PREVIEW

2017 Belgium Grand Prix

A guide to the circuit of Spa-Francorchamps from Daniil
2017 Belgian Grand Prix schedule
2017 Belgian Grand Prix schedule
Spa-Francorchamps is a legendary circuit, one of the most famous on the F1 calendar and I think that both the fans and the drivers always anticipate the Belgian Grand Prix.
Spa-Francorchamps circuit map and Daniil Kvyat's form
Spa-Francorchamps circuit map and Daniil Kvyat's form
Key sections of the circuit

Eau Rouge (2,3) is the most famous corner, but nowadays it's not as challenging as it used to be in the past. In the dry, we drive through it without lifting the accelerator, so as we do it in Blanchimont (16) in the 3rd sector of the circuit. This year we have even more downforce which means that nailing these turns should be even easier. However, when it's raining or when you drive with a full tank in the first phase of the race, these two corners would still be quite difficult for the drivers.

Anyway, these turns taken with a gas pedal fully pressed mean that we're constantly accelerating through two quite lengthy parts of the track. This fact should be considered when setting up the car, as you should make an accent on high top speed but at the same time keep in mind that the most important sector of the circuit is the second one, where there are quite a few high-speed corners where downforce is vital.

A double-left Pouhon (10,11) corner is important, but the combination of the 8th and 9th turns located on the descent has, even more, influence on the lap time. It is a very technical section, where many lines are possible, and the perfect one is always changing depending on the conditions. There you should always be searching for the line with more grip.

Another key section of the track is the last chicane, the so-called Bus Stop (18,19). We're approaching it at max speed, and then there's a very heavy braking. You need to be careful not to lock the wheels and not to miss the apex there.
F1 car setup and tire choice of Daniil Kvyat
F1 car setup and tire choice of Daniil Kvyat
Approach to the car setup

Downforce level: when it's dry, typically you would opt for medium or even low downforce settings to reduce the drag. The second sector is important, but the straights in Spa are too long to be ignored.

Suspension settings: the surface is quite smooth, but the suspension travel in Eau Rouge is so significant, that you should be looking for a compromise for this only corner. This fact automatically means that the car would not be tuned well for the rest of the track, but there's no other option.

Tire wear: it would be intense because the asphalt is abrasive and this year we're about to use quite soft compounds. It could become the decisive factor during the race.