2021 Belgian Grand Prix Race Preview Presented by Cognizant
“It has been nice to have a break and come back with maximum focus and determination for the second half of the year. Spa is always a home race of sorts for me because of my Belgian heritage. It is one of my favourite Grands Prix of the year, anything can happen in Spa!”
“I think every driver on the grid enjoys racing at Spa and it is definitely one of my favourite places to drive a Formula One car because of the layout and the special combination of corners. I have great memories of Spa, having won here in 2011, 2013 and 2018, so I can’t wait to get back on track.”
Cognizant’s Keys to the Race
- The start of the Belgian Grand Prix comes to life at the third-shortest run to Turn One on the calendar, followed by a heavy braking point into the hairpin. Drivers can make up plenty of ground, but it’s not the only opportunity to do so. Drivers surge downhill to Eau Rouge, and there’s slipstreaming and jostling all the way to the end of the Kemmel Straight.
- Overtaking is ever-present. There were 31 overtakes in the 2020 race after the first lap, and 87% of those were made using DRS. In the last three years, over 80% of those moves have been made on the Kemmel Straight.
- Strategy is varied at Spa Francorchamps because track position is less important than Hungary last time out. A fast car at the Belgian circuit can make up positions on track with relative ease, opening up varied multi-stop strategies to optimise on-track passing. The tyres are again the mid-range C2, C3 and C4 so stints can be extended, although reasonable degradation means longer stints are slower towards the end, meaning cars on fresher tyres gain an advantage.
- Safety Cars are a regular occurrence at Spa and have featured in each of the last five Grands Prix, but only one of those races also had a Virtual Safety Car period (2016). An early race interruption can be challenging for strategy because an extended second stint requires expert tyre management.