Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Spa-Francorchamps, 2017

Eau Rouge is “eyes-closed flat-out now” – Verstappen

2017 Belgian Grand Prix

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Max Verstappen says Spa’s celebrated Eau Rouge corner will be a much less significant challenge for drivers in 2017.

“It’s eyes-closed flat-out now,” he told reporters in Belgium. “I think back in the day it was also more dangerous. Now there’s a bit more run-off. But it’s still a very nice corner to take.”

Spa-Francorchamps, 2017
Massa said Eau Rouge is ‘not very interesting’ now
Verstappen said sector two of the lap, which runs from Les Combes to Stavelot and includes corners like Pouhon and Fagnes, is the most demanding sequence on the track.

“I like the second sector where you have a lot of fast corners in a row,” he said during the pre-race press conference. “I think that’s the most beautiful corners to take.”

“At the end of the day Eau Rouge is very nice, the scenery is very nice, but it’s easy flat out at the moment.”

Felipe Massa agreed with Verstappen. “I think Eau Rouge will be not a corner that’s very interesting because it will be too easy for all of the drivers, all of the cars. More or less like a straight.

“But then when we get to the second sector it will be quite interesting. A lot of high-speed corners, quick changes of direction. That will be quite interesting and a good feeling for the drivers as well, like it was in Silverstone.”

Pirelli has brought its softest compound tyres for this weekend’s race and Red Bull has selected the most ultra-soft tyres, with nine sets per driver. Asked how well the tyres will hold up on one of the fastest tracks on the calendar Verstappen said: “I’ll tell you after tomorrow!”

“We just have to go out there and see how the balance of the car is, try some different tyres and we know the degradation and from there on we’ll go further into the weekend.” he added.

2017 Belgian Grand Prix

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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...

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24 comments on “Eau Rouge is “eyes-closed flat-out now” – Verstappen”

  1. In other news, the universe has booked Max Verstappen in for a crash at Eau Rouge this weekend.

    1. joe pineapples
      24th August 2017, 16:18

      hehe

    2. too good hahahaha…

    3. It would be beyond hilarious, although I’m not sure you really want to see a crash there, crashes there tend to be…. dramatic.

      1. Ask Kevin Magnussen

    4. Just like his dad in 1996. Though I think that wasn’t at Eau rouge,

  2. Don’t suppose he’ll dare Ricciardo to take it flat with him…

  3. In other news: Dutch media reports that 80.000 of the sold out crowd of 105.000 spectators on sunday are Dutch….

  4. “It’s eyes-closed flat-out now,”
    “At the end of the day Eau Rouge is very nice, the scenery is very nice,”

    He’s surely special Young Verstappen; able to enjoy the scenery with his eyes closed ;)

    1. hahahahahahahaha……

    2. OmarRoncal - Go Seb!!! (@)
      24th August 2017, 19:01

      That’s his mutant superpower… he also sees the track through Ricciardo’s car.

  5. I doubt it would ever happen, but I would love to see the middle section of Eau Rouge (I know the corners have different names, but I cannot remember them) have the apex moved left by just a metre (perhaps more if necessary) just to see the proper challenge.

    1. No runoff on that side though.

    2. @strontium It did actually used to be further over to the left:
      https://www.classicdriver.com/sites/default/files/styles/colorbox/public/article_images/12-eau-rouge.jpg
      https://youtu.be/CLWPANb8sHU?t=33s

      It was shifted over to the right when the current layout was built in 1979.

      1. @stefmeister People often forget that there actually used to be a hairpin there & that you can still see it as the tarmac is still there behind the barriers.

        https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Circuit+de+Spa-Francorchamps/@50.4425332,5.9729611,288m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x47c07b5c0460f737:0x78105e8819c35c0e!8m2!3d50.4369118!4d5.97205?hl=en

      2. Would be cool if the owners of the track would build another section of track alongside that follows the same or similar route to the original track, could use it for slower series or even for F1 to bring some more challenge.

  6. He’s obviously been asked if Eau Rouge is flat this year to which he’s responded that it’s very much flat and maybe a bit too easy now, I dont think hes just blurted this out to be arrogant. It will still be spectacular for us to see the speeds through there though AND if its so much easier then maybe we’ll see more action like that Webber / Alonso move from a few years back!

    1. @offdutyrockstar I really don’t think anybody is calling this statement “arrogant”…

      1. @mashiat I’m simply pointing out that 9/10 stories like this are based on a response to a question that was asked.

  7. It was like this before they cut back on downforce. Now they cars can produce a lot of downforce again it is natural that it will be easily flat in the dry. In the early 90s drivers used to say Blanchimont was a challenge to take flat, then it became easy and Eau Rough / Radillon was the biggest challenge. Now Pouhon?

  8. F1 has made the same mistake IndyCar made during the aero wars. Way too much down force! Eau Rough should not be flat, ever. Make them drive the damn cars!

    Fortunately IndyCar has corrected this problem for next years cars. Less down force, less turbulence, higher top speed, more overtaking, harder to drive…

    Will F1 follow suit?

    1. Don, even GT cars, which have relatively low downforce, find Eau Rouge to be an easy flat corner these days, and even in the past when the cars had less downforce, it was still a flat out corner.

      Also, since you bring it up, I thought that the Indycar series haven’t actually cut the total amount of downforce that the cars produce. They state that they have changed the balance of the car so a higher proportion of downforce comes from the floor, but I don’t think that they’ve cut the amount that the car produces overall.

      Fundamentally, for all the talk, the chassis is still the same – they’ve basically just used graphics designers to make the car look like a 1990’s Champ Car, knowing that the current nostalgia blinded fan base will lap it up in the way that you’ve just demonstrated.

  9. I really hope Max has a good weekend, not so much for him, but all his supporters that will attend.

  10. Max “bowling king” Verstappen will crash again into somebody! Who willbe this time?

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