With the summer break now over, the 2019 Formula 1 World Championship picks up again with the Belgian Grand Prix. The race is once again being held on the 4.35-mile Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium’s Ardennes region. It’s an historic circuit that has been the venue of some of the most spectacular races in F1 history. Corners like Eau Rouge are known around the world and the race always attracts a huge and very enthusiastic crowd.
Though beautiful, the Spa circuit features a notoriously tough track layout. Over 70 percent is taken at maximum throttle, which is tough for drivers but particularly so for power units that need to deliver good top-end power, drivability and responsiveness to negotiate Spa’s fast corners. The fast corners and varying grip levels mean tires also get a good workout.
Arriving at the correct setup is also difficult for teams as they need to find the right balance to handle the track’s combination of long straights, considerable changes in elevation and the aforementioned fast corners. A driver will want to have enough downforce to be quick through the corners, but at the same time not carry too much drag for the long straights.
One final factor is the changeable weather. Since the track is so long, sometimes drivers will face rain in one place and the next corner it can be dry.
Join us later in the afternoon for the latest updates and results from the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, as the 2019 Belgian Grand Prix is about to get underway, with Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc at the wheel of the SF90, ready to challenge Mercedes and Red Bull for the win.