Spa-Francorchamps - the Racing Mystery
This Grand-Prix is usually the highlight of every Formula 1 season - simply as it is one of the few remaining driver's races. The circuit in the small hills of Belgium is considered for nearly F1 driver as one of the most challenging and fun race. The famous curve "Eau Rouge" is bringing the drivers courage to a certain limit when you gear through that massive uphill curve with over 320 km/h. The weather always plays a crucial role and can never be planned. There is only other circuit during the current racing calendar that has a similar legendary meaning which is Monaco - the Grand Prix of Monte Carlo - the most famous city race in one of the richest towns on Earth. Different topic.
Formula 1 - one of my favourite sports apart from Football (for the US citizens - you call it soccer). As a young kid I was always watching F1 - even in times when no drivers from Germany did race there - way before the time of Michael Schumacher - in Germany it always played an important sports role. When F1 started it used to be the Mercedes Benz Silberpfeile (silver arrows) that dominated F1. Germany had two racing circuits during the F1 season (changed unfortunately since the F! become only a business and went to strange places). The car manufacturer (Mercedes) took a long break until they returned. It took them a while to be successful again, several years, but as we all know they are now again the dominating team with Lewis Hamilton.
Qualifying yesterday - Mercedes on Pole position again
Lewis was able again to race to pole position ahead of my fellow countryman Sebastian Vettel driving Ferrari. Vettel had to win to reduce the gap behind Lewis Hamilton - if Lewis would have won - the championship nearly decided. But.... (read about the results later).
Back to the mystery Eau Rouge
This curve (or better combination) is really the most famous one in Formula 1 - it either frightens you or it makes you to become a champion. The Eau Rouge / Raidillon combination lets drivers race down a straight to the point where the track crosses the Eau Rouge stream for the first time, before being launched steeply uphill into a sweeping left-right-left collection of corners with a blind summit. It is a wild ride and a historic combination introduced backed in 1939 already. Former world Champion Fernando Alonso explained it this way (Source Wikipedia):
"You come into the corner downhill, have a sudden change [of direction] at the bottom and then go very steep uphill. From the cockpit, you cannot see the exit and as you come over the crest, you don't know where you will land. It is a crucial corner for the timed lap, and also in the race, because you have a long uphill straight afterwards where you can lose a lot of time if you make a mistake. But it is also an important corner for the driver's feeling. It makes a special impression every lap, because you also have a compression in your body as you go through the bottom of the corner. It is very strange – but good fun as well."
The Race today
It was a fab race indeed and my crossded fingers for Ferrari and Sebastian Vettel paid off - We won lol Sebastian took the lead straight (after 3 curves) after the start and won this special race in the yearly calendar of racing.