F1 2021
Round 12

#BelgianGP Race Setup

be Spa Francorchamps

Pierre Gasly, Sergio Perez. Lap two, side-by-side through Eau Rouge. It's fair to say our heart-rate was pretty high as the racing got underway in Belgium last year. High speed and major elevation changes provide a breath-taking spectacle for viewers at Spa, and keep your eyes on the skies.

#BelgianGP Race Setup

There is a special weekend ahead for Honda, as we celebrate our 50th race with Red Bull Racing. Our partnership has seen us take to the podium 32 times, including 11 wins. Managing to claim one of those podiums last time out in Spa, the whole team will be pushing hard for an even better result as we return refreshed from the summer break, ready to take on the second half of the season.

Toyoharu Tanabe
Toyoharu Tanabe
Honda Racing F1
The two week summer shutdown came after two difficult races at Silverstone and the Hungaroring, so it was a good time for our team members to be able to take a break and come back physically and mentally refreshed, ready to tackle the final part of the 2021 season. The schedule in the second half will be much more intense and it is also the final chapter for Honda in Formula 1.

We start racing again at the famous Spa-Francorchamps track, a classic road circuit and, at just over seven kilometres, the longest on the F1 calendar. The first and third sectors feature long full-throttle sections, making it one of the toughest races of the year from a PU point of view. This weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix will be our 50th race together with Red Bull Racing. We have achieved some fantastic results together, including our first win and pole in the hybrid era and a double podium as well as five consecutive wins. 

We want to keep winning, by focusing on one race at a time for the rest of the year with both our teams. Finally, one bit of unfortunate news was announced during the break - the decision to cancel the Japanese Grand Prix because of the pandemic. Everyone at Honda very much regrets that we will not have the opportunity to race and perform well in front of our home fans with our two teams in our last season in Formula 1. However, we are still determined to fight for the wins at each of the remaining rounds.

Max Verstappen
Max Verstappen 33
Red Bull Racing Honda
My summer break was good, it was nice to have a few weeks off to rest a bit and of course it was cool to spend some time on the jet skis, it’s a lot of fun being on the water! It feels good to be back, a triple header is a lot of races in a row but it’s the same for everyone and there are a lot of fun tracks coming up to look forward to.

These 50 races with Honda will always be special and well remembered when we look back. I think of course the first win with Honda will always be the most emotional memory during our time together and hopefully we can end this season on a high with them before they leave the sport. I have enjoyed working with Honda from the start. They have always been straight talking and delivered what we have expected. They spend a lot of time discussing everything with the Team and us as drivers which has been very important.

I am of course excited to go back to Spa, it’s my favourite track and it’s really cool to drive with so many high speed corners and elevation changes. I’m also looking forward to seeing all the fans who will be coming to support us and it will be cool to see so much orange in the grandstands again as they couldn’t be there last year. I also think it is a good place to re-set our championship fight and I’m well prepared and feeling good ahead of the weekend.

Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez 11
Red Bull Racing Honda
It was a good time to recharge, get some fresh air, and having two weeks in the same place is always nice! I managed to switch off completely from F1 which is important. both mentally and physically. Now I’m back, fully refreshed and it’s going to be a very intense second part of the season. It’s crazy to think in four months the season will be over.

I’m very hungry! Not just for Spa but for the second half of the season. I’m feeling more and more comfortable with the car, we’re taking the right steps forward and I think we’re going to have a strong end to the season.

With these cars it’s a lot of fun to drive and a very fast track. The weather can be temperamental around Spa and because the circuit is so long it can be dry in some parts but wet in others which makes the conditions tricky to judge.

Honda are so enthusiastic, you can see their passion for the sport and it’s nice to have people around you with that kind of energy. I’ve enjoyed working with them and it’s been a great experience so far so I hope we can repay them by winning this year's championship before they leave sport.

Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly 10
Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda
As a driver you can reflect on your last race result until it is time to get back on track. So, the result in Budapest was the best way to end the first half of the season, as I could enjoy it through the summer break. We had a really good Qualifying, fifth fastest, so first of the “rest” behind the top two teams. In the race, once again I was out of luck, dropping back to avoid the chaos at the first corner. It meant we couldn’t really make the most of our Qualifying performance. But we fought back from almost last, a great fight up the order to finish fifth. Scoring points with both cars was important and, for me, going into the break lying eighth in the Drivers’ classification was also a very satisfying achievement.
From Hungary, I went directly to Spain where I met up with some other drivers for a fun and relaxing time and after that I went back to France where I spent time with friends I’ve had since childhood, generally having a rest but also keeping up with my training programme, because fitness is going to be important in the very busy second half of the year. I feel ready for it!
Going back to Spa is a nice way to start racing again. Spa is one my favourite tracks, I love it and I have always done well here. I particularly remember it was here that I took my first ever win in a single-seater. So, a lot of good souvenirs, even if we can never forget 2019 and the emotions linked to Anthoine (Hubert). The track layout is incredible and usually produces good racing. I hope we can start this second part of the season, continuing where we left off in Hungary, after an enjoyable summer break, being fully recharged for the very busy time that lies ahead, especially the triple-headers.

Yuki Tsunoda
Yuki Tsunoda 22
Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda
The first half of the season overall was really interesting and enjoyable, many things about it were unexpected for me. It did not really match with what I had thought it might be like before the season started. There were lots of ups and downs and at times my performance was very inconsistent. But overall, I am quite happy because I managed to score points, helping Scuderia AlphaTauri to be the only team to score points in every race so far this year. We need to keep that going now as we start the second half of the year!
After Hungary, I headed straight for the simulator in Milton Keynes to do the correlation for Hungaroring and also look at the next three tracks. Then I went to Italy and spent time sorting out my new home, which is very near to the factory in Faenza. I was definitely ready for a break and I enjoyed it.
It’s great that we start racing again at Spa, because I have very good memories from this track. Last year in Formula 2, I won the Feature Race starting from pole position and the year before that in Formula 3, it was here that I got my first podium in the category. I like the track, so I am looking forward to it and I think it will be one of the circuits that will feel extra special in a Formula 1 car for the first time, it will be an especially interesting experience to see how an F1 car goes through Eau Rouge.

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