New grandstand overlooking La Source under construction at Spa

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In the round-up: New grandstands overlooking the run down the hill from La Source to Eau Rouge are under construction at the Spa-Francorchamps ahead of next year’s racing calendar.

In brief

New grandstand overlooking La Source under construction at Spa

Spa, which hosts the Belgian Grand Prix, received a major renovation over the last off-season to address safety concerns at some of its most challenging corners and install new grandstands at the top of Raidillon. A new grandstand overlooking the endurance pit lane used for the annual Spa 24 Hours sportscar race is currently being built to add around 7,000 new seats to the circuit.

The Spa event promoters signed a new deal this year ensuring its race will return on the 2023 F1 calendar, but the future of the Belgian Grand Prix beyond next season remains in question.

Magnussen receives Lorenzo Bandini Trophy

Haas driver Kevin Magnussen received the Lorenzo Bandini Trophy this weekend after being awarded the prize earlier this year.

The award, first awarded in 1992, is dedicated to the late Formula 1 driver Lorenzo Bandini, who raced with Ferrari and won the 1964 Austrian Grand Prix before he was tragically killed during the 1967 Monaco Grand Prix. The trophy is awarded to a figure within Formula 1 chosen by a committee who has demonstrated notable proficiency during the previous year.

Magnussen’s team principal, Guenther Steiner, received the medal of the Senate of the Italian Republic.

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Browning named BRDC Young Driver of the Year

GB3 champion Luke Browning will receive a Formula 1 test with Aston Martin after he was named this year’s BRDC Young Driver of the Year.

Browning claimed this year’s GB3 championship after taking five race wins, five pole positions and 13 podium finishes over 24 rounds this season. The 20-year-old beat W Series champion Jamie Chadwick, Indy Pro 2000 champion Louis Foster and FIA Formula 3 driver Ollie Bearman.

Previous winners of the award include Jenson Button, Paul di Resta, George Russell and Lando Norris.

Lawson, Bolukbasi handed Super Formula test runs

Red Bull junior driver Liam Lawson and fellow F2 racer Cem Bolukbasi will both have the opportunity to test a Japanese Super Formula car during this week’s official test at Suzuka.

Lawson, who ran three Friday practice sessions in this year’s Formula 1 championship – two with AlphaTauri and one with Red Bull – will participate in the two day test with Honda team Mugen, while the team Bolukbasi will drive with is yet to be determined.

Lawson finished third in the F2 standings in his second season this year, taking four race wins. Bolukbasi scored no points over the 16 races he started and was replaced at Charouz by Tatiana Calderon for budgetary reasons.

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Social media

Notable posts from Twitter, Instagram and more:

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Comment of the day

With F1 teams actively asking race control whether they need to give back positions gained or retained by running off track, @Keithedin thinks there’s a little too much leeway offered by the current rules…

I don’t think I like this passive approach of letting the teams decide whether to consult with race control or not, because that gives them choice of either yielding the position or just taking the penalty. That means they can choose the least damaging option for themselves, regardless of how it affects the opposition. If they think the position is worth more than five seconds, then they can just pull out the five seconds gap and therefore benefit from the illegal overtake – note Verstappen’s comments at the end of Bahrain 2021 where he wanted to do that rather than yield. And this would be even more applicable on other circuits, especially Monaco where overtaking is as good as impossible so one overtake could make or break your race.

I think they should go back to having race control instruct teams to give back the position, and only resort to time penalties in situations where this isn’t possible.
Keith Campbell (@Keithedin)

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Author information

Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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10 comments on “New grandstand overlooking La Source under construction at Spa”

  1. The La Source Grandstand is a bid that is going to help Spa keep its slot in the F1 calendar post-2023. Not that I’m complaining about it, Spa is an untouchable circuit.

  2. I’m surprised this new grandstand didn’t get built in time for this year’s Belgian GP like the one at Raidillon.
    Well, only one-time use for F1, given the Belgian GP’s likely drop after next season.

  3. Re CotD.
    The role of the FIA isn’t to give hints and tips or a bit of nudge nudge wink wink – it’s to apply and enforce the rules, and impose penalties for breaches. A friendly “I think you should probably give that place back so we don’t have to resort to the rule book” is not at all how any sport should be run. Least of all this one.
    The rule book should be heavy and solid, and thrown very hard at anyone who disrespects it.

    As for the teams gambling on penalties – if the penalty isn’t sufficient, then it’s totally worth gambling, isn’t it…
    If the penalty was harsher (ie a drive through) then it probably wouldn’t usually be worth the gamble.

    1. Yes, that’s what I was saying. The hard and fast rule being ‘if you perform an illegal overtake, you MUST return the position immediately’. This restores the cars to the correct running order and allows racing to continue. It doesn’t leave room for the teams gaming the system to minimise their penalty.

      The current method is the wishy-washy approach because it allows the teams to choose their own penalty, and the FIA simply say ‘well, if you don’t return the position you’ll get a 5 second penalty, but it’s up to you.’

      Increasing the penalty for such breaches would mitigate the problem such that it might become a non-issue, but it doesn’t actually address the fact that the team shouldn’t be allowed to choose the punishment.

      1. The hard and fast rule being ‘if you perform an illegal overtake, you MUST return the position immediately’.

        I’m actually OK with the teams gambling on the outcome of the stewards investigation. If they redress, no investigation necessary (as the advantage has been relinquished) – but if they maintain the advantage, then the stewards run their investigation.
        The result of that investigation is whatever it is. Race on or penalty.

        What I’m not OK with is the suggestion from the FIA that they should redress before the stewards investigation.
        The FIA can’t remain impartial while simultaneously helping the competitors to avoid penalties.

    2. The rule book should be heavy and solid, and thrown very hard at anyone who disrespects it.

      Bang on. Sadly, as the governing body themselves have demonstrated over the past two years, that’s far from the case.

  4. Re: COTD

    I’ve always hated the 5 second penalty – it’s the classic example of naive theory not working in practice. 5 seconds for cutting a corner or running someone off the road is simply a price worth paying.

    One of max’s great skillsets is pushing the regulations like Schumacher and Senna before him. Whether it was the late moves in the braking zone early in his career or the axle to axle contact mid career he’s exploited the spirit of the rules. Most of his defending in 2021 looked to me to be centred on the idea that “the penalty won’t fit the crime”.

    Other examples like Vettel Canada 2019 – five seconds was correct to the rulebook but would anyone really have issued a drive through for it?

    5 second penalties are fine for an unsafe release; where there is really no huge loss and a bit of an innocent mistake – but as soon as the result can be calculated, it was liable to abuse. I think racing incidents with a obvious guilty party should start at 15s with 3 track limit violations at 10s – let’s encourage respect for the history of the rules.

  5. Oh, good to hear about the grandstand. That mound of dirt there this year was very disturbing.
    At least they did not touch the covered grandstand that has been there forever.
    That’s a Spa landmark!

  6. Should have built it over the chicane…

    1. Coventry Climax
      6th December 2022, 23:55

      And ruin the view for everyone else?

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