Formula 1

The majesty of Spa and the future of F1

2013 Belgian Grand Prix

Nigel Roebuck is one the first Formula 1 writers I can remember. I had a collection of his season annuals from the mid–late 1980s. I like that he’s still covering F1 because, in a small way, it takes me back to my youth and helps for a moment to delay the advancing years.

In his role as editor-in-chief of Motor Sport Magazine Roebuck has written a preview for this weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix. He starts with some very current views, analysing the current season. Of equal value, though, is his reflection on the sport in the immediate post-Senna era and what F1 can do to help its future:

As Spa looms, followed by Monza, there is no getting away from the fact that neither the Belgian nor the Italian Grands Prix have anything like the longterm security of more nondescript ‘rich’ races, where the size of the crowd is irrelevant. Bernie Ecclestone, while confirming that Azerbaijan is shortly to be taken into the bosom of the World Championship, recently cast doubts on Monza’s future as a ‘commercially viable’ Grand Prix venue.

For now, at least, Monza survives, and – as with Spa – I am much looking forward to it. I couldn’t hide my dismay, though, when an Italian colleague told me last week of the construction of an asphalt run-off area – in place of the previous gravel trap – at the exit of the iconic Parabolica. Is this to be yet another ‘white line’ corner, with mistakes punished only by stewards?

Follow the link below for the full article.

[Source: Motor Sport Magazine | Pic: Sahara Force India Formula One Team]

Formula 1

They don’t sound like this anymore!

2013 Belgian Grand Prix

A bit over a week from the 2014 Belgian Grand Prix here’s a great soundtrack reminding us how good Formula 1 cars used to sound. Go put some headphones on, take the jump to the YouTube clip below, listen and enjoy.

It’s a binaural recording of a previous generation V8 flying through Eau Rouge at Spa. Even the fading sound as the car bullets over Radillon and along the Kemmel Straight is worth another listen.

We’ll be surprised if you don’t say to yourself: “F@#k that sounds good!”

[Source: WTF1 | Pic: Toro Rosso/Getty Images]

BMW Motorsports Video

Onboard through Eau Rouge, woo hoo!

Alexander Sims, BMW Z4 GT3, 2014 Spa 24 hour race

Alexander Sims spent last weekend helping the Ecurie Ecosse BMW Z4 GT3 finish second in class at the 24 Hours of Spa. We were lucky enough to join him onboard during the race for a one question interview.

We asked: “So Alexander, what’s it like to fly through Eau Rouge in a world class GT3 racecar?” Watch the video after the break for his reply.

[Source: GridStars | Thanks to Aaron for the tip]


BMW 1M Coupé begins to make its mark

BMW 1M Coupe

The highly anticipated BMW 1 Series M Coupé is starting to find its way into the garages of some very chuffed new owners. Australian buyers have to wait until June for their own 1M experience, but those on the waiting list will be encouraged by a couple of stories that have come our way via Bimmerpost.

First 1M story off the rank, so to speak, centres around one very lucky Canadian buyer who took the European Delivery option for his 1M. This is something not generally open to buyers down under and we recommend you put aside some time to read the excited tale of 1addicts poster WLKSFTLY. Well, wouldn’t you want to collect your 1M by having a chat with the M GmbH engineers who helped create the car and then cap it off with a few laps at the Nürburgring if you could?

The Alpine White 1M you see above belongs to a Swedish buyer and he has also been on a tour of sorts, knocking out laps at the Ring, as well as Spa and now Dutch circuit Zandvoort. While in the Netherlands Driving Fun had a crack and wrote a review of the car. Of course, they wrote their thought in Dutch, so we only have a crudely translated para to share with you:

“On the circuit. With over 240km/h approaching the next corner. Short and hard braking, submit, and in passing through the apex challenge your right foot off the engine again. On the adjacent straight feel the adrenaline flowing through your body—a pleasant tingle.”

Dr Segler’s goose pimples we presume? Follow the links below for more.

[Source: Driving Fun via Bimmerpost]

Formula 1 McLaren Red Bull Racing Renault

2010 Belgian GP – post-race press conference

2010 Belgian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) won the Belgian Grand Prix overnight. Mark Webber (Red Bull Racing), who started the race from pole position, finished second. While Robert Kubica (Renault) capped off a great weekend for him with third place, although it could have been more. The full text from the post-race press conference is available below. A picture gallery from the race will follow soon.

[Source: FIA]

Formula 1 Red Bull Racing

Mark Webber drives virtual lap of Spa-Francorchamps

Mark Webber

Formula One’s mid-season break is almost over. That means it’s time for the Belgian Grand Prix. Mark is also back to tell us about Belgian sausages, rain and, of course, one of the best circuits on the F1 calendar. For a bird’s eye look at the Spa F1 circuit click here. The view from the Red Bull simulator can be seen after the break.

Let’s hope we see Webber leaping for joy late on Sunday night!

Formula 1 Random wallpapers

Random wallpaper: Spa-Francorchamps

Spa-Francorchamps Grand Prix circuit

To celebrate the Belgian Grand Prix here is a 1920×1200 pixel aerial photo of the awesome Spa-Francorchamps Grand Prix circuit. The current track is a fraction over 7km, but the original layout was over 14km in length. The Belgian Grand Prix was first held here in 1924 and the Eau Rouge–Radillon corners—part of the original layout—form one of the most famous sections of Grand Prix track in the world. Rivalled, perhaps, only by the Monaco street circuit. However, it is the Blanchimont corner on the back straight that drivers find the more fearsome corner, according to Wikipedia. More detail on the track can be found on the official Formula 1 website.

To download the 1920×1200 pixel version of this image, simply click on the image above.

Credit for the image goes to Chubbennaitor, sourced from Wikipedia.

BMW Formula 1

A lap of Spa-Francorchamps with Robert Kubica

I’ve been waiting for to load this clip all week—now they have and it’s only a computer generated lap of Spa! They usually use real in-car footage. Never mind, it’s a great track any way you look at it. Mind, as a commentator BMW-Sauber’s Robert Kubica makes a great racing driver.

See you on the couch late into the night this weekend. Rain is predicted, as usual, the championship race is very tight, so we have the makings of a cracking race. Hold on tight!

Formula 1

Get ready for the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend!

If this clip doesn’t make the hairs on the back of your next stand up nothing will. The only downside is the usual visual effect of television cameras flattening out terrain. I’ve been to Spa and I can tell you the climb into Eau Rouge is much steeper than this clip shows. Either way, the driving from Alonso and Hamilton in last year’s opening lap is as close to carnage as you can get without there actually being a shower of carbon fibre. Forget the merits of who had right of way and just enjoy this amazing footage while you can!

Motorsports News Renault

Track day report – Spa Francorchamps

RSR Nurburg Clio tackles Eau RougeThere’s track days, and there’s track days. Sure, Eastern Creek is good, and Wakefield Park is not too bad either. However, in our wide brown land you just can’t hit the road for a couple of hours and arrive at Belgium’s Spa Francorchamps. Widely acknowledged as one of the world’s best racetracks. The steep climb and blind crest of Eau Rouge is perhaps the most anticipated corner on the F1 calendar. And, just like Eastern Creek and Wakefield Park, you can throw the track organisers some cash and take your own car around this awesome circuit.

This is exactly what Dale from RSR Nürburg did recently. As if living in Nürburg and working at the Nürburgring wasn’t already enough to make you jealous, then he rubs it in with his report of his first track outing at Spa behind the wheel of one of their track prepared Renaultsport Clios. It was raining, of course, but that didn’t stop him from having a great time.Check out Dale’s report in full at, there’s also some great photos from Jochen at frozenspeed.

I’ve learned about these guys through running the Nürburgring focused AUSringers website, so when you’re done reading Dale’s report, make sure you check out AUSringers as well.