After three weeks away Method 1 is again from the summer season break. And should you haven’t saved up with F1 information for the reason that Hungarian Grand Prix, let’s shortly catch you up. First, four-time champion Sebastian Vettel introduced his retirement and exit from Aston Martin on the finish of the season. And earlier than we might start to theorize who will fill the open seat, two-time champion Fernando Alonso make the shock announcement that he was leaving Alpine (presently 4th) for Aston Martin (presently ninth).
His open seat on the French group seemingly would make method for the Method 2 champion and present Alpine reserve driver, Oscar Piastri to maneuver into the primary group. Alpine made the announcement … after which Piastri posted to social media that he had no settlement with Alpine and wouldn’t be driving with them. Elsewhere on the grid, Williams rewarded Alex Albon with a brand new two-year contract because of his sturdy season in a weaker automotive (9 finishes within the high 14).
Why would Piastri flip down a seat in Method 1? The reply seems to have been clarified on Wednesday when McLaren introduced they’d be parting methods with Daniel Ricciardo on the finish of the season. Stories point out Piastri is in line to hitch Lando Norris at McLaren. Driver lineup drama, new laws taking impact beginning on the Belgian Grand Prix (extra on that later), and simply 9 races to go. Welcome again to F1.
The place Issues Stand
With each Charles Leclerc (178) and Sergio Perez (173) ending off the rostrum in Hungary, Max Verstappen (258) prolonged his lead within the Drivers’ Championship to 80 factors. With simply 9 races left, whereas it’s nonetheless mathematically doable, Leclerc would want an unimaginable run to overhaul Verstappen. George Russell’s (158) third in Hungary, his fifth third place this season, lifted him above Carlos Sainz (156) and stays 12 factors forward of his teammate Lewis Hamilton (146).
Crimson Bull (431) holds a good larger lead within the Constructors Championship, 97 factors, because of back-to-back wins by Verstappen and a continuation of Ferrari’s (334) technique and mechanical woes. In the meantime, with Mercedes (304) touchdown not less than one driver on the rostrum in seven of the final eight races, they’re now simply 30 factors again of the Italian group. The race for 4th (Alpine, 99, and McLaren, 95) can be of giant curiosity, not simply because they’re 4 factors aside, however the ongoing drama with Alonso, Ricciardo, & Piastri.
This circuit was first run in 1950, with Spa-Francorchamps since turning into synonymous with the Belgian Grand Prix. Nevertheless, the debut of the venue got here again in 1925 when the monitor was twice as lengthy, a 9-mile circuit. The trendy Spa is an ideal combination of quick straight, speedy corners, and a decent hairpin nook at Flip 1 because the circuit climbs by the mountains. Add within the fixed risk of rain and you’ve got one of the vital difficult tracks on the F1 calendar. There are two DRS zones, one proper after flip 1 and the opposite as the top of the circuit again onto the beginning/end line.
How To Watch (all instances ET)
- Apply 1 – Friday 8/26 – 7:55 am – ESPNU/ESPN Deportes/WatchESPN
- Apply 2 – Friday 8/26 – 10:55 am – ESPN2/ESPN Deportes/WatchESPN
- Belgian GP Preview Present: Friday- 1:05 pm – ESPN3/WatchESPN
- Apply 3 – Saturday 8/27 – 6:55 am – ESPN2/ESPN Deportes/WatchESPN
- Qualifying – Saturday 8/27 – 9:55 am – ESPN2/ESPN Deportes/WatchESPN
- Grand Prix Sunday (Pre-race Present) – Sunday 8/28 – 7:30 am – ESPN2/ESPN Deportes/WatchESPN
- Grand Prix Race – Sunday 8/28 – 8:55 am – ESPN2/ESPN Deportes/WatchESPN
DraftKings Sportsbook is providing odds on the race. Max Verstappen is the clear favourite at -115 as he seems to push towards his second straight title. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc follows at +350 after which Lewis Hamilton at +400. An indication of Ferrari’s latest points, in addition to the continuous progress Mercedes have made. Hamilton has but to win in 2022 and has by no means had a season in Method 1 with no victory. The unpredictable nature of Spa signifies that most drivers within the area have an inexpensive probability of ending within the factors. Solely Nicholas Latifi has odds larger than +330 to be inside the highest 10.
What to Watch For
- Foolish Season. Three F1 seats for 2023 have already modified, an F2 Champion ready to be formally introduced, and 6 seats are nonetheless to be decided for subsequent season. How will the drivers planning to go away their groups carry out after the break? Can one of many unconfirmed drivers safe their spot for subsequent season with a powerful run in Belgian and on the Dutch Grand Prix subsequent weekend?
- Automobile setup. Will the Crimson Bull straight line benefit win out or Ferrari’s dominance within the corners? If climate circumstances are unsure will groups go for a predominately moist or dry setup? In fashionable F1 it’s very onerous to vary the total setup of a automotive on race day.
- Rain. Climate is at all times a danger at Spa and the circumstances have created some dramatic races all through the years. Nevertheless, everybody can be terrified of a repeat of the 2021 Grand Prix. After three hours of delays the vehicles took to the monitor behind the protection automotive and on the third security lap the race was known as off with Verstappen declared the winner because of his pole place. At the moment, the forecast requires rain on Friday and Saturday mornings however is evident for the race on Sunday.
- Technical Directive. As a result of extreme bouncing all through the grid Method 1 is introducing new guidelines beginning this weekend associated to the ground of the automotive and the vertical elevate. The porpoising impact seen this season and the priority over the long-term well being of the drivers led to this modification. It’s been speculated that this might deliver the likes of Crimson Bull and Ferrari again in the direction of the tempo of the Mercedes a bit, however the subsequent few weeks will inform if this preliminary ruling has any affect.
- Can Mercedes get that elusive win? Clearly, the Silver Arrows are making up floor. Hamilton’s harm at Imola that left him in thirteenth and Russell’s crash at Silverstone are the group’s solely finishes exterior the highest 10. Nevertheless, they’ve turned factors finishes into common podiums over the previous few rounds. Hamilton has been on the rostrum himself for the final 5 races. And Mercedes nonetheless imagine there are enhancements and features to be seen on monitor this season. With no win this season and Hamilton going through the prospect of his first 12 months in F1 with no victory, can the Belgian Grand Prix be their day?