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Belgian GP: Mercedes F1 ready to tackle ‘unfinished business’ at Spa

Mercedes have not won since 2017 at Spa but, with Ferrari seemingly out of the running this weekend, are big favourites

Last Updated: 26/08/20 5:00pm

Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says the Belgian GP represents “unfinished business” for the world champions as they look for a first win at legendary Spa-Francorchamps in three years this weekend.

Unusually by their relentless winning standards, the world champions have only won half the races at Spa in the hybrid engine era they have dominated – three victories and three race-day defeats – with Ferrari taking each of the last two victories.

Although the Scuderia’s form means a hat-trick for them is unlikely this time, Wolff is expecting the usual challenges and variables of the Belgian weekend to make the outcome far from a foregone conclusion.

“Our next race takes us to Spa where we haven’t won since 2017, so it feels like there’s unfinished business as we head to Belgium,” he said.

“It’s an iconic track and one of the fans’ favourites, but finding the right set-up can be difficult because of the variety of characteristics; on the one hand you want as little drag as possible on the long straights, but on the other hand, you need a certain level of downforce to be quick through the corners.

“It’s also forecast to be rainy in the Ardennes, which won’t make the job any easier.”

Belgian GP: Mercedes F1 ready to tackle 'unfinished business' at Spa

Belgian GP: Mercedes F1 ready to tackle 'unfinished business' at Spa 0:40
Sky F1’s Karun Chandhok, who raced at Istanbul Park in F1 and GP2, gives his take on the sport’s return to the Turkish track in November

Sky F1’s Karun Chandhok, who raced at Istanbul Park in F1 and GP2, gives his take on the sport’s return to the Turkish track in November

Mercedes impressively rebounded from the tyre blistering problems that let in Red Bull’s Max Verstappen at F1’s 70th Anniversary GP, which ended their winning start to 2020, by taking a dominant victory with Lewis Hamilton last time out at Barcelona.

“Winning in Spain was a great reward for all the smart work in the days before and it makes me very proud to see how this team just keeps raising the bar,” said the Mercedes team principal.

F1 remembering Hubert

The sport’s return to Spa is particularly poignant this week, on the first anniversary of the death of Anthoine Hubert. The Frenchman died after a high-speed accident in the F2 race on the Saturday of last year’s event.

Wolff said: “It was a dark day for the entire motorsport community and our thoughts will be with his family and friends as we remember him this weekend.”

Wolff on signing Concorde Agreement

Since the last race, Mercedes have joined their fellow teams in committing their future to F1 for the long term after signing the new Concorde Agreement.

“We have always said that we wanted to stay in F1, so the agreement wasn’t necessarily all that surprising, but we’re happy that we could bring the negotiations to a positive conclusion,” said Wolff.

“We are committed to our sport and we’re looking forward to the upcoming years which will see the biggest transition F1 has ever seen. This will reward agile, open-minded teams who can adapt successfully to the demands of the new rules.”


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