The Belgian Grand Prix is one of the most interesting and also romantic places during F1’s European tour. Spa is the legendary race, won by almost all the legends and an event which often brings memories for the older Formula One fans. It will be exciting to watch Sunday’s race, as Ferrari finally aims to challenge Mercedes seriously, with several upgrades done during this week.
Mercedes has a huge advantage over the Prancing Horse, and the German manufacturer displayed that constantly throughout the season. The Silver Arrows were very dominant so far, and except for Red Bull who occasionally showed up, they didn’t have any worthy opponent.
But when looking at the first two practice sessions held this Friday, it seems that Ferrari really kept their tempo of improvement. Over the last two Grand Prix’s we saw Vettel and Leclerc much more dangerous than before, and if weren’t for several unlucky situations, they could have reached the top spot on the podium.
Both Ferrari’s drivers held the top two positions following Friday’s sessions. Still, that doesn’t have to mean anything when the race starts, because we saw that Mercedes’ engineers in the pit lane won several races this year with their masterful tactics.
The German team probably has the best strategies in the entire caravan, and when we combine that with superb vehicles, the current situation is logical.
The track in the Ardennes is the longes one in the championship, and has long stretches, with slow curves which should be Ferrari’s advantage. Yet, that wasn’t the case today, as Mercedes had an edge when looking at the highest speed.
When studying at the history, apart from Vettel’s win last season, Silver Arrows triumphed there three times in a row before that. Hamilton has three victories here, Vettel also, and the veteran champion, Kimi Raikkonen four, which is the most of all the active drivers.
We didn’t forget Max Verstappen who told after the training that he feels that there is a lot of potential in his car. The young Dutchman is sure that he can make much better time. Red Bulls’ other driver Pierre Gasly has been demoted to Torro Rosso, and instead of him, Alexander Albon will be the second driver of the Austrian team.
What might be a problem for these two, is the fact that Red Bull might use the new power unit, meaning that they have to take a grid penalty, and to slip down for several places. But that is not sure.
Believe it or not, Leclerc is currently the No.1 favorite to win the race after today’s training. Now many believe that it is because of his excellent driving, but there is more to it. The driver from Monte Carlo dominated here last year, and took the pole position and won the race. Now, he looks very confident in his abilities, and we should have some trust in this talented lad. But we are not going to chase his win here, but instead, go slow and realistic. Leclerc to finish among the top three drivers is at 0.30.
We have one more suggestion, which is a bit riskier, but worthy of trying. Kimi Raikkonen to finish among top 6 places. The former champ is looking much better than at the start of the campaign and knows this track like a palm of his hand. Also, his Alfa seems to be solid and getting better and better, which is why odds at 1.6 look perfect for this recommendation.