Max Verstappen says the Spa-Francorchamps circuit is ‘a lot of fun’ to drive as Formula 1 returns to the track for the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend, the first race after the enforced summer break.
The Red Bull Racing driver was one of the stars of the first half of the season, winning twice in Austria – engine supplier Honda’s first victory in the turbo hybrid era – and Germany, and securing his maiden pole position last time out in Hungary.
Verstappen says there are many impressive and enjoyable corners at Spa-Francorchamps and coupled with the long straights it means compromises will need to be made when it comes to set-up to be quick. However, he is ready to get racing once more and see just how competitive the RB15 is across the remainder of the season.
“There are a lot of long straights and it’s always a good challenge to find the best possible compromise for the straights and the corners,” said Verstappen. “You don’t particularly run a lot of downforce at Spa, but the fast corners are very impressive and a lot of fun.
“Pouhon was close to flat last year so it will be good to see what we can do there in the RB15. I also like that there aren’t too many slow speed corners and you can keep up the momentum all the way round the track.
“I’m definitely ready to get back in the car and looking forward to seeing how competitive the second half of the season can be for us.”
As the closest thing to a home race, Verstappen will again have the adoring support of thousands of Dutch fans this weekend, and as one of his favourite tracks on calendar, he says it is a good circuit to come back to after the summer break.
“Belgium is another home race for me and it’s always great to see so many fans supporting us,” said the Dutchman. “It was good to have a break and spend some time away with family and friends before another busy period but I’m refreshed and looking forward to getting started, especially after we had such a great run of results before the break.
“Spa is my favourite circuit on the calendar, so a great one to start the second half of the season with.”