Panasonic Toyota chassis manager Pascal Vasselon believes that Spa's Eau Rouge corner, arguably the most famous turn on the F1 calendar, will remain flat-out despite the 2009 rule changes.
This year's event will see the F1 teams attack the stunning Belgian circuit with reduced downforce compared with previous seasons, but with mechanical grip gained by the return of slick tyres.
"Spa is a truly spectacular circuit, not just for the drivers, but for anyone who has the privilege of watching a F1 car there, particularly through Eau Rouge,” said Vasselon.
“The forces generated through this corner are extreme, especially for the suspension. It will be interesting to see how the 2009 cars behave; even though there is less downforce, we now have more grip with the slick tyres so I expect it to remain flat-out in the dry,” he declared.
For drivers Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock, the exhilarating Spa track makes the Belgian Grand Prix one of their highlights of the year.
"Spa is a fantastic track and definitely my favourite in F1,” said Trulli, who will start round twelve holding eighth place in the drivers' championship. “It is a real driver's circuit and that suits me perfectly. There is almost every type of corner, so all the way around the lap you are challenged and I love that. Every time you drive around Spa it is amazing but I have to say it was special to get pole position there a few years ago.”
"Along with Monaco, Spa is my favourite circuit,” agreed Glock, joint tenth with Fernando Alonso in the drivers' standings. “To drive a Formula 1 car around it is a fantastic experience and it's one of the best feelings you can have in this sport. It's one of those circuits you dream about racing on when you are growing up; it's just a very impressive track.
“Even though I really enjoy the circuit, I have some frustrating memories of the place; being taken out by another driver on the warm-up lap in 2007 and being penalised last year when I did one of the best final laps of my career to get into the points. That was all down to bad luck so I am due a change!”
Toyota will use a new aerodynamic package, designed for the lower downforce demands of Spa and Monza, venue for next month's Italian Grand Prix.