The mood in the GP2
paddock this week appears remarkably consistent: it's been great to have time off and recharge, but we can't wait to get back to racing. And what better place to break the August drought than the historic Belgian circuit of Spa-Francorchamps going back-to-back with Monza the following weekend?
"It was great to go into the four week break on a high with the confidence," said Carlin's Max Chilton, who claimed his maiden season win in GP2
in the final feature race at Hungary before the month-long hiatus.
"For Spa we have to maintain the motivation," he continued. "The weather can either play into your hands or ruin your race. I've always loved the circuit though so we'll see what happens this weekend."
"Spa is my favourite and I look forward to returning to competition and be able to tackle Eau Rouge with a GP2
car," agreed Ocean Racing Technology's Nigel Melker. "I sure we'll do a good job, find the 'set-up' ideal for this demanding circuit and get amass more points," he said.
His team mate Victor Guerin shared his enthusiasm. "I love and know the track," said the 20-year-old Brazilian, adding that he was confident that the team would be able to bring their best form to this weekend's outing.
Coloni's Stefano Coletti was also heading to Spa with determination to start the final trio of race weekends with renewed commitment to success. "In the next ten days we will be competing in two very fast circuits like Spa and Monza," he said. "We aim to confirm our competitiveness and to fight for the top places of the classification".
Even Pirelli's director of motorsport Paul Hembery is a big fan of Spa, despite how much of a challenge the high speeds, dramatic undulations and fast corners are to the tyres in terms of extremely high lateral and longitudinal energy loadings.
"The Spa circuit is a personal favourite of mine," he admitted. "The configuration of the track and the variety of the weather always seems to produce some great racing. From a tyre perspective, it's certainly one of the most demanding circuits that we face all year."
Pirelli is handing out hard and medium tyres to the F1 teams for Spa for maximum endurance, but for GP2
the company has opted to ship medium and soft tyres respectively for the primary/option categories - which should make it very interesting indeed to see which drivers can make their rubber last best before they start sliding off into the grass.