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Ten teams and 20 drivers from 13 countries will hit the track at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on 26th
August 2018. The 13th
round of the 2018 Formula One
season is expected to be as close fought battle between reigning champion Lewis Hamilton and the man he just can’t seem to shake off his tail, Germany’s Sebastian Vettel.
Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps: Long, Quick and Treacherous
The action at the Spa takes place on a racing circuit saturated in notoriety. It’s long, quick and treacherous and plagued by unpredictable weather. Factor in some of the fastest corners in the sport and the Belgian Grand Prix is a race that has always generated fear… even in the bravest hearts of F1 racing.
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1960 Belgian GP: Formula One’s Deadly Dual
The Belgian track was the scene of one of the darkest days in the history of the sport. At the 1960 Belgian GP, the fabled British driver Stirling Moss and his compatriot Mike Taylor were involved in serious accidents during the practice rounds. Both survived but the crash ended Taylor’s career and Moss was out of racing for quite some time.
Later in the day two more British Drivers, Chris Bristow and Alan Stacey were fatally injured in separate incidents that happened at the same corner and only minutes apart. Bristow allegedly lost control of his car, hit an embankment and was beheaded by a section of barbed wire. According to spectators, Stacey was hit in the face by a bird and crashed into the same embankment, dying on impact.
Driver Boycott Driven by Extreme Fear
With a grisly total of 10 fatalities at the Spa, drivers boycotted the Belgian GP in 1969 and citied ‘extreme danger’ as the reason for pulling out of the race. Although safety barriers were erected in 1970, the erratic weather along the length of the course remains a red flag to this day.
Schumacher and Senna Tame the Track
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To date, the men who have tamed the track at Francorchamps are the legends of Formula One. The great Michael Schumacher has an unassailable lead of six wins in Belgium, while Ayrton Senna - the Brazilian racing genius who lost his life at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix - comes in a close second with five titles.
Will the New Pirelli Tyre Compounds Have an Impact on Race Day?
Pirelli debuted two new tyre compounds at the 2018 Monaco Grand Prix, the pink sidewall ‘hypersoft’ tyre and the orange sidewall ‘superhard’ compound.
With the erratic weather a key factor at the Spa will the news that the official tyre supplier can now provide compunds that are two steps apart make any difference to the race result? We’ll have to wait and see.
2018 Belgian GP Betting Odds
Defending champion Lewis Hamilton is having a flyer of a season. He’s bagged five races so far this year and has prevailed in Belgium on three occasions. The Brit has already stamped his mark on the championship and enters the race 24 points clear of Sebastian Vettel.
He won in the rain in Hockenheim and surprised many with his triumph over Vettel on the tortuously windy Hungaroring circuit. Despite his heroics Hamilton is snapping at the heels of the bookmakers’ favourite who at this point is Sebastian Vettel… but only by the smallest of margins.
Finn Kimi Raikkonen is tipped for a third-place podium finish, but some bookies are betting on Valterri Bottas instead.
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