Aug 21

Spa Francorchamps Q&A with Thomas Lassus: “The track is a fantastic one and is a real challenge.”

This weekend sees the team in Belgium for one of the most popular venues that the teams compete at

Spa Francorchamps Q&A with Thomas LassusThe month break that the FIA F2 Championship teams have just had, has given the Racing Engineering team an opportunity to review the season so far and although, generally, the results have been disappointing compared with previous seasons the team is still determined to get back to the front of the field where they have been in previous years.

This weekend sees the team in Belgium for one of the most popular venues that the teams compete at, the majestic Spa Francorchamps.

Below Thomas Lassus, one of the team’s Race Engineers, talks about how the team has spent the four-week break and about the attraction of the Spa circuit to the competitors.

Spa-Francorchamps is next up after the summer break. Apart from a few days of rest to recharge batteries, how did the Racing Engineering team prepare for the upcoming race event?

The event has been prepared with the same motivation as the others with the help of the few days of rest. We have had a bit more time before this race than in July to analyse the first part of the season fully to clearly understand all the aspects of the bad races we have had recently to comeback stronger for Spa. All this and having to take into account that we need to prepare for Monza as well which is just around the corner after Spa. So, a lot of work has been put into effect to prepare setup and strategy but also to prepare the drivers. This is why they will spend 2 days in the simulator on the Monday and Tuesday before Spa. The aim is to prepare them fully so they can be straight up to speed in Free Practice.

Spa-Francorchamps is one of the legendary race tracks on the calendar, a classic. What is it that makes this venue so special for teams a! nd drivers?

First the track is a fantastic one and is a real challenge for engineers and drivers but on top of this the atmosphere is always very special in Spa. When you get to the track in the morning and the first thing you see from the F2 pits is Eau Rouge and it always puts a smile on your face. You can feel the special atmosphere of this race and the history of the place when you cross Francorchamps at 7am in the morning and see a lot of fans that are already on their way to the track.

Long straights, fast and technical corners, changing weather conditions, Spa-Francorchamps is always an exciting venue to race at. What else is there to keep in mind from an engineer’s point of view when it comes to the Belgian layout?

Well, the big challenge is always the difference between Sector 1 and Sector 3 which mainly consist of straights so ask for a low downforce and Sector 2 with all its medium and high-speed corners that require downforce so there is always a balance to find there. But apart from that what can make Spa very special is the weather, despite the race being held in August you never know what surprises the weather might bring. In Spa, you must always keep in the back of your mind that it could rain.

Racing Engineering has celebrated some of its best podium finishes and race wins in Spa during the past years. What are your expectations for this season’s Spa-Francorchamps races?

Yes, it is true that we have managed a lot of podiums at this track with a lot of different drivers so the target is to keep doing it this year. Not even looking too far back, last year it was a strong weekend for us in Spa. In race 1 Jordan finished P2 and we were running 2nd and 3rd with a strong pace before a piece of debris hit Norman’s radiator and ended his race. In race 2 Norman came back from the back of the field to finish P8 so we plan to build up on this to achieve good results this year.

source: racing-engineering.com