Schedule for F1 at the Belgian Fantastic Prix

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After a three-week break, Formula 1 returns from the summer holidays. And if you haven’t been following the Formula One news after the Hungarian Grand Prix, let’s catch up quickly. First, four-time champion Sebastian Vettel announced his retirement and retirement from Aston Martin at the end of the season. And before we could start theorizing who would take the free seat, two-time champion Fernando Alonso made a surprising statement that he was leaving Alpine (currently 4th) for Aston Martin (currently 9th).

His free seat in the French team will apparently make room for Formula 2 champion and current Alpine reserve driver Oscar Piastri, who will move to the first team. Alpin made the announcement… and then Piastri wrote on social networks that he does not have an agreement with Alpine and will not travel with them. Elsewhere on the starting grid, Williams awarded Alex Albon a new two-year contract thanks to his strong season in a weaker car (9 finishes in the Top 14).

Why did Piastri give up a place in Formula 1? The answer seems to have become clear on Wednesday, when McLaren announced that they would part ways with Daniel Ricciardo at the end of the season. Piastri is reportedly in line to join Lando Norris at McLaren. Drama with the driver lineup, new rules that come into effect from the Belgian Grand Prix (more on this after), and only nine races ahead. Welcome back to Formula 1.

Where Everything Is
After Charles Leclerc (178) and Sergio Perez (173) finished on the podium in Hungary, Max Verstappen (258) increased his lead in the Drivers’ Championship to 80 points. There are only nine races left, and although it is still possible from a mathematical point of view, Leclerc will need an incredible race to overtake Verstappen. George Russell’s third-place finish (158) in Hungary, his fifth third-place finish this season, lifted him above Carlos Sainz (156) and he remains 12 points ahead of teammate Lewis Hamilton (146).

Red Bull (431) maintains an even greater lead in the Constructors’ Cup, with 97 points, thanks to Verstappen’s consecutive victories and the continuation of Ferrari’s strategy (334) and mechanical problems. Meanwhile, thanks to Mercedes (304) having lifted at least one driver to the podium in seven of the last eight races, they are only 30 points behind the Italian team. The race for 4th place (Alpine, 99 and McLaren, 95) will be of great interest, not only because they share four points, but also because of the ongoing drama with Alonso, Riccardo and Piastri.

Scheme

This track was first launched in 1950, and Spa-Francorchamps has since become synonymous with the Belgian Grand Prix. However, the debut of this place took place in 1925, when the track was twice as long – a 9-mile track. The Moderna Spa is the perfect combination of fast straights, fast turns and steep turns at Turn 1 as the track climbs up the mountains. Add to that the constant threat of rain and you have one of the toughest races on the Formula one calendar. There are two DRS zones, one just after Turn 1 and the other at the end of the track returning to the Start/finish line.

The DraftKings bookmaker offers odds for this race. Max Verstappen is the clear favorite with a result of -115, as he hopes to win his second title in a row. He is followed by Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc with a result of +350, followed by Lewis Hamilton with a result of +400. It’s a sign of Ferrari’s recent troubles, as well as the continued progress Mercedes has made. Hamilton has yet to win in 2022, and no season in Formula 1 has been complete without victories. The unpredictable nature of the Spa means that most drivers in the field have a reasonable chance of finishing with points. Only Nicholas latifi has chances of more than 330 to get into the Top 10.

What To Pay Attention To
Silly Season. Three places have already been changed in Formula 1 for 2023, the F2 champion is waiting for the official announcement and there are still six places to be defined for next season. How will the drivers who plan to leave their teams after the break perform? Will any of the unconfirmed drivers secure a place in the upcoming season by having a successful performance in Belgium and at the Dutch grand prix next weekend?
Car configuration. Will he gain Red Bull’s advantage on the straight or Ferrari’s dominance in the corners? If the weather conditions are uncertain, will the teams choose a predominantly wet or dry installation? In Moderna One, it is very difficult to completely change the car’s configuration on race day.

Rain. Spa weather always comes with risks, and these conditions have created some dramatic runs over the years. However, everyone will be afraid of a repeat of the 2021 grand prix. After a three-hour delay, the cars arrived on the track behind the safety car, and on the third safety lap, the race was canceled and Verstappen was declared the winner thanks to his pole position. At the moment, the forecast is that it will rain on Friday and Saturday morning, but on Sunday the race will be without rain.

Technical directive. Due to excessive shaking on the starting grid, Formula 1 is introducing new regulations on the car floor and vertical lift starting this weekend. The effect of porpoise hunting observed this season and concerns about the long-term health of drivers have contributed to this change. There has been speculation that it could bring Red Bull and Ferrari back a little to the Mercedes pace, but the coming weeks will show whether this initial decision will have any impact.

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