Ferrari last won a Belgian GP back in 2019. It was the year after their so-called second-rate driver Kimi Raikkonen, one responsible for a mega win at US (COTA 2018) and the-then record shattering pole lap at Monza (1:19:119), exited the team and made his way to Alfa Romeo.
But that also meant the arrival of none other than Charles Leclerc. And it would be Leclerc’s sensational 2019 Belgian GP win, the first of his career, that catapulted Ferrari to a position of ascendency at Spa-Francorchamps, something they last enjoyed during Kimi, the ‘King of Spa’s’ Ferrari years.
As the years wore on, post Kimi’s famous Belgian GP wins in 2007 and 2009, the picturesque Spa-Francorchamps would see Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen as its famous and repeat winners.
There wasn’t much that Ferrari could do, which is when Leclerc arrived in 2019 and took home a nail-biting win.
As a matter of factly, ever since 2019, the best that a Ferrari driver has bagged at the Belgian GP is the eighth. That result too, came at the behest of the famous Monegasque driver Charles Leclerc, currently in his fourth season with the Prancing Horse
This time around, however, Ferrari, who are contesting with a car that’s about as fast as it is unreliable, things could change. And maybe, for the better, especially where the interest of the Tifosi stands!
So how’s that?
It has been confirmed that Ferrari are going to carry upgrades for the race at Spa. So the key question is what are these upgrades and what are the technicalities of the same?
According to the Motorsports publication Racingnews365, here’s what’s known:
Ferrari are set to bring a new engine hybrid system to the F1-75 machine when Formula 1 reconvenes at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Under new rules for 2022, certain parts of the power unit have been frozen since 1 March, which include the Internal Combustion Engine (ICE), Turbocharger and MGU-H. Performance related upgrades are banned, although improvements to reliability are permitted.
However, the MGU-K, Energy Store and Control Electronics may be upgraded up to 1 September, provided it has not been done so earlier in the season.
That being said, the following is what the Italian team boss of the famous side shared ahead of the race and whether the upgrades can benefit his struggling side?
“Yes, we expect improvements to the hybrid system that can help us during the entire period of the engine freeze; we are working hard, but it won’t be a turning point!”
Though, that’s not all that Mattia Binotto, the bespectacled team boss of Ferrari exclaimed as he spoke at length about the 2022 Belgian GP and his team’s preparedness for the same; he also touched upon the critical subject of how reliability plays a critical part for the team’s eventual performance.
Speaking of which, here’s what the Lausanne, Switzerland-born team principal said, “I don’t think that’s a strategy, but rather the consequence. It was the case for [Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes in 2021], because I don’t think that was predetermined. It’s always better to have the strongest, but most reliable engine.”
But having said that, it is not entirely clear as to whether other manufacturers, such as Mercedes, Renault or Red Bull are expected to carry new upgrades for the forthcoming Belgian GP.
And should that be the case where Ferrari doesn’t find any of its rivals- Red Bull and Mercedes- being the closest bringing forth any upgrades, would that make the Italian team clinch the Belgian GP?
That may just be the closely-watched question from what’s to follow!