Both Williams drivers, like many of their peers, rank Spa Francorchamps as one of the best track on the F1 calendar and they will both be hoping that the new rear wings and diffuser modifications that the team will bring to this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix can help them score points at one of their favourite venues.
“I love Spa-Francorchamps; the track is very special,” says Rubens Barrichello, who has scored just four points in eleven races this season. “It is the place where I claimed my first Formula One pole position back in 1994. It was in very tricky conditions as the track was drying out, but that is something that happens quite a lot at Spa.
“We are going to have a new aero package for this race that I hope will give us a better chance to fight for points. It is a real drivers' circuit with no time to breathe during a lap.”
Pastor Maldonado is still searching for his first F1 point but is hoping that it will come at the scene of one of his GP2 victories last year. “[Spa] is one of my favourite tracks and a place where I have achieved important results in my career, including victory in my Championship-winning GP2 season,” says the Venezuelan. “I will enjoy the whole weekend in Belgium as it is a fabulous circuit, but Eau Rouge has to be my favourite corner. I'll do my best to improve on our previous results and I can't wait to get there.”
Williams technical director Sam Michael explains that Spa is a challenging race for the teams as well as the drivers, especially if the heavens open. “Spa is one of the greatest circuits in the Formula One Championship,” he comments. “Large variations in terrain provide a challenge to the engineers to cover all of the different corner types, from slow speed curb riding to the flat out Eau Rouge. Race day can be really interesting when the weather changes as it can rain on one side of the circuit and be dry on the other!
“We will bring new rear wings which feature a different drag level and some diffuser modifications to evaluate during practice.”
It is one of my favourite tracks and a place where I have achieved important results in my career, including victory in my Championship-winning GP2 season. I will enjoy the whole weekend in Belgium as it is a fabulous circuit, but Eau Rouge has to be my favourite corner. I'll do my best to improve on our previous results and I can't wait to get there.