Williams Martini Racing Chief Technical Officer Paddy Lowe is looking forward to coming to Spa Francorchamps for this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix.
Lowe has considered the Belgium circuit one of the greatest circuits in the world, with the 4.3 mile circuit home to one of most famous corners in the world such as Eau Rouge, Pouhon and Blanchimont.
“Spa is one of the greatest tracks on earth, in my opinion. It is one of the longest standing venues on the Formula One calendar and has been the setting of many dramatic races in the past.” said Lowe.
“It has a fast characteristic, with a lot of changes in elevation, rewarding power and downforce.”
The famous corner of the track is the steep climb up Eau Rouge to Raidillon. Majority of drivers manage to take the complex flat-out before the approaching the long Kemmel Straight. Lowe believes the run down the straight will be the main overtaking spot.
“The most famous Eau Rouge corner is now generally taken flat, so actually not really a limiting corner. Eau Rouge leads onto a long uphill straight. The combination makes overtaking relatively frequent, with cars able to trade corner exit speed, slipstream effects and, with the current hybrid power units, the remaining energy in the battery.”
“For Williams, this track should play to the strengths of the FW40 car.”
Lowe also noted that the weather can play a vital part to the weekend with Spa located within the Ardennes forest. With the longest lap on the whole calendar, the track could be dry or wet in one area and the opposite in the next.
“The weather in the Ardennes is notoriously tricky and can change from sun to rain and back again in a matter of minutes. The very long lap makes the timing of tyre changes from wet to dry, or back again, either look particularly heroic or disastrous.”
Felipe Massa returns after he well ill during the Hungarian Grand Prix, being replaced by reserved driver, Paul di Resta. Massa has plenty of experience at Spa, winning the 2008 Belgian Grand Prix. Lance Stroll took victory in Belgium last year in the FIA European Formula 3.
“Felipe is very experienced at Spa and Lance has also won the race here in F3, so we look forward to getting the very best from this weekend.”