Ready for lights out on the second part of Formula One 2011?

Posted on August 23, 2011


Formula One is poised to return from its summer break to arguably the greatest track on the calendar.

Spa is a wonderful rollercoaster. Credit: Red Bull/Getty

Spa holds a special place for many Formula One fans. We almost always see a spectacular race on the old Belgian circuit and, even though it has arguably been neutered by modern aerodynamics, it still represents a rare challenge for the drivers.

It’s one of the tracks where the driver can make a difference. Fisichella’s second place for Force India in 2009 will live long in the memory.

The addition of complex weather almost always adds another element to the excitement too. It will rain at some point this weekend but nobody can predict when and what the impact will be.

And there seems plenty to look forward too in the 2011 vintage as Formula One comes back from the summer break. It’s been a curious season so far and it is worth pausing to take stock.

We’ve seen blistering races since lights out in Australia. There has been a feast of overtaking and a lot of close running at the front. And yet Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull find themselves with virtually insurmountable leads in both championships. It was an extraordinary run for the world champions in the first part of the season.

Red Bull had arguably been caught up in the past couple of races. Both McLaren and Ferrari are there or there abouts and in Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button there are three drivers who will likely take victories again this year.

Unfortunately that gifts Vettel a second title but we should see some amazing racing on the road to Brazil.

The weekend will be a special one for Michael Schumacher too. It is 20 years since he made his debut at this circuit. It’s been an incredible career and if the seven time champion ever deserved a result in his comeback it is here, this weekend.

It is not beyond the realms of possibility either: Mercedes have a limited package but this is a special track, with unique characteristics. Stranger things have happened.

For others there is work to do. It appears Bruno Senna is to be given a chance in the Renault, with reports suggesting he may be about to take Nick Heidfeld’s seat for the rest of the season. Renault have slipped backwards this year and Heidfeld has not offered the leadership the team needed in Robert Kubica’s absence. But I can’t see Senna doing it, nor team mate Vitaly Petrov.

And at the back, it is time Team Lotus begin to fulfill their potential. They may not score points this season but I’m hoping they bring a solid upgrade after the break. The team deserves to break out of the backmarking trio and they have not lived up to their hopes and expectations at the start of the season.

There are eight races to go and there are three winning cars on the grid. Time to fire up The Chain.

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