Belgian Grand Prix: Marussia previews Spa 19 August, 2013 78 The 2013 F1 season gets back on track this weekend as the sport concludes its annual summer break and heads to Spa for the 2013 Formula 1 Shell Belgian Grand Prix. There can be no better circuit to get back into the racing groove than the hallowed asphalt of Spa-Francorchamps and its majestic setting in The Ardennes. This picturesque backdrop, together with the track’s blend of long straights and challenging fast corners, ensures that Spa retains its ranking as one of the season’s best races by drivers, teams and fans alike. At 7.004 km, the circuit continues its status as the longest on the F1 calendar. It features 19 corners – 10 left-handers, 9 right. Jules Bianchi: “On the one hand it is very important for everyone in the sport to have a good long break. On the other hand I was ready to go racing again after just one week! That was three weeks ago now, so I am very much looking forward to Spa this weekend and also to the second half of the season, which is very important for us as we have to give it 100% to ensure [that] we achieve our objectives. Over the break I have had the chance to reflect on my debut season so far, think about how I can bring all of that experience together to make me stronger and also focus very hard on my physical condition so that I can perform at my best through the run of long-haul races coming up. It will be good to race at Spa again as it is a fantastic track and it will be very special to get my first taste of it in an F1 car.” Max Chilton: “I can’t wait for Spa this weekend. The break has been a good opportunity to think about the first half of the season but it will be good to be back in the car again. I’m feeling very positive about what we need to do in the remaining nine races and I’m ready for the challenge. Although we haven’t been racing, the break has still been a busy time as I treated it a little like a ‘training camp’ and spent part of it on a pretty intensive physical programme. Having raced at Spa a few times now, I’m looking forward to my first experience of driving a Formula 1 car at what is a very special circuit. It’s a different challenge, with the exceptionally long lap and fantastic mix of long straights and high speed corners and it certainly ranks high on my list of favourites.” John Booth, Team Principal, Marussia F1 Team: “It is good to return after the summer break and have everyone in the team rested and ready for the second phase of races. With only two European rounds remaining, the long haul run will be quite demanding, so the chance for some much-need respite has been key for everyone. We also head into the second part of the season still holding 10th place in the constructors’ championship and we are keenly focused on what we need to do at every turn to ensure we maintain that position. The challenge begins again this weekend in Spa at what is a favourite destination for our team and the fans. There we will have some new suspension parts and brakes to evaluate and, as ever, consistent progress during the course of the weekend and a two-car finish ahead of our nearest competitors are the target outcomes.” (Marussia) Subbed by AJN.