Sep 062010

I was just installing a new WordPress pluggin so i can include some photo galleries to brighten my blog up when i came across some photos from the testing in Spain in February. So i uploaded them to Picasa and now i’m hoping the pluggin will work so you can see the images (i promise to try and find something a bit more interesting for the next blog!)

Hmmm, doesn’t seem to be working, give me a minute….


OK, so now it appear to be working. If you hover over the image it’ll pause and you’ll get some text about the image (if i wrote any that is!). If you click on it, you’ll get a big version of the image come up.
N.B. i noticed that some of the images are actually from the Stowe shakedown a few days before we flew out to Spain. There is one or two photos of us driving from Jerez to Barcelona – what a driver that was: Most people went home between tests but a few were needed in Barcelona staright away. It was sold to me as apparently even though the drive is seriously long (circa 12 hours), you get to see a lot of Spain including some pretty spectacular mountains. The problem we had was that is rained most of the way there and on the mountain run, we were actually in the clouds and could see chuff all – great!

Sep 012010

It took us around an hour and a half to drive from Brussels airport to our hotel just outside the small town of Spa. The monotony of the first part of the journey encouraged me to remove the iPhone from my pocket and watch an episode of Band of Brothers. The harrowing story followed the men of Easy Company during the Battle of the Bulge, whilst they tried to hold the town of Bastogne. It wasn’t until the episode had finished, that the dramatic change of scenery presented itself – We were in the Ardennes, the very area that had been fought over so hard by the Allies and Germany, and that i’d just being watching on the tiny screen of my iPhone. The realisation was a bit of a shock, and put into perspective the task ahead of us over the following days.

Each circuit on the F1 calendar has its little quirks – its little points of interest. Corners that are unusual in some way, or a unique series of corners designed to challenge the very best of drivers or unique settings, such as Monaco. Spa is different. Spa has Eau Rouge.

Strictly speaking Eau Rouge is one corner, but the name now popularly describes three corners, the first of which is at the bottom of a hill, with the last being on the blind brow of a very steep hill. The thing that makes this so impressive is two things – how steep the hill is and how big the drivers balls must be to exit the last corner at around 300kph not being able to see the exit of the corner. There have been many big shunts.

The circuit is just over 7km long a weaves its way through the woods of the Ardennes – an impressive sight, with equally impressive weather: Rain clouds form here from no where,¬†invariably¬†dropping their contents on only part of the circuit. Tyre choices become extremely interesting when a slick tyre can have you off on one of the rain drenched corners, or the intermediates can perish in only a few laps due to large sections of dry circuit. Eau Rouge is just one of a number of seriously impressive corners. So far its been the only circuit that’s made me want to jump in a fast car drive it as fast as i can.

Looking up Eau Rouge

Looking up Eau Rouge