Spa’s run-off changes will make it ‘safer but more challenging’

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In the round-up: Kevin Magnussen has a positive impression of the revisions made to Spa-Francorchamps since last year.

In brief

Magnussen praises Spa-Francorchamps changes

Although the circuit revisions to Spa-Francorchamps were not all made with Formula 1 directly in mind, some of the changes have captured the attention and praise of the drivers ahead of their first race at the track since the farcical 2021 Belgian Grand Prix.

Haas’s Magnussen, a winner at the track three times in the junior categories, thinks a different challenge will be posed to drivers by the adjustments to the circuit – including newly laid asphalt and new gravel traps – this weekend.

“I think it’s good to have gravel instead of Tarmac run-off as I feel it’s safer in some ways and it makes it easier in terms of track limits,” he said. “It makes it simpler and also a little more challenging as pushing the limits will have a bigger risk, which is a good thing I think.”

Schumacher’s race-winning Ferrari chassis sells for £5.26 million

The Ferrari F300 which Michael Schumacher drove to victory in the Canadian, French, British and Italian grands prix in 1998 was sold by RM Sotheby’s for $6.22 million (£5.26m) at its Monterey auction last weekend.

Chassis number 187 is the only one driven by Schumacher that was used for more than three races and won all of them. The new owner of the car not only has a highly elusive vehicle in their possession but will also get an exclusive visit to the ICM Paris Brain Institute and the Richard Mille Swiss watchmaking facilities in Les Breuleux, Switzerland as part of their purchase.

Girls on Track Rising Stars finalists named

The FIA Women in Motorsport Commission’s Girls on Track Rising Stars programme has completed its summer training camps at Paul Ricard and come to a decision on which eighth drivers will progress to the final at Ferrari’s Maranello headquarters in November.

Winfield Racing School ran the training camp, with sessions in Formula 4 cars and karts for the ‘Senior’ and ‘Junior’ drivers respectively. Combined with off-track assessments, the group was whittled down to four finalists in each category.

The ‘Senior’ finalists are F4 racers Chloe Grant and Aurelian Nobels, time attack regular Alice Buckley and junior karter Chloe Chong. They are competing for a paid-for seat in the Italian F4 championship next year and the chance to become a Ferrari junior driver. The inaugural winner Maya Weug is currently in her second season racing in F4 with Ferrari’s support.

The ‘Junior’ finalists all come from junior karting and are Lisa Billard, Zoe Florescu Potolea, Mathilda Paatz and Sara Mastui. A seat in an international karting championship in 2023, with possible Ferrari funding, is up for grabs for this group.

FIA announces new director of communications and public affairs

A former political chief of staff will join the FIA this October as its new director of communications and public affairs.

Luke Skipper comes into the role having previously been the Scottish National Party’s chief of staff in the UK parliament through its recent national election successes and in the private sector he was director of public affairs for major communications company Weber Shandwick which has motorsport connections via its work with the now defunct A1GP series.

His FIA role will include a focus on growing “social media and digital engagement” in motorsport as well as using his political expertise to ‘enhance the FIA’s lobbying capability’.

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Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

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Comment of the day

Max Verstappen’s first taste of the revised Spa layout in an old Red Bull Formula 1 car attracted comments about the track, but also about the Red Bull RB7 from 2011, mocked up in a 2022 livery, that he was driving.

I wish Red Bull would have a white livery for these older cars. The Red Bull cars are always quite beautiful in form; a true work of art. It is a shame the livery doesn’t let one see this beauty in pictures.Johns

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Andrew White, Hlahalasas, Lord Stig and Mcl88Asap!

Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching photography back in the UK. Currently based...

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9 comments on “Spa’s run-off changes will make it ‘safer but more challenging’”

  1. Eric Boullier as Hyundai’s world rally works team TP? Such a move would be weird, although WRC people have moved to F1, so the other way round wouldn’t necessarily be any different feeling-wise.

    I don’t care what specific livery gets used for an old car unless it’s the original one, which would be doable without former sponsor logos.

  2. Ah yes, no more cheating your way to the win like Raikkonen did in 2009.

    1. @armchairexpert Cheating? He would’ve won that season’s race anyway.
      Hamilton similarly left the track at the La Source exit on the 2007 race opening lap, as did Seb in 2019.

      1. @armchairexpert, @jerejj – That was when the force india was on pole, yes Kimi did it twice to overtake and win Spa with the rules Now he was forced to give the places back as he gained a advance when leaving the track.

        1. @macleod While his off-track excursion(s) may have helped him pass into Les Combes through speed & momentum advantage, he would’ve most likely passed Fisichella for the lead & eventual win later anyway.

          1. In 2009 Raikkonen entered La Source in 5th position, but because he had no intention of staying within white lines, floored the throttle and cheated his way using asphalt run-off, he exited the corner in 3rd place, illegally overtaking Heidfeld and Trulli off the track. Disgusting bit of cheating, which when you look at it objectively was way worse than what Hamilton did the year before. Force India and Fisichella were robbed of great victory that day.

          2. @jerejj – I agree with @armchairexpert on this he started 5th went outside the track to gain postion to second and did the same in the second start (not sure if it was a safetycar thing or not otherwise he would never overtake Fisichella as they were just quicker then the rest. It was only because taking the run-off he could stay near Fisicella en overtake him on the straight. After that it was over as FI didn’t want to gamble on losing a great result.

  3. In response to the photo; those ’97-’99 Jordans were pretty impressive considering the big manufacturer involvement at the time. Also: racing in the rain!

  4. Comment of the day. Thank you.

    Hope it comes to something positive!

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