With the end of the three weeks of summer break, this weekend the Formula 1 world championship is ready to start the engines again with teams and drives committed to a double commitment on two tough tracks as Spa-Francorchamps and Monza which will lead the way to a fiery end of season.
Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel will have the toughest task since they will not be able to make the slightest mistake. They are called to make nine perfect grands prix if they want to wipe out the 24 point gap that separates the German from Lewis Hamilton. The mistake at Hockenheim weighs very heavy.
We start with the track in the Ardennes, it is a circuit that is as historic as it is difficult in which the weather and safety car will practically do the honours. After having tested it on Sauber and Hass, the Ferraris will be equipped with the latest version of the Power Unit as Mercedes should also do.
On the tyre front Pirelli will bring to both Belgium and Italy the Medium, Soft and SuperSoft mixes. We come to this round with some unknown factors on the drivers’ market in which above all Kimi Raikonnen’s future is still up in the air. We experienced a very hot August (not only due to the high temperatures) that will redraw the 2019 starting grid. Daniel Ricciardo will say goodbye to Red Bull to wear Renault’s colours together with Hulkenberg and with Sainz taking the seat left free by Fernando Alonso who announced his retirement from F1 after 17 seasons. Red Bull will promote Gasly alongside Verstappen, while the places in Toro Rosso are still vacant. Force India, which has been placed under administration, was saved by a group of entrepreneurs led by Laurence Stroll whose son will free a place in Williams.
We expect very intense weeks. This weekend we start with Spa where the weather promises rain but then I expect many of you at Monza.
Gian Carlo Minardi