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Grand Prixview for the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix – All the stories before F1 races at Spa

Formula 1 resumes action this weekend on track after an action packed summer break off track!

Driver market speculations, FIA’s technical directives for the remainder of the season and for next year and a high chance of rain will be the interesting points of discussion this weekend.

Ricciardo and McLaren to cut ties at the end of this year

The latest scoop of the driver market dilemma came just yesterday, that Ricciardo is free to look for a new team and McLaren is looking for a new driver to accompany Lando Norris. Rumors say that Ricciardo has bought his way out of his contract which has been terminated earlier than it was supposed to. It does not come as a surprise as his performance, as compared to his teammate has not been up to the mark. Zak Brown had pointed this out to the media a number of times and with Piastri’s split with Alpine, this decision became more and more apparent. Our best guess is that the Australian driver will come back to his previous team, Alpine (previously Renault). However, sources also indicate that Haas is one of the teams who have reached out to him for a drive next year.

Driver Market Changes

Going into the summer break, the first shocker of a news was the retirement of 4-time world champion Sebastian Vettel at the end of this season. If this was not enough, almost immediately, Fernando Alonso announced that he would replace Vettel for next year. In response to this Alpine announced that the seat would be given to Oscar Piastri. However, Piastri denied being consulted previously about this and publicly announced that he would not drive for them next year, and rumors suggest that he is eyeing Ricciardo’s seat. Well, a big googly for Alpine who have decided to take legal action him In another context it is said that Mick Schumacher’s been given an ultimatum to secure his seat for next year. Apparently, he has to score more points in the next few races to be eligible to drive for Haas in 2023.

Liam Lawson to drive for AlphaTauri in FP1

RedBull junior and prodigy Liam Lawson will occupy Pierre Gasly’s seat for the FP1 session in Spa. In 2021, he drive for RedBull in both F2 and DTM! In F2 he has multiple trophies to his name. In 2022 alone he has won 2 races and 6 podiums so far. He is a regular face among the top drivers but reliability issues, bad luck and a few mistakes have snatched his opportunities to shine even more.

Rain is on the cards, again

Did we race in Spa last year? Well, not exactly. It was raining profusely and standing water on the track made sure that the entire session would remain red-flagged. Towards the end of the session timer, the rain had subsided a little and the cars got on track. However, the race still ended under the safety car. Mr. Saturday, George Russell won his first podium in F1, that too with Williams, after a blistering flying lap in qualifying the day before. Forecasts predict a 50% chance over the weekend so we might be able to see wet racing. Obviously, we hope that last year does not repeat itself, as we sincerely want to see cars battle it out on the iconic Eau-Rouge chicane.

Mercedes eyeing top spot

The progress the Silver Arrows have made this season is undoubtedly phenomenal. From being midfield team and battling porpoising, the team has gradually overcome all of its shortcomings and has consistently secured podiums in the last few races. Now, they are eyeing for the best prize one can get in a weekend. The effort from all aspects of the team including the engineers, strategists and most importantly the drivers, who have endured the most has surely paid off as they are way better in terms of position as they were at the start of the season. According to Toto Wolff, “While we’re still not quite in the fight for victories, we’re getting closer, so we need to keep the momentum going and the pressure on.

Can Ferrari still make it?

Lets talk facts. Leclerc needs to win at least 3 races in order to even contend for the championship. At the same time, he can hope that misfortune does not let Verstappen score as many points. After an abysmal first half of the season, fans are definitely not happy with the race engineers at Ferrari. Even though they have a title contending car, a few irresponsible decisions have denied their chances where they had sure shot opportunities. In the aftermath of the of the disastrous Hungarian GP, there were calls for changes within the team. But, talking to SkySports, Mattia Binotto turned down all the speculations. he added, “Certainly there is something that you need to look at and understand why. But if I look again at the balance of the first half of the season, there is no reason why we should change.”

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Abhishek S.

Loves long drives, sunsets and skylines (pun intended ;)). Will miss a date but not an F1 race!

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