Spa: Big warning to Pirelli drivers

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Pirelli has warned Formula 1 teams ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix that the track at Spa-Francorchamps has undergone a number of changes since its last race in 2021, and this could be a significant issue for weekend racing.

Since the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix, work has been undertaken on the famous Belgian track, including the addition of some gravel traps and the modification of the Raidillon. The work to obtain the dual FIA/FIM homologation which allows the return of motorcycle endurance racing to Spa-Francorchamps has continued throughout the winter, and although the track itself has changed very little, it is now much safer for pilots.

But according to Pirelli, the addition of gravel traps will present new challenges for Formula 1 drivers this weekend, not least because the pieces of gravel are very sharp and some of them could end up on the track if the one of the pilots crosses the limits of the runway. .

The corners affected are 1, 6, 7 and 9, but there are also sharp edges near the concrete curbs that motorists will need to pay particular attention to.

“The changes to the layout of Spa this year are among the most significant that have been made to the circuit in the modern era of Formula 1,” said Mario Isola, F1 director of Pirelli, ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix.

“However, we have some elements to predict what to expect, thanks to the 24 Hours [of Spa] organized this month – our biggest event in terms of number of people and tires – and thanks to some samples of asphalt that we took from the track.

“Five corners have been redone, and on four curves gravel escape routes have been added which are now much closer to the edge of the track,

“Drivers will have to be more careful of the edges of the track and the sharp fragments of gravel that could end up on the track. In any case, the charm of a circuit like Spa has remained intact, and all the challenges that have always made so fascinating are still there.

For this fourteenth round of the 2022 season, Pirelli has made its C2, C3 and C4 tires available to the teams. The asphalt is new between turns 2 and 4, and between turns 8 and 9: irregularities have been smoothed out and grip has improved compared to last year, according to the sole manufacturer of F1, while with its particularly high side loads, Spa is one of the most demanding circuits of the year for tyres.

The famous Raidillon is just one of the areas where the tires are subjected to various forces on the 7 km long track.

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