Formula 1 returns from the summer break to a new Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps. Renovation work on the circuit, planned since 2020, was completed earlier this year.
Following the death of Formula 2 driver Anthoine Hubert in 2019, safety at Spa became a major focus, with additional run-off zones at Eau Rouge/Radillion and gravel traps at La Source, Radillion, Blanchimont, Les Combes, Stavelot and Pouhon.
It’s not the first time Spa has been criticized for being unsafe – drivers and teams famously boycotted the race in 1969 after required safety measures were not implemented – but hopefully with these changes it will be a long time before they have to tackle anything again.
The track has also been resurfaced so it will be interesting to see how the teams adapt to the grip change and other renovations.
How to watch the Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix
- Date: Sunday 28 August
- Location: 4.352 miles (7.004 km) Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Stavelot, Belgium
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
- TV: ESPN
- Electricity: fuboTV (Try it for free)
What to expect
Elevation changes, blind corners that descend, long straights, sweeping corners, complex sections… over 44 laps and 191.388 miles (308.052 km), Spa has everything you could wish for in a track. It’s a high downforce track that can be extremely difficult in the wet and is so vast that one section of the track can be dry while the other is soaking wet or covered in fog/clouds.
As for a signature corner, it would have to be the Eau Rouge/Raidillon complex, where drivers quickly and smoothly flick their wrists left and then right through Eau Rouge before heading up the steepest climb in F1 to Raidillon. Seriously, many simply view the entire circuit as one signature corner after another.
There will only be two DRS zones for the event, the first starting just before Turn 2 and the second zone just before the entrance of Turn 18.
In terms of tire strategy, Spa has proven to be a one-stopper in recent years, with teams starting with medium compounds and moving to the hard compound. But that’s when the race is dry. If not, then all strategies are out the window.
On the back foot
Alpine and McLaren: We’re lumping these two together because of the driver lineup issues they both have. What we do know for sure at Alpine is that Fernando Alonso left after the end of this season. Likewise with Daniel Ricciardo at McLaren as it was recently announced that he will not be returning to McLaren and may even take a year off. The interesting thing as the season progresses will be who will fill those spots. Oscar Piastri has retired from Alpine driving, and who knows if Alex Palou over at IndyCar will find a way to free himself from his contract with Chip Ganassi Racing and end up with McLaren.
Run on the spot
Ferrari: The rupture came at the right time for the Scuderia, which threatened to burst at the seams. However, Belgium is a tricky circuit that requires strategy. As mentioned before, when things are dry it’s a pretty simple affair. But if it gets wet, watch out. One thing is for sure: they have the speed and they have riders with the skill. If they can stop the internal bleeding, everything will be fine.
Best foot forward
Mercedes and Red Bull: Sir Lewis Hamilton and George Russell are both very confident they can bring Mercedes into the conversation about who can win races. They’ve improved a lot since the start of the season and went into the summer break with a bang, so you could say the break came at the worst possible time for Mercedes. At Red Bull Racing, the chance to step back and catch your breath was probably appreciated. Now it’s a matter of ending the season on the right foot, knowing that Ferrari are almost as quick if not faster depending on the track and that Mercedes are much improved and will have a role to play in the fight.
https://www.cbssports.com/motor-sports/news/formula-1-belgian-grand-prix-how-to-watch-preview-stream-channel-start-time/ Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix: Watch, Preview, Stream, Channel, Start Time