Once again, the Belgian GP has arrived. The track at Spa-Francorchamps has been a balanced favorite since its inception in 1991.
Both Ferrari and McLaren have shown strength here, not to forget Renault-Damon Hill pair ups and Schumacher-Benetton pair ups.
Unpredictable weather makes this race more interesting! At one stage in its history, it had rained at the Belgian Grand Prix for 20 years in a row. Frequently drivers confront a part of the course that is clear and bright while another stretch is rainy and slippery.
Most drivers today say that the Spa course is the most challenging race track on the F1 calendar.
But this challenge has been brutally conquered by one man known as Kimi Raikkonen. From 2004 to 2007, he has made a hat trick of wins here. Last year he won with 4.6-second gap ahead of teammate Felipe Massa.
I have a strong gut feeling that with a fresh engine, Kimi can stage a comeback. But if Kimi fails to raise his game, then with the current quality runs Felipe is enjoying, that gap may vanish into thin air (especially if Massa gets POLE .... okay why pole is emphasized? read my previous article!).
Kimi has this chance for redemption, if he loses it here....well you know the rest....
There is one man, about whom if I do not say anything, it is really not fashionable these days. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I AM talking about Lewis Hamilton. Will Lewis win this? Well last year's result was not great and Kimi was in good form.
However, Lewis has matured a lot as the season has progressed (I believe we won't see another Canada... it would just gift the race to Massa).
I am really feeling that if Lewis gets a Q1 or Q2 with Kimi beside him, we are in for a great racing event! And Massa, Kubica and Heikki would be more than eagerly waiting to capitalize on any mistake made by the front men.
I think the post-race standings will look like this:
1. Lewis Hamilton.
2. Kimi Raikkonen.
3. Felipe Massa.
4. Robert Kubica.
5. Heikki Kovaleinen.
6. Nick Heidfield.
7. Fernando Alonso.
8. Jarno Trulli.
*While speculating on the final line up, I have made following assumptions:
1. Ferrari will not suffer from engine failure.
2. McLaren will continue improving its pace without compromising the super reliability.
3. BMW comes free of the ride stability issues.
So, on whom are you putting your money this time?