Fresh from their double podium at Hungary, Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat are eager for the season to resume at Spa, one of their favourite tracks.
Daniel Ricciardo: "When I was a kid I played the racing games quite a bit and Spa was always the track I played – it was my favourite – and when I got to drive there for real, every bit was as good as I thought it would be. My first race was in Formula Renault 2.0 and I can still picture the first lap, thinking ‘wow’ as I went through Eau Rouge.
"To win the Grand Prix last year was really, really cool. It was pretty tough to drive. We ran really low downforce, pretty much Monza-spec. It made it tricky: tail-y but fun. Trying to keep up the rhythm when the car is moving around is not always easy – but I think it was the best package we had for the weekend.
"When Spa’s sunny, it’s great. A proper old-school Grand Prix for the real racing enthusiast. Great atmosphere, great fans, great beer and definitely the place to come if you like the frites. Only drawback is that it’ll be 30 degrees C with blue skies one minute and hosing down the next."
Daniil Kvyat: "Spa is one of my favourite tracks of the year. I think that’s a bit of cliche but I think it’s a favourite for all the drivers. It’s really long, really challenging, there are some proper fast sections and some properly balls-out corners. At Spa, more than anywhere, you feel that you’re really driving an F1 car.
"With these cars Eau Rouge is back to being a bit of a balls-out corner – especially in the wet. Pouhon is pretty much and Blanchimont still, but really only in the wet. It’s full of great, flowing, interesting sections.
"There’s great history [at Spa-Francorchamps]; the atmosphere is amazing. To be honest it’s quite hard to put into words. I like the weather. It always feels like one of the freshest weekends of the year, if that doesn’t sound strange, but it’s cold at night, and the mist and everything adds to the atmosphere. It’s a great circuit and I think it brings out the true fans and that’s quite special."