Grand Prix 2020 Belgian Grand Prix Practice, Qualifying & Race Discussion

In an age where we talk of Tilkedrome's and debate which one of the three potential layouts of Bahrain will result in the least boring race, we should be grateful that we still have the outstanding Spa-Francorchamps circuit. Much like "The Ring" it remains a cut down version of its former glory however, what a glory it still is.

In the 60's Jim Clark won here 4 years in a row and taking a look at the list of past winners reveals multiple Spa victories by the cream of F1's world champions.

The old circuit as used in F1 from 1950 until the early 70's was 8.76 miles long and contained 21 turns. One turn, the Masta Kink, was once described by Jackie Stewart as the most difficult corner in the world. It was here in 1966 that Stewart's BRM left the track and ended up upside down in the cellar of the farmhouse on the outside of the corner. Footage of this race was used in John Frankenheimer's F1 film "Grand Prix".

One of the most astonishing performances by a driver in an F1 race occured here in 1963 by Jim Clark. Starting from 8th on the grid he roared away from the line and immediately took the lead which he proceeded to hold for the entire race. As the race progressed the conditions became more and more difficult with the last laps taking place in torential rain. Clark however, had lapped the entire field with the exception of second placed Bruce McLaren who Clark lead home by almost 5 minutes.

Pathe news captured the event (there is no sound with this clip)

Due to a number of incidents and growing safety concerns the track remained off the calender until the mid 80's when it returned in a stripped down form in the layout we know today. There have been a number of minor changes since then but the layout remains more or less the same. Today the most famous corner has to be Eau Rouge and although F1 cars now take this flat out due to the ever increasing levels of grip this has only been the case recently, prior to this it's provided some memorable moments.

One of the most well known was the bet between Zonta and Villeneuve in 1999 about which of the two of them could take Eau Rouge flat out. Resulting in both of them crashing in qualification:

Given that Spa rewards brave drivers who can maximise the performance of their cars, there really can only be one winner here this weekend and that will be Lewis Hamilton. The midfield battle should be as engaging as ever with a number of drivers looking at the top end of the points. If it rains then it could be game on for any number of drivers.

Either way, Spa often provides some of the best races of the season. Lets hope it's that way again.


Champion Elect
RasputinLives reason for optimism is the dirty air instead of 50% its 5%. so currently weve got cars that cars get near each other for 2 reasons dirty air & even if they wanted to they cant because the tyres would overheat. tyres are necessary evil at the moment to counteract something on the cars because otherwise it probably would be worse. although the sport only in a bad way. if red bull couldve finally given max a car nearly equal to Mercedes to fight. at least the season would have some intrigue like 88 - 90 with prost senna. domination but interesting but theyve failed us

& we gone to far wrong way because teams understand how to babysit the tyres. but FIA still stupidly think 2012 will happen again. but this is many issues building since 2013. all in coming together at the wrong time. all the mistakes on tyres, aero, engines, spiralling budgets

just realised ive got to the next race thread to tomorrow. its going to be a barrel of laughs
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Not my cup of cake
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