Belgian GP – PREVIEW

Set aside the three-week of summer break, this weekend Formula 1 is ready to get back on track, on the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, after some controversies, cut and thrust among the various teams.

Therefore, we are back on track with two tough appointments like Spa and Monza, two authentic circuits, in which the Mercedes (despite some problems of reliability) and their PU start certainly as favourite. Williams, however, could be the outsider, ready to create confusion in the first row. It will be interesting to see what innovations will be brought on track, because, in spite of summer break, the brilliant minds of the technicians have continued to think and work out, in terms of the end of the Championship and of the upcoming season.

In fact, we enter in the final part of the Championship, that promises to be very “hot”, as we have already mentioned in the previous appointments, with great movements behind the scenes. Belgium and Italy have traditionally been two intense weekends and we will see which negotiations will come to an end and which will remain locked in teams’ drawns. I have my own personal memories of 2005-Spa circuit, which marked the passage of my team in the hands of Dietrich Mateschitz.

For example, after the large investments with McLaren, we have Honda on the hunt for a super-top driver to place alongside the young Kevin Magnussen. They want to make a return in great style, to start as best they can. Consequently, Button should no longer fall within the McLaren plans. In Mercedes, at the moment, only Nico Rosberg has signed the contract extension and it is not taken for granted the permanence of Sebastian Vettel in Red Bull. Considering Ferrari, there should not be big movements, with Fernando Alonso mainly interested in receiving more guarantees on the technical front. But in life, and especially in F1, you can never say never. In these days, the vent of Marmorini is synonymous with great nervousness and, therefore, Marco Mattiacci must first of all bring serenity within the team.

Red Bull has started itself to shake up the market, putting under contract Max Verstappen, who has followed in his father’s footstepsJos Verstappen – and who ran with me in 2003; he’s doing very well in Formula 3, as well as our Antonio Fuoco and Antonio Giovinazzi. In the next season, the Dutch will be the new driver for Toro Rosso team, alongside Kvyat. The games have started.

We come from very interesting races, that have been able to give us back that show so claimed from the beginning of the season, proving that this F1 is not to reject, being in front of such an epochal change. The engineers and technicians have been able to make giant steps, such as at Renault, allowing Daniel Ricciardo to conquer the only two victories so far not marked Rosberg and Hamilton. And  exactly Ricciardo will be awarded in Brisighella with the Bandini Trophy on August 31st, an award that has always been a good auspice to its winners (from Schumacher to Vettel, passing through Rosberg, Alonso and many others), who brought home extremely interesting results.

Note: Article updated upon confirmation of Verstappen in Toro Rosso.