Spa-Francorchamps Preview and Predictions

It’s Spa weekend. And I don’t mean getting a facial and sitting in a mud bath. I mean this is the race weekend that pretty much all of the drivers in the Formula One field are excited about. The Spa-Francorchamps circuit is situated in the heart of the Ardennes Forest and is vast, sweeping and seriously quick. In fact, it is one of the faster circuits on the calendar and almost always provides some very good racing. I haven’t been to this race, but I did travel to the circuit and it is steeped in history. As you walk down from the town, you can see the La Source hairpin stretching out in front of you. When I was there, they had a motorcycle track day and it was very interesting to watch as the two-wheelers came screaming into the hairpin and then powered out and down the famous hill that leads to the very picturesque and very famous Eau Rouge corner. This is the one that all the drivers love. It is at the very bottom of the hill and starts to go up right as you reach the bottom. You are also having to turn very quickly from right to left and back to the right again as you go through. They say the compression that happens here can literally take your breath away, and just from seeing it, I believe it. The whole atmosphere of the place was amazing. Because of the bikes racing that day, we even got to go into the old pit lane and paddock area and walk almost onto the podium. If you get the chance to go here, please take that opportunity because it is very much worth it.

            As for the opening practice session, Lewis is out front with Timo Glock and Kimi Raikkonen chasing. Of course, as I usually point out, these really mean nothing, but they can give an indication of where a team is heading. For instance, the Red Bulls are predicted to do well as the circuit suits their cars, and their Brawn rivals are situated down in 17th and 18th as of right now. Of course, this can all change based on the weather. Much like the Nurburgring, which is very near to Spa, the weather can change very quickly. One minute it can be sunny and bright and the next it can cloud over and start to rain. We saw this happen last year and it wouldn’t surprise me if it happened again. And if it does, all the better, because it opens the door for so many possibilities. My prediction is for the Red Bulls to shine and the McLaren of Hamilton to be on the pace. So for Sunday, I have Vettel leading home Hamilton, with Kimi in third and Webber in fourth. The rest of the points scorers will be Glock, Rosberg, Barrichello and Alonso. And since I would like to give myself somewhat better odds at getting some correct, I will say no particular order for those last guys.

            Stay tuned for what should be one of the better races of the year, and don’t be surprised to see a different face in the other Ferrari come Monza time in another two weeks.

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