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Leclerc: First laps at Spa always physically demanding

  • Published on 28 Aug 2019 11:46
  • comments 1
  • By: Fergal Walsh

Charles Leclerc says the opening laps to every weekend at Spa-Francorchamps are always physically demanding before the body adjusts to the circuit.

Arguably the most thrilling complex on the track is the Eau Rouge/Radillion section, which sees drivers climb uphill, compressing the car.

Leclerc has driven at Spa just once in a Formula 1 car, last year when he raced for Sauber - however he failed to complete a racing lap as he was involved in a spectacular first corner crash with Nico Hulkenberg and Fernando Alonso. 

The venture to Spa marks the traditional end to the summer break, with Leclerc keen to get back underway. 

"Spa-Francorchamps is one of the greatest race tracks in the world and one of the most beautiful that we race on in Formula 1," Leclerc said. "So it makes starting racing again after the summer break even more enjoyable.

"It’s always impressive when you realise just how fast the current Formula 1 cars can go through the corners and at no other track is that perception so obvious. I’m thinking particularly of the uphill esses at Eau Rouge.

"The first time you get a look at it, you realise how narrow and steep it is. Well, in the dry, it’s flat, despite the compression and other aspects making it particularly demanding physically, especially in the first few laps.

"With each passing lap, your neck gets used to it, your brain takes it all on board and it becomes a corner like any other, trying to get the most out of it to help with the rest of the lap, but it is still a unique section of track.

"And there are plenty of others key points at Spa, which is why it is so important to get all the key sections absolutely right to produce the best possible performance on the first qualifying lap. That’s also because it is a particularly long lap and having to abort one can upset your timetable for that part of the session.”

Ferrari is yet to win a race this season, but could find itself closer to achieving a victory at Spa this weekend and Monza next time out - two circuits that reward strong straight-line speed. 

Replies (1)

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  • I believe him, Spa is a fun track to drive around in games, but lord knows it'd likely be scare to drive around there IRL at full speed. Same goes for Suzuka: love the track, but even in games that is a scary place to drive around at full speed... I kinda guess that's why I love it.

    • + 0
    • Aug 28 2019 - 20:10

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