Hats off then to Spa for joining a rather exclusive club this weekend. Sunday’s race was the 50th Formula 1 World Championship Grand Prix at this brilliant track, joining Monza, Monaco and of course Silverstone as the only tracks to notch up half a century of world championship Grands Prix. Long may all four tracks continue to feature on the calendar!
And to mark the occasion, 265,000 fans flocked to the circuit. A record attendance, up 11% on last year. Seemingly most of those who made the trek to south east Belgium had done so from Holland, given the amount of orange on display. The pulling power of Max Verstappen was very much in evidence, even Max the Lion got into the F1 Paddock.
Sadly though, the all too familiar sight of the young – Belgian born – Dutchman pulling over to the side of the track, was in evidence once again. Another race, another DNF, his 6th of the season and 4th due to a problem with his engine. Christian Horner, his team boss, got quite punchy with Renault, suggesting that there were questions to be asked of the engine supplier as to why these problems (this time because of a failure of the 4th cylinder) keep happening. Horner’s annoyance not just due to the points loss once again, but also due to the regularity of the issues. It’s hardly the sort of thing that will help persuade a future F1 star to remain with the team beyond the end of his contract.