It has been a busy week for the Scuderia Toro Rosso team, having seen them announce that Max Verstappen will replace Jean-Eric Vergne within the team to partner Daniil Kvyat for the 2015 season. They now head to Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium with a desire to start the second half of the season in a positive way.
Vergne is competing in his first event since the announcement that his drive at the team will be taken by Dutch teenager Verstappen for 2015, and he will want to perform so that other teams take notice of his talent so to consider him for drives. He admits, like many other drivers in the paddock, that Spa is one of his favourite tracks to drive all year, and is hoping for a positive weekend, even though the Renault power unit is not as powerful as the Mercedes power unit.
“Spa is undoubtedly one of the best circuits on the calendar and I think I’d have to say it’s also my favourite track,” said Vergne. “I love it for so many different reasons, starting with the track itself. Then I also like the country and the area where the circuit is, which is very beautiful. In Belgium I also always have a lot of Belgian fans waiting for me and the place just feels like home.
“It’s a great race weekend. Of course, this place is famous for its strange weather, with rain at one part of the track and not at another, which is an aspect I actually enjoy. It also has that mix of the high speed sections, where you need good engine power and the slower more technical section on the part of the track that links up the two bits from the original old 14 kilometre circuit. Always a great weekend!”
Team-mate Kvyat has fond memories of racing at Spa-Francorchamps, having won there three times including his first GP3 Series win in 2013 that was the catalyst to his championship winning run of results. He is hoping for a strong weekend to continue his impressive rookie season in F1 that has seen himself confirmed for a second year at Toro Rosso for 2015 alongside Verstappen.
“I have very good memories, as I won here three times,” said Kvyat. “But once you get to the track, everything starts again from zero and how well you do depends on how good a job you do starting on Friday morning. Spa is a legendary track, I’ve enjoyed driving there in the past, so I am really looking forward to tackling it in a Formula One car for the first time.
“It is definitely one of my favourites. What do you need there? A powerful engine combined with high downforce, which you need on the second sector, which is technically challenging and for the first and third sectors you also want good stability under braking with plenty of straight line speed. If it rains that’s fine for me, as it’s the same for everyone.”