Have all the important information for this weekend?óÔé¼Ôäós Belgian Grand Prix at your fingertips with the F1 Fanatic race programme:
The race weekend
2011 Belgian Grand Prix preview – Spa promises close fight at classic track
What F1 Fanatics say about… Spa – Thoughts on the venue from the people who know what it’s really like
2011 F1 championship points – Full drivers and teams points standings heading into this weekend’s race.
Bruno Senna has taken Nick Heidfeld’s place at Renault:
The following changes to the usual driver line-up will be made for first practice only:
Nico H?â??lkenberg will drive Adrian Sutil’s car at Force India.
Pirelli have brought the medium (white) and soft tyres (yellow) for this weekend’s race.
Spa-Francorchamps features some of the most demanding corners for tyres, as shown in this video:
Nigel Mansell is the drivers’ adviser to the stewards for this weekend’s race.
The 1992 world champion joins Swiss motor club president Paul Gutjahr and Italian Motor Sport Commission member Paolo Longoni on the stewards’ panel.
Spa is the longest and, in the opinion of several drivers, best track on the calendar.
The drivers spend much of the early part of the lap flat-out, including the hair-raising plunge and crest of Eau Rouge. Mercedes explain the particular challenges of this famous piece of tarmac:
Le Raidillon de l?óÔé¼ÔäóEau Rouge is reduced to three simple corner numbers on the official map of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit: turns two, three and four.
Turn two, the left-hand kink which crosses the bridge over the creek named Eau Rouge, is taken at 306 kph, with a lateral G-force of 2.4G; turn three, the right-handed uphill sweep, at 303 kph with a lateral G-force of 4G; and turn four, the left-hander over the crest, at 296 kph with a lateral G-force of 2G.
The cars also undergo significant vertical loadings through this section: a vertical force of -1.7G in the compression at the bottom of the hill and +1G over the crest. Although the section is taken flat-out, the cars lose approximately 10 kph through the sequence.
The series of corners is 535m long (7.6% of the lap distance) and is negotiated in 6.4s (6.1% of the 2010 pole time). The sequence from La Source to Les Combes, including the Raidillon, lasts for 23.5s and is the longest full throttle sequence of the entire season.
This upward vertical acceleration of 1G effectively means the car is weightless as it goes over the crest; contact with the road is therefore assured by downforce alone, and not the weight of the car. However, at such speeds, the downforce generated is approximately 2.5 times car weight.
The drivers return to the start line by way of a second long, flat-out blast. Before that they tackle the high-speed challenges of Pouhon and Blanchimont:
The other major high-speed challenges are Blanchimont (turn 17), which is taken flat-out at over 300 kph; and the double left-hander at Pouhon (turns 10 and 11), which are taken in fifth gear at 240 kph, with a lateral G-force of 3.75G. Pouhon is the longest corner on the circuit, lasting for a total of 7.8 seconds.
There are no significant changes to the configuration of the circuit this year. However the run-off at Rivage (where Lewis Hamilton went off during last year’s race) has been changed from gravel to asphalt.
FIA confirms Eau Rouge DRS ban at Spa – The FIA says it isn’t safe to use DRS at Eau Rouge.
FIA confirms DRS zone restrictions for Spa – Drivers can use DRS on the Kemmel straight during the race.
Changing tracks: Spa-Francorchamps – How Spa has changed since it hosted a race in the first year of the world championship.
Spa-Francorchamps ?óÔé¼ÔÇ£ circuit information – Detailed track data including pit lane time loss, fastest laps and more.
Weather forecasts for Spa-Francorchamps are reliably unreliable. Rain showers can develop with little notice.
Rain is expected on Friday but the current forecasts say it will clear up after then:
2011 Belgian Grand Prix weather forecast – Wet start to Belgian Grand Prix weekend
Following the race live
F1 Fanatic Live will be open for your comments during every session.
Join us for every lap of the race, qualifying and practice at these times:
Friday 26th August 2011
Belgian Grand Prix Free Practice 1: 10:00-11:30 (UK time: 9:00-10:30)
Belgian Grand Prix Free Practice 2: 14:00-15:30 (UK time: 13:00-14:30)
Saturday 27th August 2011
Belgian Grand Prix Free Practice 3: 11:00-12:00 (UK time: 10:00-11:00)
Belgian Grand Prix Qualifying: 14:00 (UK time: 13:00)
Sunday 28th August 2011
Belgian Grand Prix: 14:00 (UK time: 13:00)
More session times and live coverage details here:
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2010 Belgian Grand Prix highlights
Mark Webber started from pole position but he was swamped at the first corner by Lewis Hamilton, Robert Kubica and Jenson Button.
He recovered to finish second behind Hamilton, while the other McLaren was taken out by Sebastian Vettel.
Kubica slipped to third after making a mistake during his pit stop. Fernando Alonso failed to score after crashing out of eighth place during a rain shower.
2010 Belgian Grand Prix review – Hamilton wins wet-weather thriller in Spa
Vettel apologises for Button crash – “I?óÔé¼Ôäóm sorry, obviously it was not my intention to destroy his race or mine.”
Previous Belgian Grands Prix
2009 Belgian Grand Prix: Kimi Raikkonen edges Giancarlo Fisichella for win
2008 Belgian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton is moral victor in Spa thriller
2007 Belgian Grand Prix: Raikkonen’s hat-track
2005 Belgian Grand Prix: Raikkonen wins rain-hit race
1999 Belgian Grand Prix: Coulthard holds Hakkinen back
1981 Belgian Grand Prix: F1?óÔé¼??s fiasco at Zolder
Join in the 2011 F1 Fanatic Predictions Championship
There’s F1 races tickets DVDs and more to be won. Play for free by guessing the top five in each race.
You can enter and edit your predictions up to the start of qualifying on Saturday:
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