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2005 Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix
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Track Layout (from the FIA)

A wet race at Spa ?

We have yet to have a wet race this season and Spa looks like the ideal candidate! It isn't unusual to have a wet race at Spa and moving the race back two weeks makes the chance of a wet race even higher.
The Belgium Grand Prix will be the last European race this season with 3 more races remaining and although unlikely we could have a new Formula 1 World Champion if Fernando Alonso manages to score 4 points more than the only other title contender Kimi Raikkonen. 

The Constructors' Championship remains close with McLaren now only 8 points behind.

Juan Pablo Montoya - McLaren MP4/20 - 2005

The track at Spa-Francorchamps is the longest on the calendar and is considered by many the only remaining 'natural circuit' in Formula 1. It is the favourite track for many drivers and spectators.
The track offers several very high speed corners (the legendary Eau Rouge is one of them) and several slow speed corners making it a very challenging circuit for the drivers and engineers. Cars run at a medium to high downforce configuration. The track is tough on engines with the longest full throttle of the season (if Eau Rouge is taken flat).
The track is also hard on tyres as they need to sustain very high loads in the high speed corners.

As Italy and Belgium are back to back races, no testing took place between the 2 events.

Here is a team by team preview:

Renault: They continue to be reasonably fast but very reliable and consistent. In Italy once again they capitalised on McLaren's reliability problems and managed to finish both their drivers on the podium. They will be using the same engines used at Monza and that will be a real test for the engines but given their reliability so far, expect them to pass this test with flying colours.
Reliability 9.0/10 - Speed 9.5/10 (Latest Renault Team News)

Drivers: Fernando Alonso was very consistent at Monza and although not as fast kept the pressure on Montoya. He would have been happy with second given that he finished ahead of Raikkonen. A podium finish is likely.
If he scores 4 points more than Raikkonen, he'll become the youngest ever Formula 1 Champion. That is unlikely unless Raikkonen retires from the race. 

Giancarlo Fisichella seems to be improving having finished in the top 4 in 4 of the last 5 races. He is still making mistakes but has managed to make up for them. He needs to score as many points as possible to help Renault win the Constructors' Title. Expect another top 4 finish.

McLaren: Once again they fail to score what should have been an easy 1-2 finish. One wonders when they will be able to achieve that!. Kimi Raikkonen had a new engine fitted for the Monza weekend yet it failed at the end of the final practice session!. This engine was supposed to last not only the Monza weekend but the Spa weekend as well!
It is hard to predict that they will have a problem free weekend here!
Reliability 8.0/10 - Speed 9.5/10 (Latest McLaren Mercedes Team News)

Drivers: Kimi Raikkonen could have easily dominated the Italian Grand Prix yet he had to fight his way through the traffic, push his car to the limit and  only manage 4th thanks to an engine failure in practice!. One wonders if his engine will last the whole weekend at Spa ? If it does then a win is likely!

Juan Pablo Montoya won the Italian Grand Prix. His pace wasn't impressive when compared to Raikkonen's pace however he was in the lead and could afford to control the pace. He will have a new engine for Spa and that could give him an advantage. Second place is likely. 

Ferrari: They remain in 3rd but are getting dangerously close to Toyota who have a real chance of taking 3rd away from them. Once again they struggled and with just a week between Monza and Spa, expect more of the same.
Reliability 9.5/10 - Speed 8.5/10  (Latest Ferrari Team News)

Drivers: Michael Schumacher had another poor race in Italy and not much will chance here unless of course it rains then things could be different although we have yet to see the performance of Bridgestone against Michelin on full wets and intermediates!
Points possible but hard.

Rubens Barrichello struggled in Italy but was on target for a points finish until he had to make an unscheduled stop for a puncture. Expect him to struggle here as well. Points will be difficult.

Toyota: They are closing in on Ferrari in the Constructors' Championship and could take 3rd from them here. They will have to fight BAR if they are to maximise their points and finish behind the top 4. 
Reliability 9.5/10 - Speed 9.0/10 (Latest Toyota Team News)

Drivers: Jarno Trulli finished 5th in Monza behind the top 2 teams. A repeat is possible but expect a fight with Button here.

Ralf Schumacher finished behind his team-mate in Monza. A repeat is also possible however expect a few cars between him and Trulli at Spa.

Williams: They were surprisingly quick in Italy and Pizzonia did a good job finishing 7th given the very short notice he was given. It looks as if the chassis is indeed getting better. They are fairly safe in 5th place and are unlikely to challenge Toyota or Ferrari for 4th.
Reliability 8.5/10 - Speed 8.0/10 (Latest Williams BMW Team News)

Drivers: Mark Webber continues to get involved in 1st corner incidents that ruin his race!. They are getting so frequent that one has to question whether he is just unlucky or whether he is trying too hard to make up places at the start. This isn't helping him and Monza was a perfect example. He finished 14th yet Pizzonia who took over Heidfeld's seat managed to score points. He will need to finish ahead of Pizzonia here otherwise it will be not only embarrassing but damaging as well. A points finish is possible.

Antonio Pizzonia reminded Frank Williams that he deserves a race seat with the team. Having been called upon on Saturday morning to take Heidfeld's seat and to be the first out in qualifying yet manage to score 2 points is an excellent result. 
Interesting that he also raced here last year when he replaced Ralf Schumacher. He was in 3rd place and ahead of Montoya when his gearbox failed. Expect a strong race from him. Points possible.

Red Bull: They remain in 6th but only 2 points ahead of BAR and it is only a matter of time until BAR get ahead. They are simply not fast enough to score points and need many cars to fail in front for them to have a chance.
Reliability 8.5/10 - Speed 8.0/10 (Latest Red Bull Racing Team News)

Drivers: David Coulthard had a first corner incident in Monza and had to pit on the first lap. That ruined any chance he had for scoring points. Scoring points here will depend on the retirements in front of him.

Christian Klien will be racing for Red Bull again. That is the right decision by the team. Klien has demonstrated that he deserves the race seat. Points will be tough though!

BAR: They had a disappointing race in Italy as they struggled with the car all weekend and only managed to score 1 point. They should be more competitive here and should be fighting Toyota for 5th and 6th places. 
Reliability 8.5/10 - Speed 9.0/10 (Latest BAR Team News)

Drivers: Jenson Button managed to score a point which was a disappointing result given that he was 3rd on the grid. He should do better here and will likely finish 5th.

Takuma Sato had a good race in Italy and was close to Button all weekend. He had to make an extra pit stop due to a refuelling problem. If he manages a problem free race he'll finish close to Button! 

Sauber: Almost scored a point in Italy despite no retirements!.  It will be very hard to score points here unless we have a wet race then anything is possible!
Reliability 7.5/10 - Speed 8.0/10 (Latest Sauber Team News)

Drivers: Felipe Massa finished 9th in Italy following Barrichello's puncture and Michael's off track excursion. He needed another driver in front to have a mishap!.
He finished 4th last year but there were 9 retirements then. Points will be very hard.

Jacques Villeneuve managed 11th in Italy. Don't expect a much better result here!.

Jordan: Finally raced their B chassis - and the season is almost over! - and Monteiro wasn't impressive finishing 17th 2 laps down and on the same lap as Doornbos in the Minardi. One has to wonder what is going on at Jordan!
Reliability 8.5/10 - Speed 7.0/10 (Latest Jordan Team News)

Drivers: Tiago Monteiro finished 2 laps down in Italy driving the new chassis. He maintains a perfect finishing record this season and that must be pleasing.

Narain Karthikeyan had to drive the old car as there was only 1 chassis available and he lost the toss!. He will get to drive the new chassis here but this is a very challenging track and he will struggle.

Minardi: They once again mixed it with the Jordans. It will be interesting to see if they can keep up with them here where Jordan will be running 2 EJ15B chassis'.
Reliability 7.0/10 - Speed 7.0/10 (Latest Minardi Team News)

Drivers: Christijan Albers finished behind his team-mate after having to visit the pits 4 times. He'll be hoping for a better race at Spa. 

Robert Doornbos would be pleased to finish ahead of his team-mate and would want to repeat that again this weekend. 

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Main Belgian Grand Prix Page


Session - Local time



1st Friday Practice - 11:00ResultsReportResults
2nd Friday Practice - 14:00ResultsReportResults
1st Saturday Practice - 9:00Results Results
2nd Saturday Practice - 10:15ResultsReportResults
Qualifying - 13:00ResultsReportResults
Race - 14:00ResultsReportResults

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