At Spa-Francorchamps it will be interesting to see the final configurations chosen by the teams during the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix weekend. It is clear that under normal conditions we would see lower-downforce configurations, but on the other hand, it is likely that in the first free practice sessions, if the weather allows it, we will see comparisons between drivers of the same team. This is to have more elements on Saturday and not to risk making Friday practice useless.
The Spa-Francorchamps is traditionally one of the lower-downforce circuits of the year because it is necessary to limit drag on 2/3 of the track. However, the teams will have to monitor the weather and asphalt conditions towards qualifying – and think about the race – to achieve the best balance.
2021 Formula 1 cars are slower because they have less downforce
The downforce lost at the rear has not been compensated for or found, consequently the cars must generally be set with less downforce than in theory they could afford, because it is necessary to reduce the front load, especially on medium-low downforce tracks.
With this in mind we have to make a double consideration: they are more difficult cars to balance and it is easier than in the past to make mistakes with little grip. In Hungary and Imola we have seen many errors of assessment which in the light of this reasoning does not seem to be a coincidence.
Ferrari – McLaren, the other fight.
163 even points. The other fight right behind the big names is also exciting. So far McLaren has appeared better and luckier in seizing his chances but with a Daniel Ricciardo in difficulty. Scuderia Ferrarui is mainly lacking Charles Leclerc’s points in Monaco as well as some widespread errors that prevented Carlos Sainz from having a clean weekend so far.
This makes it clear that Ferrari, although Spa-Francorchamps may not be an easy appointment, should not be underestimated by the Woking team.
At the moment the Mercedes Power Unit customer team boasts 15 HP over the Italian one, which is equivalent to almost 4 tenths in Belgium. The SF21 car has the qualities to recover them in the slow and traction section, but the efficiency of the MCL35M gives Norris and Ricciardo a clear advantage in the first and third sectors.
Obviously the weather can completely revolutionize this balance: efficiency in the wet paradoxically becomes a ballast. The advantage of little exploitable power if the traction is not the strong point.
According to what has been learned, the internal combustion engine of Carlos Sainz’s PU2 replaced in Hungary as a precaution is recovered and will be used in normal rotations.
Finally, from the simulations – always if the conditions remain dry – the times in qualifying should remain 2% higher or practically 2 ″ compared to 2020, around low 1.43.