The summer break is finnaly over and it is time, for the Formula 1 fans and insiders, to come back to business.
After some deserved holidays, our favourite drivers are ready to run on one of the most iconic track on the F1 calendar: the circuit of Spa Francorchamps, in Belgium.
The 7 kilometres circuit is the longest track on the calendar, and that is why the race is set to last only 44 laps. Among its historical turn, we remember the Eau Rouge and the Raidillon. The circuit is full of elevations changes, which makes it hard for the tyres, which are subjected to high forces from all directions: lateral, longitudinal, and vertical.
That is why Pirelli, the Italian tyres manufacturer, selecred the hardest selection of tyres available among the Pirelli PZero range: the C1 (white), C2 (yellow) and C3 (red) compounds.
Last year the winning strategy was a one pit stop, although Valtteri Bottas arrived 4th with two pit stops. The race saw Sebastian Vettel as the winner, followed by Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. Last year edition's is also remembered for the starting lap incident which saw a flying Fernando Alonso over Charles Leclerc, who remained unharmed thanks to the Halo protection system.
This Grand Prix will also mark the first one for Alexander Albon as Red Bull Racing's official driver, as Pierre Gasly comes back to his 2018 former team Toro Rosso. Who know if the silly season will give other surprises already in Belgium.
“Spa is always an amazing drivers’ circuit but that is also why the tyres are put under some of the biggest stresses that they face all season." Said Mario Isola, Pirelli's Head of Car Racing. "As a result, we’ve nominated the three hardest compounds in the range – a slightly different choice to last year – which should allow the drivers to push to the maximum during each stint and minimise the need for pace management. The harder choice this year at Silverstone, for example, led to a very closely-fought race and a fastest lap from Lewis Hamilton right at the end on well-used tyres. We know a lot about Spa, also from our experience of supplying the Spa 24 Hours. Last month’s race there was stopped by rain for several hours, which underlines the likelihood of mixed weather conditions, with qualifying for last year’s Belgian Grand Prix run in the wet as well. This is a track where it’s very possible to overtake, so under the right circumstances, it’s feasible to make an aggressive strategy work.”
Here are the tyres choices per driver for the Belgian Grand Prix.