Frankl's Motorsports Thoughts and Reports - 2014 Belgium GP (Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps)



2014 Belgium GP
Nicholas Frankl, Senior Editor
Motor Racing Correspondent
The Auto Channel

SPA Belgium August 21, 2014; With the teams fresh off their summer two week break, Belgium's famous Spa Circuit welcomes them, as it has since 1950, to one of the most famous and loved race tracks in the world.  

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Our own Alex Rossi is taking over Max Chilton's Marussia race seat for the weekend and will finally have a chance to demonstrate his abilities in the Ardennes Mountains. I've known Alex and his father for a few years and he's a great bloke with a level head. Always polite, professional and courteous. If anyone deserves to race in F1, it's him, but without $5-$10m of sponsor support a driver cannot put a competitive season together. It's disappointing that in spite of their many efforts they cannot crack open the US corporate market and land a multi-year sponsor. Come on America! You have one of the best Grand Prix in the world - the USA GP in Austin in just a few weeks - and a talented driver...surely you can support him!!  

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SPA is famous for its ever-changing conditions, often from one portion of the course to the other, being dry on one side and pouring with rain on the other.  This usually means pole position upsets, accidents and safety cars, plus of course, all-important tire strategy.  

Pole position doesn't normally convert into a checkered flag either come Sunday at 4pm, overtaking is easy and with DRS active any team with German horsepower should have an advantage.  

I can remember taking photos of Ayrton Senna back in 1991 at the extraordinary Eau Rouge, with the Brazilian wrestling his McLaren through the tight left-right-left flick where every driver wants to go through flat out and Jacques Villeneuve famously had what he described as his 'best crash ever'.  

With 70% full throttle don't be too surprised to see engine failures. Mercedes have suffered as of late, but without a technical DNF I can see the silver arrows taking a 1-2 finish.

A Word from Nicholas:

So where does bobsleigh fit into this mix?


Well, that's me. Gilles Villeneuve I may never (unfortunately) be, but the next best thing (I'm told - and in fact can vouch for) is Formula One on ice. 1994 saw me competing as driver of the first Hungarian bob team in the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, and then onto two more Olympic Winter games. Why am I telling you this? Well, if for no other reason than that you'll at least understand how I gain some insight into the sport we love. Strangely enough, the F1 boys have a real respect for their ice cousins; the speed, G' forces and exhilaration are quite similar. This, however, is only my "off season" hobby. The reason for this intro is to allow me to say HI, From here on I hope we’ll become firm friends, as I follow the F1 circus around the world and you get to pick up all the details. Not just the results, but the gossip too and the first-hand natter you just don't get from the usual sources.

Thanks to my father, whose stories you'll also be reading, I've grown up in the world of motor sport and cars - in fact instead of a birth certificate, I think I was born with a pit pass. It's the sort of life that if you enjoy our sport is tough to beat, so I thought this would be a good way of sharing the fun.

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