Grand Prix 2017 Belgian Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

As F1 moves into the summer break, Ferrari are firmly in the lead, and Mercedes must be feeling just a little worried.Their supremacy is definitely being threatened, and so the Belgian Grand Prix (Spa-Francorchamps) will be crucial for them if they are to win this years Constructors and drivers championships. Crucial for Ferrari as well.

If Spa is famous for anything it's the unpredictable nature of the race, courtesy of the weather. Frequently one part of the track can be sunny and dry, whilst just round the corner it's raining, quite a challenge for drivers. But despite the difficulties, or maybe because of them, Spa is popular with drivers and fans alike.
Spa started life running on public narrow roads, between three different villages, but by 1983 it had become, more or less, the track we know now. A mix of long straights and fast corners and the longest F1 circuit on the F1 calendar.
Kimi Raikkonen has had four wins at Spa, and certainly has the car to do so again, but I can't really see that happening. His team mate however, with two wins at Spa, and who is hungry for the WDC, will present a very strong challenge.
McLaren have had a lot of past success at Spa. So Alonso for the win. Well no. Whilst I think we are all glad to see some small improvement in Team McLaren, it has a long, long way to go before it wins races, going flat out through the Eau Rouge - Radillon sequence and still being in the race will be an achievement, although in fairness Alonso did finish in 6th positioning Hungary.
This is a circuit where you don't have to qualify on pole to win the race, so we should see some overtaking. Hamilton take note, a poor qualifying will mean some real racing, which to be fair he seems to enjoy.
Obviously the top three teams, Ferrari Mercedes and Red Bull should do well. This is almost Max Verstappens home race, so we should see a very orange crowd of fans, lets hope in his enthusiasm to impress he doesn't take out all three top teams.Danni Ricciardo is only 1 point ahead of Kimi Raikkonen as of now, and that could be a fight worth watching, if Kimi can be bothered.
Force India, pretty in pink, are doing a steady job as the lead team of the mid-field, it would be good to see a more exciting driver in one of their seats IMO. After that it's a steep curve down to Williams and the Torro Rosso. Renault, Haas, McLaren and Sauber are all struggling for points. Sauber have only 5.
But the fickle nature of the circuits weather may have the final say, just take a look at the first lap shunt in 1998, thirteen cars were involved in that, it was total chaos.
 

olegg

Race Winner
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olegg

Race Winner
What new tyres have drivers before race in the SPA?
Driver - Soft - Super - Ultra - TOT
HAM - 2 - 0 - 1 - 3
BOT - 2 - 0 - 1 - 3
VET - 2 - 0 - 2 - 4
RAI - 2 - 0 - 2 - 4
VER - 1 - 1 - 2 - 4
RIC - 1 - 1 - 2 - 4
 

Bill Boddy

Professional layabout
Contributor
Just another normal weekend, Mercedes and Ferrari squabbling over the lead with Red Bull just hanging onto their shirt tails then a second behind RB the rest fighting for the final four points slots down as far as the Saubers who trail in behind the rest.

Nice to see Force India so high up the order, their strategy of minimum downforce making them fas in sectors 1 and 3 whilst being quite pedestrian in the middle sector could prove more than a little annoying to anyone trying to overtake them.
 

Speshal

World Champion
Valued Member
Now I am sure someone better suited at stats can correct me on this but does Hamilton's pole mean that he has converted near as damn it 1 in 3 starts to pole? and if so, has anyone in the past come close? I can imagine there was a driver in the 50's/60's that started 2 races and got pole in one, but I'm betting you can tell me this. (I r too lazy to look my'sen) :D
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
Speshal - There are 5 of them...

Hamilton 68/200 = 34%
Senna 65/161 = 40.37%
Ascari 14/32 = 43.75%
Clark 33/72 = 45.83%
Fangio 29/51 = 56.86%(!)

So Hamilton is the only one from the era of televised one-hour qualifying sessions, then. Clark, Ascari and Fangio all have a similar rate of winning races. Hamilton is bested there by Schumacher; Senna by Stewart and Prost.
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
fantastic lap from lewis. in recent races he really is doing brilliantly on Saturday & hooking up that perfect lap in q3 when it matters soon as he did the mid 42, it effectively ended battle for pole. it was emotional moment when Ross Brawn made that speech. but what irony as its turned out that Lewis could beat Schumacher record, in ferrari backyard

but im a fan of lewis, but huge credit goes to vettel that was arguably a better lap than lewis because i didnt think that ferrari could do that time & really he is the defacto pole man providing he gets a good start. because spa is worse place to get pole. because you just get the slipstreamed down the kemmel straight
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
Surprised to see Vettel get 2nd but he had the benefit of a tow at the end I believe it was from Kimi . His best hope is get out ahead and hope the turbulence destroys the Mercedes otherwise I think Hamilton will disappear into the distance given he is 0.4 seconds faster than the Ferrari's in sector 1 and mighty in sector 3 was well
 
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