The Ferrari Driver Academy (FDA) drivers are back in action in Spa-Francorchamps after the four week break with a busy few days, as they tackle four races in the space of nine days in both the the Formula 2 and Formula 3 series.
Formula 2. This is the ninth of twelve Formula 2 rounds and the Belgian event is always one of the favourites, as drivers tackle the longest track of the season. Mick Schumacher will be keen to repeat his win at the last race in Budapest. It was the 20 year old German’s first win in the category and proved that Mick is finding his feet in the series. Spa-Francorchamps means a lot to Schumacher who took his first win in Formula 3 here last year, which proved to be the springboard that set him on the way to winning the title.
Callum and Giuliano. For Callum Ilott, this is also his maiden season in the very demanding Formula 2 category and the 20 year old Englishman has shown clear signs of progress in the last two rounds in Silverstone and Budapest. Ilott has also gone well at this track in the past, finishing on the podium last year in GP3. Giuliano Alesi is also looking forward to going racing again after the summer break. The 19 year old Frenchman is hoping to fight back after the first half of the season did not really live up to expectations.
Formula 3. Spa-Francorchamps hosts the sixth round of eight on the Formula 3 calendar. Both Robert Shwartzman and Marcus Armstrong are fighting for the title, although the championship is still very open with Robert on 124 points and Marcus fourth on 97. Shwartzman did less well than expected in Budapest, but he still leads the way. As for Armstrong, at the Hungaroring he took his first win of the season, which revived his title aspirations.
Road to Sochi. Over nine days between Spa-Francorchamps and Monza, the drivers will tackle no fewer than four races and so it’s a key moment in the championship in the run up to the final round in Sochi, which takes place from 27 to 29 September. Shwartzman and Armstrong know tre circuit well, having both finished on the podium here last year and even if looks like being a very closely contested weekend with the top four drivers all within just 26 points, there is every hope of a good outcome for the FDA pair.
Qualifying importance. Unlike at other tracks, qualifying is less important at Spa-Francorchamps, as there are several opportunities to pass another car, but the four points on offer for pole are still significant especially when the points situation is so close. Tensions will therefore be running high, starting with qualifying on Friday afternoon.