2020 Belgian Grand Prix: Preview
Preview of the Belgian Grand Prix
The 2020 Formula One season continues this weekend at the worlds fastest sport heads to Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium. The 7.004km track has been on the calendar for much of F1s 70 year existence and is a favourite among drivers and fans alike. Some of F1s greatest moments have taken place at Spa over the years, Michael Schumacher clinched his seventh world title at Spa back in 2004 and who can forget Mark Webbers stunning pass on Fernando Alonso up Eau Rouge in 2011.
Two weeks ago at the Spanish Grand Prix we were treated to yet another vintage performance from Lewis Hamilton who controlled the 66 Lap event from start to finish taking a dominant win to tighten his grip on this years World Championship. Teammate Valtteri Bottas finished second while Red Bull driver Max Verstappen claimed yet another podium for the Austrian team in third place.
Image credit: F1.com Spa-Francorchamps layout
The Spa-Francorchamps circuit is one of the best tracks in the world, it's flowing corners and long straights are part of a pure ribbon of tarmac draped over the Ardennes Forest. Corners such as Eau Rouge, Pouhon and Blanchimont are some of the mightiest on the Formula One calendar and tests the car and it's driver to their absolute limits. The track is also the longest on the F1 calendar at just over 7km which means that the Grand Prix on Sunday will be just 44 Laps long.
In recent times Ferrari have been the team to beat in Belgium as the Italian team have taken the last two victories with Sebastian Vettel in 2018 and Charles Leclerc in 2019 even though over the course of a season the Mercedes has been the team to beat. Mercedes haven't won at Spa since 2017 when Lewis Hamilton came out on top after long, tense showdown for the lead between himself and German driver Sebastian Vettel.
This weekends event has Mercedes written all over it. The team based in Brackley have dominated 2020 so far taking five wins out of six races and are leading the Constructors standings. The W11 has been superior to the rest of the field and after Mercedes found huge gains on the power unit side over the winter this should be Mercedes' race to lose.
Further down the field we should also be able to see some close racing as Williams who have recently been bought out by Dorilton Capital are starting to show signs of a car that can compete for Q2 in Qualifying and more importantly points finishes in the races. However, while Williams continue to make steps forward with their exciting young driver George Russell, the Ferrari powered midfield cars of Haas and Alfa Romeo are going backwards all the time. The is mainly due to the suspicions last year that the Ferrari engine was illegal. Over the winter Ferrari and the FIA came to an agreement although all six of the Ferrari powered cars have been struggling for straight line speed in 2020.
With all this in mind Sundays 44 Lap Grand Prix should be a great watch especially with the fact that rain is on the cards. Spa and changeable conditions go hand in hand and are never far apart and a light shower on Sunday afternoon will only add to the drama.