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F1 Back to Action

Formula 1 returns after the annual mid-season break for the Belgian Grand Prix at one of the sport’s most historic circuits: Spa-Francorchamps. Get ready for an exciting and adrenalin-pumping second half.

After wrapping up the first half of the season at one of Formula 1’s slowest circuits – Hungaroring – F1 travels to iconic Spa-Francorchamps – one of the sport’s fastest. The mandatory downtime this month gave fans and pundits alike a lot of time to ponder what will happen between Belgium and Brazil this fall.

Lewis Hamilton’s surprising performance in Hungary in the Mercedes opened a Pandora ’s Box of questions that this weekend’s results may begin to answer. Has Mercedes resolved its tire wear issues and can the 2008 world champion and his team match Red Bull’s speed? Or is Iceman Kimi Räikkönen of team Lotus – currently in second place and this year’s most consistent driver – the man Sebastian Vettel needs to beat? And what about Fernando Alonso and Ferrari? Will they continue to slide?

Vettel eyes Mercedes
Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull are certainly keeping an eye on the rising threat from Mercedes.

“I think Mercedes has been very competitive not just Lewis, also Nico [Rosberg] who won two races already this year,” said Vettel in a press conference ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix.

“We know they’re very quick in qualifying,” he added. “Hungary, in a way, was the first time they [we’re able to] show their speed in the race as well.”

Today’s first practice round certainly didn’t shed any light on these subjects as sporadic showers made for inconclusive results. But it is interesting to note that Alonso had the fastest time.

“I love that track”
Regardless of the weather, most drivers considered the Belgian Grand Prix to be the most thrilling race on the calendar. “One lap of Spa is like twenty at any other track, in terms of the excitement and adrenalin it generates,” says Alonso.

DHL’s Formula 1 Expert and former F1 driver, Christian Danner, agrees. “I love that track,” he says. Danner is looking forward to the race weekend and the tours he’ll be leading for DHL guests. “It’s a lot of fun to take them through the paddock and tell them about what it’s like to drive in Formula 1 and give them insights into the latest in Formula 1 racing.”

Read Danner’s analysis of the first half of the season and about who he thinks are the driver’s to watch between now and November

DHL Fastest Lap
Red Bull’s Mark Webber set the fastest lap of the Hungarian Grand Prix and is now tied with teammate Vettel on the Fastest Lap table with three apiece. However, if Danner’s prediction is on target, then fans won’t see a Red Bull showdown in Belgium

“Bruno Senna, the great Ayrton Senna’s nephew, scored the best lap time at Spa-Francorchamps last year. And the historic track is always a little bit of a surprise. That’s why my pick for the fastest lap at this year’s Belgian Grand Prix is another underdog: Paul di Resta in the Force India.”

Both Force India drivers did well in today’s first practice, with di Resta running the second fastest time behind Alonso followed by teammate Adrian Sutil. We’ll just have to wait and see what our expert’s underdog delivers on Sunday.

One thing’s for sure, the next four months of Formula 1 racing will be a wild ride.

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