Looking ahead to the Belgian GP
Spa is one of F1's classic circuits, so what better place for the Brawn/Red Bull title battle to continue, and for poor Luca Badoer to turn things around at Ferrari
Spa is unquestionably a classic of the Formula 1 schedule, and the first thing that drivers will think about when they leave the pitlane is Eau Rouge. Okay, it's smoother now, and the run-off has been improved, so you can nail it flat-out in both qualifying and the race, but it was never a corner you'd crash at due to driver error. The fact remains if you get off-line there for any reason, or have a failure with the car, you're going to have a massive shunt. Driving that kind of corner, on the edge in a grand prix car, really grabs your attention.
The track has other meaty corners, too. Pouhon might not be as daunting as Eau Rouge, but the key here is not taking too much speed off on the downshift as you drop a gear – you can't just flick the paddle so the downshift automatically happens at the optimal engine revs. If it's too early, the software will deny it, and by the time you've realised this and flicked the paddle again, you've travelled 30 or 40 metres and cost yourself 5kph. Get it right and you've made a tenth on your rivals who haven't. On TV and from the spectator banks, however, it looks a piece of piss!
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