The Formula One engines are roaring once again after almost a month since the last race in Hungary. This weekend (August 30th – September 1st) is time for the 2019 F1 Belgian Gnrad Prix, thirteenth appointment of the season’s calendar.
This would be the 64th edition of such event and the 52nd at the Spa-Francorchamps Circuit and will mark the beginning of the second part of the Formula 1 World Championship.
The circuit at the Ardennes forest, which is not only a classic but also the longest of all World Championship venues with its 7,004 meters, will once again be the backdrop of great and exciting battles.
Mercedes & Ferrari: Battle for the victory
Mercedes and their shining star, Lewis Hamilton, arrive in 2019 F1 Belgian GP as solid leaders of both the constructors and drivers’ standings. After an impressive winning streak of six victories over the last eight races, the Briton and five-time-champion is currently 62 points ahead of teammate Valtteri Bottas.
The Finn from Mercedes, by the way, has recently extended his contract with the German squad until the end of 2020. Both drivers will be able to enjoy a number of improvements which have been implemented on the W10 during the summer.
For Ferrari, Belgium marks a fateful anniversary. This is the country where Sebastian Vettel took his last victory, a whole year ago. 20 races have passed since then without the German setting foot at the top of the podium. Vettel is currently sunk in the fourth place of the standings, 25 points away from Max Verstappen.
In any case, Vettel seems to have got some of its confidence back after sealing two podiums before the summer holidays. His improved SF90 will have 20 more horsepower units.
This little extra could be key since power is a lot more important than aerodynamic load at the Belgian circuit. The 2019 F1 Belgian GP could, therefore, be a great opportunity for both the German champion and his Monegasque teammate, Charles Leclerc.
Red Bull, looking for a new podium
Right behind the red cars, and sometimes even ahead of them, is Red Bull. They have become a real threat to both the German and the Italian team, as evidenced by the two victories and one second-place achieved by Max Verstappen in Austria and Germany before the summer break.
Currently, Red Bull seems to be the only team able to stand up and defeat the team of the star. Aside from any mechanical improvements, the most significant change for the team will be its line-up. The Anglo-Thai driver Alex Albon will replace Pierre Gasly, who is returning to Toro Rosso until the end of the season.
Both Alex Albon and Pierre Gasly, will introduce the new Honda engine Specification 4 in Belgium, losing several positions in the starting grid as a result. Their respective partners, Verstappen (Red Bull) and Daniil Kvyat, (Toro Rosso) will have to wait until Monza.
Middle of the grid: McLaren & Renault
Down the middle of the grid, McLaren faces the 2019 F1 Belgian GP in great spirits. Holding onto their position as the best of the rest, leading the grid behind Mercedes, Ferrari and Red Bull, will focus all its efforts.
Their Spanish driver Carlos Sainz will attempt to topple Gasly from the sixth place in the individual standings. Thanks to his two fifth places before the break, he is now only five points from doing so.
The Woking team’s rival to lead the midfield is Renault, which also arrives at this race having undergone some important developments. This past Thursday they announced the hiring of Esteban Ocon to replace Nico Hulkenberg in 2020. The team from Enstone still don’t seem on track to be able to fulfil their ambition to return to the top of the specialty.
Images of ‘2019 F1 Belgian Grand Prix’: Mercedes