clean start will be essential and this could make him an easy target into the first corner.
- Sebastian Vettel
- Lewis Hamilton
- Mark Webber
- Fernando Alonso
- Kimi Raikkonen
A Red Bull dominated prediction for me this week with both drivers generally going well here and a frustration that the car was beaten for pace last time out. I expect another qualifying master class from Lewis Hamilton but Vettel won’t be giving up easily. The tyre wear advantage that Lotus has possessed could be useful in Spa but I think that effect has certainly diminished recently. It’s important for both Alonso and Raikkonen to stop Vettel increasing the points gap further and prevent Hamilton from leapfrogging them in the standings.
The Hungarian Grand Prix is live on both the BBC and Sky, here are the times:
Qualifying – Green light – 13:00
BBC 1 – 12:10 – 14:15
Sky F1 – 12:00 – 14:35
Race – Lights out – 13:00
BBC 1 – 12:15 – 15:15
Sky F1 – 11:30 – 16:15
Agree, don’t agree? Let me know below!