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Preview | Will Verstappen continue his dominance in Belgium?

Preview | Will Verstappen continue his dominance in Belgium?

24-08-2022 16:09 Last update: 20:36
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GPblog.com

With the summer break behind them, the Formula 1 teams can now prepare for a challenging race weekend in Belgium. Will Max Verstappen be able to maintain his lead of 80 points in the world championship? Or will Ferrari strike back? You can read all about the upcoming GP in this preview from GPblog.

Belgian Grand Prix

The Spa-Francorchamps Grand Prix has been on the Formula One calendar since 1950. The Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio was the first winner of the race weekend on behalf of Alfa Romeo. Since then, there have been several interruptions, but the circuit has managed to return to the calendar each time.

Michael Schumacher is the most successful driver in this Grand Prix. In 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2001 and 2002 he succeeded in taking the victory. Aryton Senna did slightly less with five wins, followed by Jim Clark, Kimi Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton with four first places.

Last season the GP literally ended in the water. Due to heavy rainfall, the organisation decided to cancel the race on Sunday. As the drivers had driven a number of laps behind the safety car, the top ten received half of the points. Verstappen, George Russell and Hamilton managed to finish consecutively in the top three.

Spa-Francorchamps

The drivers face another challenging weekend this season, as the Belgian circuit is known to be anything but easy. The famous Eau Rouge-Raidillon corner combination is a major headache every year. The same applies to almost all other corners.

For safety reasons, the organisation decided to make some adjustments to the track this year. At Eau Rouge, for example, an extra run-off lane was created to reduce the risk of major accidents in the future.

Formula 1 in 2022

Verstappen ended the first half of the season in Hungary in style by driving to victory from tenth place on the grid. The Dutchman managed to beat his rivals Ferrari and Mercedes, which was especially hard on the Italian team.

Red Bull Racing's direct competitor Charles Leclerc had to settle for retirement and sixth place in the last two races in France and Hungary respectively. The result was that the Monegasque fell further behind in the world championship.

As a result, Ferrari can no longer focus solely on Red Bull, as Mercedes are closing in. In the Constructors' Championship, the difference between Ferrari and Mercedes is only 30 points, while Leclerc has 20 points more than George Russell.

Weather forecast

Where it seemed earlier that the Belgian GP would be wet again, the predictions of Weather.com have turned around a bit. On Friday and Saturday, with chances of 74 and 68 percent, it still looks like there will be a lot of rain on the track. On Sunday, however, it is partly cloudy and the possibility of rain is only 17 percent. Therefore, the race seems to be held on a relatively dry track.

Forecast for the Grand Prix

After last season's GP, this weekend can only be more positive. Verstappen will be working hard to take victory and feel good about his trip to Zandvoort, while Leclerc will need to be fast to keep his chances alive. Mercedes will also be in the fray.

With the updates that some teams will be bringing to Belgium and the new rules on porpoising, it is difficult to predict which driver will be the strongest. Nevertheless, Verstappen and Leclerc seem to be the most likely to win again.

Schedule for the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix [UK time]

Friday

First free practice: 13:00 - 14:00

Second free practice: 16:00 - 17:00

Saturday

Third free practice: 12:00 - 13:00

Qualifying: 15:00 - 16:00

Sunday

Race: 14:00 - 16:00

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