If God really is a racing driver then this, Spa-Francorchamps, might be what heaven looks like.
F1’s last appearance, in Hungary, was a strange old affair. Unless I’m mistaken it was run under ‘full course yellow’ conditions. Or, to the uninitiated, no overtaking was allowed or occurred anywhere on the track.
Thank God this weekend’s race is guaranteed to be a whole lot more exciting. That’s because if God really is a racing driver then this, Spa-Francorchamps, might be what heaven looks like.
Ironic really as the Belgian circuit has claimed a total of 51 lives (47 racers and four marshals). July 21st 1973 was its darkest day with three people killed during the Spa 24H.
When it comes to modern day F1 safety the tail doesn’t merely wag the dog, it has wrapped itself around Fido’s neck, slithered under his collar and is dragging him in circles around the living room floor.
But this place is different, it’s the one that got away, it is stuck in a time warp taking us back to the halcyon days of when sex was safe and motor racing a serious danger to your wellbeing.
Last year Mark Webber tried to kill himself here – I’ll say no more than he failed – and when it rains, like it invariably does, to petrol heads the ensuing carnage is like a fully fledged wet dream.
A 150 degree opening bend and track parts possessing names which just evoke romantic thoughts of a whack-off load of F1 lifestyle and adrenaline filled wheel-to-wheel racing.
The Kemmel Straight sounds like some kind of Middle Eastern battle ground. LA Source: A cross between a downtown Los Angeles ghetto and high-class gentleman’s club. Pouhon: A weapon used in martial arts designed to break your leg clean in two without you knowing it had happened. Rivage: A ridiculously expensive fine silk shirt from a FrenchHaute Couture fashion house purposely made to make women fall at your feet.
This is F1 racing at its very best.
Five of the last eight winners here, including the last three, have won by less than four seconds. All but two of this season’s 11 races have been won by less than 3.7 seconds.
Despite the wonderful prospect of cars pirouetting off the track under wet conditions, Maldermaniac spearing a rival or two and wreckage spewed all over the track – the former is apparently unlikely the latter is obviously very feasible – opting for a winning margin below six seconds is a copper-bottomed investment.
Exceptional reliability has seen very high finishing numbers this year. The figures read: 16-22-23-22-19-16-20-19-21-23-22. Resultantly the spread on the total number of finishers is exceptionally high. There have been 19 and 20 finishers in the last two Belgian Grand Prix but far fewer in the other races here this century bringing the average way down below all the lines on offer.
Twice this season Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull team have brought him in for an extremely late pit-stop and on both occasions it earned him the fastest lap accolade.
In total Vettel has claimed fastest lap bragging rights on three occasions in 2012 – Raikkonen twice, Button, Kobayashi, Grosjean, Perez, Rosberg, Schumacher are the others – and it is noticeable that neither Hamilton or Alonso feature on this list.
All-in-all I’m pinning my hopes on an incident packed race – a safety car appearance is odds-on after all – which could see some very speculative big-priced selections bearing fruit.
This week’s selections:
Winning Margin: Under 5.999secs 4/5 170 points Bwin
Total Classified Drivers: Under 19.5 10/11 80 points Ladbrokes
Fastest Lap: Vettel 5/1 40 points BetVictor
Total Classified Drivers: Under 18.5 7/5 30 points Bwin
Highest Scoring Team: Lotus 11/4 20 points 188Bet
Top-Six Finish: Kobayashi 5/1 20 points Bwin
Mercedes Total Finishers: One 37/19 15 points Bwin
Top-Six Finish: Maldonado 5/1 10 points StanJames
Highest Scoring Team: Sauber 66/1 4 points Ladbrokes
Highest Scoring Team: Williams 66/1 4 points Ladbrokes
This week’s investment: 393 points
Current profit/loss: -28 points
Half-Term School Report (Part 2):
Mark Webber: May be Australia’s finest export since Skippy the Kangaroo but
remains a second driver in every way.
Vitaly Petrov: Say hello to the first Russian driver in IndyCar.
Timo Glock: “A horse a horse my kingdom for a horse!”
Charles Pic: Suffers from Tom Daly Syndrome? Product of good looks, an
ugly teammate, and a great agent.
Jensen Button: Has a mere 3.5 million fewer Twitter followers than Wayne
Rooney. Another 27 million and he will catch Lady Gaga. No
chance even if it rains.
Sebastian Vettel: As smooth as cream on glass but you could spot his ego on
Lewis Hamilton: Raw pace is unquestionable. Never goes down without a fight
Kimi Raikkonen: Shades of the General who went AWOL and mad in the film
Sergio Perez: Has found refuge in Sauber in the same way Julian Assange
has ensconced himself in Ecuador’s London Embassy.
Nico Rosberg: Confused as to his own nationality? Spotlessly clean on and
off -track but never trust a man with manicured finger nails and plucked eyebrows.
Romain Grosjean: Mighty impressive CV which will soon feature an F1 victory.
Paul Di Resta: If you are suffering from insomnia watching this guy will soon
send you off to sleep.
Nico Hulkenburg: Must be enjoying being the pigeon instead of the statue.
Jean-Eric Vergne: Bourdais and Scott Speed both got dumped mid-season by
Toro Rosso. Sleepless nights for the Frenchman?
Hekki Kovalainen: He’s so forgiving his designers are crafting a Jesus fish symbol
to put on the back of his car.
Pedro de la Rosa: No doubt he loves his job but is he any good at it?