Eau Rouge may not be flat-out any more – Sutil

2014 Belgian Grand Prix

Posted on

| Written by

F1 cars may not be able to take the famous Eau Rouge corner at Spa-Francorchamps at full throttle, according to Adrian Sutil.

The reduced downforce on the 2014 cars has reduced cornering speeds and led to slower lap times this year. Sutil suspects that due to the reduction in grip drivers may have to back off for the high-speed Eau Rouge sweep.

“Eau Rouge is one of my favourite corners,” he said, “and this year it will be difficult to go flat out due to less downforce”.

“With the new cars we will have more top speed and less grip, so it will be interesting to see how it will be to drive under these conditions,” he added.

“Regarding the set-up, there are two variations: Either you are fast in sector two and relatively slow on the straights or vice versa. Both set-ups can result in the same lap time.”

However Sauber reserve driver Giedo van der Garde doesn’t expect the corner, one of the most famous in F1, will require a lift.

“With this year’s new Formula One cars I believe we will have more top speed on the straights, but less downforce in comparison to 2013. I think Eau Rouge and Blanchimont will still be flat out.”

Van der Garde will drive Esteban Gutierrez’s car during the first practice session at Spa on Friday.

2014 Belgian Grand Prix

Browse all 2014 Belgian Grand Prix articles

Image © Force India

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

47 comments on “Eau Rouge may not be flat-out any more – Sutil”

  1. In some ways having to lift will make it more interesting. Drivers will have to judge it more, and there is a higher chance of them making mistakes.

  2. Maybe in your Sauber, Adrian, but I expect a Red Bull or a Mercedes will take it flat-out and take that advantage down to Les Combes. In fact Red Bull, with there 2 second a lap engine disadvantage (or so Horner will tell you), may have it easier than Mercedes with less horsepower to wrestle with.

    1. Nah, you always want more power. You underestimate driver’s ability to judge the limit of grip. Take last corner in barcelona. RB was flat troughout with their underpowered renault, whereas merc wasn’t flat until they straightened up the car. Exit speed was the same, or marginally higher for merc, despite not being flat. RB was flat during the race, merc wasn’t in qualifying. That’s renault power (or lack of) in action.
      Same stuff in china’s super long right hander leading onto back straight. RB flat almost immediately, merc not until corner exit, yet still carrying same speed (or more).
      RB might be the only car to go flat trough eau rouge. Merc certainly won’t.

  3. Matt (@hamiltonfan1705)
    18th August 2014, 9:47

    This would be great if eau rouge can become a proper corner again

    1. not sure what youve been watching, but its been a bloody good corner that last few years.

      I still remember as clear as yesterday Webber on the outside of Alonso through Eua Rouge. The first time i’d yelled at the TV for a long time for F1, and heart in mouth stuff. I cant think of a better corner in F1

      1. Agreed, I think Alonso has been on the inside going downhill to eau rouge a few times and win the corner playing chicken.

  4. I’m pretty sure (ok guessing) it will be flat or maybe a downshift, but not that different, GT cars do it flat and they are heavy and have way less downforce, F1 cars tend to bring less downforce here anyway and still take it flat, at one point RedBull could do it flat with DRS open, so I doubt it will change for some cars, maybe at the beginning of the year they couldn’t but by now I think they will have enough to take it flat or close to flat. I may eat my words though :)

    1. WRONG! DRS was never allowed trough eau rouge, even in 2011 and 12, same as monaco tunnel. And downshifting does not equal flat in my book.

      1. True it was banned before because they didn’t want people to risk it, although I think it would have been possible to go through there without it. Either way we will see whether they use it or not, its not far now.

      2. @f1fan123
        I think they were letting them do eau rouge with DRS during qualifying at one point, so maybe RB did take it flat out with DRS???

        1. They didn’t. DRS trough eau rouge was not allowed by fia even when unlimited use was permitted during qually.

    2. They could do Blanchimont with the DRS open I think. They were also one of the few teams to do 130R with it open in 2012.

      1. and 2011.

  5. If the statement is true, I’m confident we will se the race of the year from Raikkonen. So many times in the past, when everybody else had to lift he was able to somehow to go almost full throttle, get closer and overtake on the straight. Can’t wait for that.

    1. I’d like to see Raikkonen’s revival in Spa. Average driver can’t win in Spa 4 times, the same as Senna. Just hope he doesn’t encounter any problems.

    2. Kimi is a bit magical through Eau Rouge, indeed. I guess it’s a corner that repays a Kimi/Jenson kind of turn-in rather than a Nando/Lewis style.

      I do hope they’ve got that Ferrari front end working for him at last. You’d think with James Allison there they’d have done it by now.

    3. Or he could take it flat and it could go horrible wrong with the questionable drive ability of that F14 and he could crash.

  6. Chris (@tophercheese21)
    18th August 2014, 10:50

    If they do have to lift then it’s good because it’ll mean that the reduction in downforce has made Eau Rouge more of a corner again, rather than just a sort of exciting straight with risks.

  7. I’m pretty sure on the F1 show this week they showed Hamilton driving Spa on the simulator (albeit probably filmed preseason) and he said he had to lift through Eau Rouge.

    Granted, if that was filmed preseason they’ve improved the car since then, so may be flat now through there.

    1. As pointed out above by @f1fan123, that may simply be because the Mercedes engine is so much more powerful than particularly the Renault.

    2. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Hamilton was instructed to take it slightly easy in his simulator lap and therefore not reveal the full potential of the car – it is something that Red Bull have occasionally done too, whereby they could actually corner faster and harder in real life than they were prepared to show in their simulator sessions.

    3. I don’t think he would reveal whether they can take it flat or not, and Im pretty sure the simulator videos are prerecorded in the beginning of the season so the car would def be better than when they recorded the sim videos.

  8. Maybe you can’t take it flat out

    1. hahaha!

  9. I just can’t wait for Monza…

  10. A shame that even drivers can’t call this corner by its correct name anymore.

      1. When talking about the right-hander leading uphill (which is the case here), the correct name is Raidillon.
        Eau Rouge is only the short left-hand kink at the bottom.

        1. But the whole complext (what is it? Three corners) is popularly called Eau Rouge.

          1. I don’t dispute that it is “popularly” called that. It used to be Eau Rouge and the Raidillon, but somewhere along the way, I think by British reporting, it morfed into Eau Rouge. That’s exactly what I find a shame. The Raidillon deserves to be called by its name.

            Sorry. Pet peeve of mine.

          2. @mattds I always thought Radillion was just the top part of the corner turning left.

          3. @philereid: the top part turning left is actually unnamed.

          4. @mattds The more you know eh.

    1. At least he didn’t call it Turn 3…

  11. Well you can’t take it flat-out Sutil, because you drive an F1 car as badly as I would. You, Gutierrez, Maldonado and Ericsson are about as good at taking Eau Rouge as an 85-year old pensioner who has no interest in motorsport or a 6-year old child. I expect one of these four drivers (especially Maldonado) to crash there or take out another driver.

    1. @ultimateuzair Personally I would put my money on Maldonado crashing into somebody at Les Combes or the bus stop.

      1. He covered bus stop last year with di Resta and Sutil. He might want to try new territory this year. That said, he wasn’t stopped last year after he took out a Marussia in 2012, so maybe that is his favourite spot.

  12. Lewisham Milton
    18th August 2014, 16:48

    Gutierrez will be sitting out second practice then, while his car’s being repaired…
    This reminds me of 1999, and Villeneuve and Zonta trying to take it flat in a car that didn’t fancy it.

  13. I’m tipping Williams to do really well here. It’ll be interesting to see also who has had the most productive summer – past seasons would seem to indicate Red Bull will make advances, but I’m somewhat skeptical that will become obvious until Singapore, such is the power deficit of the Renault versus the Mercedes.

  14. Massa on Spa: “I won here in 2008 and so I know what it takes to win.”

    We all know who really won that race.

    1. Hahaha ha basically came 3rd that race.

      Still, a win is a win whether you agree or not.

      1. That comment is so laughable though – knowing how to win does not constitute relying on controversial driver penalties!

        1. The penalty was right. Not sure how much better that is for Massa, though, as he still relied on others.

    2. The thought behind the penalty was that by cutting the corner he ended up closer to Kimi than he would have had he actually gone through the corner.
      They looked at the timing & GPS data as well as Hamilton’s speed/throttle traces which helped them reach that conclusion.

      Its also often ignored that when asked about it every other driver on the grid besides Kovalainen & Sutil agreed with the penalty & that in the driver briefing at Monza there was majority agreement that the FIA should continue using that as one of the things looked at when deciding if an advantage was gained by missing chicanes.

  15. Andre Lotterer linked to Caterham F1 drive for Belgian GP 2014.

  16. Did the backmarker teams go flatout through the eau rouge?

Comments are closed.