Spa-Francorchamps, Friday 20 August 2010
After a four week break, the Formula 1 Championship gets underway again at the fast, hilly and twisty track of Spa-Francorchamps. Hispania Racing, HRT F1 Team is well prepared for the historical Belgian Grand Prix. The circuit in the Belgian Ardennes has the nickname of ‘roller coaster’ and is 7.004 km in length, making it the longest layout of the Formula 1 calendar. The most famous part of this circuit is the ‘Eau Rouge’, which is taken in sixth gear at 300 km/h and where the drivers have to race down a straight before crossing the stream and being launched up a very steep hill through a blind corner. Spa-Francorchamps is a circuit that really demonstrates the importance of the drivers’ skills. The drivers are compressed into their seats and, at -3.5 G, the ‘Eau Rouge’ is the only corner in Formula 1 to offer negative G-force. At the end of the following long and kinked straight, the best opportunity to overtake a competitor is at ‘Les Combes’. The cars are on full-throttle for 23 seconds, from the hairpin ‘La Source’ to this key passing point, and this turns out to be a real test of engine durability.
Hispania Racing, HRT F1 Team is highly motivated to come back into action after the summer break. The Spanish team wants to cross the finishing line with its drivers Sakon Yamamoto and Bruno Senna for the sixth time of its debut season in Formula 1.
Dr Colin Kolles, Team Principal: “Spa-Francorchamps is everything a fascinating track should be – fast, fearsome and full of atmosphere. The circuit has a lot of challenging high speed and downward corners and is a real test for the drivers – the wheat is separated from the chaff there. Finding the right car balance is one crucial factor, but it also is a difficult one. The weather in the Ardennes is unpredictable and it is possible for it to be raining in one part of the circuit whilst dry in another. Consequently, you have to be prepared for any conditions. After our positive result in Hungary, we are eager to show our best performance and we hope to finish the race with two cars again.”
Sakon Yamamoto, Race driver #20: “I am looking forward to be back in action after the break. In 2007, I was already running in Spa-Francorchamps with Spyker F1. The track has a very famous corner, the ‘Eau Rouge’ and there are a lot of up and downs. The weather conditions are very unique and it may change very quickly. We will need a good speed in the fast corners and also a good downforce on the car. We expect that the track layout suits our car and we try to do our best again.”
Bruno Senna, Race driver #21: “I always look forward to Spa-Francorchamps and I’ve raced there every year since 2005. It is my favourite circuit of all the ones I’ve raced at and my first time there in a Formula 1 car will be very special for me. The track is very fast with lovely gradient changes and challenging high speed corners. It is one of those circuits where the more you push, the better the lap time will be. Spa is a medium downforce circuit and it demands a lot of high speed stability of the car, as the average speed of the corners is quite high. It will be very important to find a confidence-inspiring car balance to extract the best lap time possible. The downforce levels of the track are in line with what we have in our car and I have a good relationship with the circuit as well, so I am really looking forward to driving the car for the time.”