Belgian Grand Prix

  • A dry race is expected after a washout during initial practice. Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Archive/Press Association Images.

    Spa is a tricky course to get around, partly due to the varied terrain. Photo: Rui Vieira/PA Archive/Press Association Images.

    Kaumi Kobayashi recorded his highest ever position during qualifying with a second place finish on the grid. Photo: Rebecca Naden/PA Archive/Press Association Images.

  • Belgian Grand Prix
    01.09.2012 14:49


    Following on from our Facebook update yesterday, Formula One returns this weekend after a month-long lay off due to the summer break. The host circuit this time round is Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium, with the race commencing at 13:00 tomorrow.

    Conditions were decidedly wet for practice on Friday, with fairly persistent and heavy rain limiting time out on track. Indeed, many drivers were unable to produce a flying lap and Sauber’s Kaumi Kobayashi recorded the fastest time. Final practice and qualifying today saw drier conditions with spells of sunshine, much more favourable for setting fast paces. Pole position was taken by Jenson Button, his first since Monaco in 2009, and he was joined on the front row by Kobayashi who sets the record for his highest qualifying position.

    It was a disappointing qualifying for many of the drivers currently at the top end of the Championship, with leader Fernando Alonso starting 6th on the grid. Last year’s winner Sebastian Vettel failed to make the top ten and will try to take advantage of the overtaking opportunities from 11th position.

    Spa is renowned for being a difficult race track with its combination of high speed straights, hills and chicanes leading to blind corners. Drivers will need to find the right combination of skill, risk and aggression to get through the course, which has claimed the lives of several participants in the past.

    The weather conditions are expected to be favourable for the race tomorrow with no rain forecast, plenty of sunshine and just a few patches of cloud. Air temperatures are likely to be peaking at around 19-20 Celsius, with corresponding track temperatures exceeding 30 Celsius in light wind conditions. As a result, drivers will have to ensure they manage their tyres from overheating and consequent degradation, particularly those on long stint strategies.

    Make sure you keep up to date with the latest forecast.

    By: Nick Prebble