Belgian GP 2022 Preview: The Continental Circus is back!

The wait is over. After nearly a month’s long summer break, the Formula One World Championship is back this weekend at one of its most legendary tracksThe Circuit of Spa-Francorchamps will host the Belgian F1 GP 2022 and fourteenth round of the season, from the 26 to the 28 of August.

The Championship has thus far been dominated by Red Bull and Max Verstappen with an iron fist but one cannot help but wonder if they will be able to maintain that hegemony after the summer holiday.

Other questions also come to mind. Will Ferrari come back strong enough to make things harder for the Austrian team? Will Mercedes take a performance leap and claim its first victory of the year?  

After a relaxing summer break, the contenders return with renewed hopes and dreams The teams have now been able to have a rest and gather the necessary strength to battle the rest of the season out and straight away they are faced with a triple header. 

The start of the rest of the campaign will therefore be three consecutive GPS, with only nine races remaining from thec Belgian event that until the end of the season.  

Red Bull & Verstappen: To continue winning  

Max Verstappen and the blue squad‘ are well on their way to winning both the Driver and Team titles, with the Dutchman having practically secured the crown already.  

After eight victories (Saudi Arabia, Emilia-Romagna, Miami, Spain, Azerbaijan, Canada, France & Hungary) in thirteen races, the reigning champ is leading the standings with a very comfortable margin; 80 points above Charles Leclerc, second; and 85 points ahead of his Red Bull teammate Checo Pérez, third.

A favorable compromise is in sight for the ‘black tulip’, among other issues, because it will be measured in an allied territory. The event in the Ardennes is considered his other domestic Grand Prix along with the Dutch.

For this reason, the ‘orange army‘ will dye the stands in that color in support of its hero. On the other hand, with his triumph at this same racetrack in 2021, he already demonstrated his great adaptation to it. These factors, together with his great state of form, make him the enemy to beat.

Meanwhile, his fellow Checo Pérez, down in the last few matches, has to recover the tone of the beginning of the Championship. Third in the table, the Mexican is only 5 points away from Leclerc, second, but 85 from the capo ‘Mad Max’. With the fight for the crown practically impossible, the goals of the rider from Guadalajara will be aimed at overthrowing the Monegasque.

Red Bull’s goal is of course to maintain its overwhelming superiority in order to secure both the individual and team titles as soon as possible.  

Ferrari must get back on its feet  

Ferrari, for its part, has got a big job ahead of itself with healing wounds and restoring its damaged confidence. Its first step towards turning the situation around must come this weekend at the Belgian F1 GP 2022.  

There shall be no more recurrent technical faults for the F1-75, horrendous pit stops and most of all, no more strategic mistakes, all of which have eroded Ferrari’s credibility and put it in a very vulnerable position.  

All of the above mistakes have prevented the Italians from extracting the most juice out of an otherwise very competitive car. It will also be interesting to see how the particular duel between its two pilots develops.

Leclerc comes back ready to face the challenge despite the many individual and team mistakes that have been holding him back until this point. He knows that the title is practically out of reach -80 points bellow Verstappen- but he will fight until the end. In parallel, he will have to dispute his very own civil war.  

Leclerc knows that his teammate Carlos Sainz is now fully adapted to the red single-seater, and so he cannot give up an inch to him. At stake is something as important as the hegemony of La Scuderia.   

The Spaniard, on the other hand, accustomed to shining in the second half of the seasons, is very confident in his chances. As for the team objectives, Ferrari must tie down second place, a position they currently occupy with just 30 points more than Mercedes. 

Mercedes: Eager to start winning again 

The German team is hoping to continue the ascending progression they demonstrated before the summer break. Mercedes has steadily improved its performance after a very complicated start of season. 

The porpoising issues suffered by the W13 have been virtually solved, improving the overall performance of the Silver Arrow. This has allowed for the comeback of Mercedes’ star Lewis Hamilton, who had faded behind amidst a disastrous start to the year. 

Ahead of the summer holidays, the driver from Stevenage showed to be fully recovered with five consecutive podiums since Canada, for a total of six during the current season. Just as his teammate and compatriot, George Russell also got three podiums before the very well-deserved summer break.  

From now on they will attempt to get in the way of both Red Bull’s and Ferrari’s title bids, aspiring for victory at every single race. They still need, however, to take their first win of the 2022 season. 

Images of Belgian F1 GP 2022:

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