McLaren at the 2013 Formula One Belgian Grand PrixEnlarge Photo
The 4.35-mile track is the longest of the season and is a challenge for drivers and cars alike. Over 70 percent is taken at maximum throttle, which is tough for drivers but particularly so for engines that need to deliver good top end power, drivability and responsiveness to negotiate Spa’s 19 corners.
Weather is often very changeable at Spa and although early forecasts show a chance of rain during Sunday’s race, with a peak temperature of 72 degrees F (22 degrees C), this can quickly change. Also, given the length of the circuit there is an added challenge in selecting tires in changeable conditions as certain parts of the circuit can be more wet than others.
Pirelli is bringing its P Zero Orange hard and P Zero White medium compounds, which cope well with the high speeds and significant energy loadings that characterize Spa. Just in case, the Cinturato Green intermediate and Cinturato Blue wets will also be ready.
There are just nine races to go before the 2013 Formula One World Championship culminates in Brazil. Currently, Red Bull Racing’s Sebastian Vettel remains at the top of the Drivers’ Championship standings, with 172 points. Lotus’ Kimi Räikkönen is in second with 134 points and is just one ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso in third. In the Constructors’ Championship, Red Bull Racing commands 277 points versus the 208 points of Mercedes AMG and the 194 points of Ferrari.