The rain-threatened Belgian GP is the first of three consecutive weekends to see competition return, ahead of Alonso after signing with Aston Martin
With a remarkable tan and already well rested after the holidays, the drivers, technicians, engineers and journalists return to a circuit for the last part of the 2022 season. With Max Verstappen more than excellent (he has an 80-point lead, which gives him will allow him to be the leader after these three consecutive rounds in Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy, come what may), there are many fronts to consider at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
The first is the conditions of the race itself. What happened in 2021, with an embarrassing GP held three laps behind the safety car, makes the rain an enemy to be reckoned with. And if the predictions are fulfilled, it will appear. The fear that the Ardennes will make their appearance again makes many turn their eyes to the FIA; who already showed in the previous edition that he is not always successful in managing the competition. The regulations changed to avoid just that… leaving the organizers of Spa in a very complex position, as it is not at all clear that it will continue in the 2023 calendar.
Assuming there is no organizational chaos, all eyes will be on the teams and especially Ferrari. The complete lack of skill, skill and accuracy they showed in Hungary, where they went from being a strong contender for a double to falling off the podium, puts them in a critical position. The Italian press has been furious with them ever since and while the weeks off have calmed things down, the performances of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz will be scrutinized. In the car of the Monegask, a new update of the engine will also be released with which they want to restore the pulse with Red Bull. Verstappen and to a lesser extent Pérez start the red cars one step ahead, something that is not a big deal but that Mercedes has made a leap forward to become a candidate.
While the start of 2022 was far from what they expected, both Lewis Hamilton and George Russell have shown remarkable improvement. The evolution they’ve shown from a W13 that wasn’t even on the podium until they forced those upstairs to look in the rearview mirror with some trepidation means they’re being considered again. The work of the former championship team’s technicians to end porpoises is commendable.
If there’s one pilot who’s cornered and occupied lines of text these weeks, it’s Fernando Alonso. The next Aston Martin driver left the Hungarian race hangover in an anecdote, which also caused a knock-on effect that has plunged Alpine into institutional and legal chaos, with no confirmed replacement and many disapproving looks from fleeing fans like the plague.
There are still nine Grands Prix to go until the end of the season and each Grand Prix will be a battle in Alpine. The split was tense, unpleasant and above all one-sided: the team received a statement from Aston Martin that the two-time world champion had been disbanded. Therefore, there is a lot of suspicion about what behavior the Anglo-French squad will have with Alonso and vice versa. The mutual taunts (especially from the Asturian towards their still bosses) were not long in coming, leaving a week after the Hungarian GP full of what is now known as ‘salseo’. The behavior of both parties is closely watched, although the common goal is the same: to succeed.
Alonso will have to test his mentality. He knows Alpine could be a direct rival to Aston Martin from 2023, so bidding for fourth in the Constructors’ World Championship could play against him if he wears green. On the other hand, he is also aware that he currently has very little chance of success with Alpine (and we’ll see with Aston Martin), other than a chaotic race as this Belgian GP wants to be.
Source: La Verdad
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