He’s visited the track often as a besotted frequenter, obsessed with motor-racing and the thought of succeeding at the highest level as a top-notch contestant. Charles Leclerc praises Spa-Francorchamps although he’s only raced here once in a Formula 1 car. That happened in 2018. His debut effort at the heart of the Ardennes ended with a disappointing DNF, following a disastrous collision inside the opening lap that saw the then McLaren’s Fernando Alonso end up like a wrecking crew on the tail of his Sauber.
But as Charles Leclerc returns to the often dramatic, rarely unenterprising Spa-Francorchamps this weekend, he will be hungry for success.
And the reason for that is relatively simple. Charles Leclerc will be fancying his chances of finishing rather respectably this time around as he cavorts around the ‘longest track on the calendar’ in a Scuderia Ferrari SF90, a machine several notches higher than his Sauber of 2018.
But that said, one thing is certain.
The start of a thrilling Sunday 44-lap tussle would boil down to the relative position of strength one gathers on the grid in the all-important qualifying on Saturday, the curtain-raiser to the main race event.
But before the start of the 2019 Belgian Grand Prix, the venue where the action resumes post the mid-season summer break, Charles Leclerc praises Spa-Francorchamps, a track where icons like Schumacher have won 6 times, while the likes of Senna and Raikkonen have won on five and four separate occasions, respectively. Charles Leclerc praises Spa and said-
“Spa-Francorchamps is one of the greatest race tracks in the world and one of the most beautiful that we race on in Formula 1.”
Charles Leclerc would go on to add, “So it makes starting racing again after the summer break even more enjoyable. It’s always impressive when you realize just how fast the current Formula 1 cars can go through the corners and at no other track is that perception so obvious. I’m thinking particularly of the uphill esses at Eau Rouge. The first time you look at it, you realize how narrow and steep it is.”
What to expect from Ferrari?
The above told, as Ferrari resume action with only 9 races left on the calendar, they would be keen to revive a fluttering campaign, their struggles highlighted by their failure to win any race.
In that respect, it will be crucial for both Vettel and Leclerc to up their game at one of the most iconic tracks on the roster. Interestingly, even as Maranello-based outfit is yet to open its victory account in a season where one hasn’t even seen a Ferrari 1-2 2 so far, it’s clear that Spa with its high-speed corners and rip-roaring turns arguably suits the aerodynamic built of the Ferrari.
Who knows what the car with the faster straight-line speed might achieve at Spa?
Although psychologically speaking, Ferrari will still have to work it out in the middle with Mercedes expected to come hard at them, once again, it could be argued the team would’ve done all the soul-searching in the precious break from the hectic first half of the season that produced only 11 podiums, collectively.