Belgian Grand Prix
Round: 12 of 17
Distance: 7.004km (44 laps)
Lap record: 1min 47.930s (2008)
History: First held in 1925, the Belgian Grand Prix was a regular event at Spa-Francorchamps and gained Formula 1 World Championship status in 1950. Since then it has been absent on six occasions and held at three tracks: Spa-Francorchamps (41 times), Zolder (10) and Nivelles (2).
Panasonic Toyota Racing heads to one of the world's classic race tracks this weekend for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps, just a short distance from its headquarters in Cologne, Germany. The legendary track is a favourite of many drivers, including Jarno Trulli and Timo Glock, for its challenging combination of corners and undulating, spectacular scenery. The Belgian Grand Prix has a special place in Panasonic Toyota Racing's history as the venue where the team registered its first fastest race lap, in 2005, while before joining Toyota, Jarno started from pole position in 2004. Race results still offer room for improvement though; seventh place is the best so far and bettering that is the target this weekend. The team will use a new aerodynamic package, designed for the lower downforce demands of Spa and Monza, venue for next month's Italian Grand Prix.
Jarno Trulli (Car 9): "Spa is a fantastic track and definitely my favourite in Formula 1. It is a real driver's circuit and that suits me perfectly. There is almost every type of corner, so all the way around the lap you are challenged and I love that. Every time you drive around Spa it is amazing but I have to say it was special to get pole position there a few years ago. It was disappointing not to achieve more last weekend in Valencia but it's a different style of lay-out compared to Spa. The competition in F1 is particularly tough at the moment but we are fighting hard and it would be great to get a good result at such a special place. Spa always gives me a positive feeling and we'll be pushing as hard as we can to get the best possible result."
Timo Glock (Car 10): "Along with Monaco, Spa is my favourite circuit. To drive a Formula 1 car around it is a fantastic experience and it's one of the best feelings you can have in this sport. It's one of those circuits you dream about racing on when you are growing up; it's just a very impressive track. Even though I really enjoy the circuit, I have some frustrating memories of the place; being taken out by another driver on the warm-up lap in 2007 and being penalised last year when I did one of the best final laps of my career to get into the points. That was all down to bad luck so I am due a change! Last year the weather was a big factor in the race and rain always seems to be a risk at Spa, but I have been quick there in the wet and dry so I am excited about this weekend."
Pascal Vasselon, Senior General Manager Chassis: "Spa is a truly spectacular circuit, not just for the drivers, but for anyone who has the privilege of watching a Formula 1 car there, particularly through Eau Rouge. The forces generated through this corner are extreme, especially for the suspension. It will be interesting to see how the 2009 cars behave; even though there is less downforce, we now have more grip with the slick tyres so I expect it to remain flat-out in the dry. Spa is in the medium-low downforce range and it is quite severe on almost all components, with only the brakes having a relatively easy time because there is plenty of cooling and not so much heavy braking. We will use the soft and medium compound tyres and it will be the first time we have used these together at a race weekend this season. However, we have plenty of experience of both so we have a clear idea of what to expect."
Today, Tomorrow, Toyota This year, as part of a global Toyota campaign, the TF109s feature messages used by local Toyota distributors to thank them for their continuing support of Panasonic Toyota Racing. For the European races 'Today, Tomorrow, Toyota' is inspired by Toyota in Europe.
Take a look at the latest issue of 'Push', the official Panasonic Toyota Racing team magazine, by visiting www.toyota-f1.com and clicking on the 'Push' link.