Published On: Fri, Aug 26th, 2016

3 things you need to know about the Belgian Grand Prix

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Formula One returns to Francorchamps for the 72nd Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday.

Here are three things you need to know:

The Track

Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
Circuit length 7.004 km
Number of laps 44
Race distance 308.052 km

(Courtesy: Formula One)

The summer break makes way for the longest circuit in F1 at Spa, where drivers will negotiate a blend of long straights and chicanes through the Ardennes forests. … The race begins with a sharp hairpin at turn one. … The high-speed Eau Rouge section is considered one of the most dramatic series of corners on the F1 calendar, with an uphill incline also challenging drivers.

Hamilton hoping to minimize penalty impact

F1 leader Lewis Hamilton has decided to take his grid penalty Sunday, likely leaving him at the back of the field for the start of the race. The Mercedes driver incurred the penalty earlier in the season, as his car’s power unit failed and required engine replacements. It means he will lose some momentum in the Drivers’ Championship, having turned a 43-point deficit into a 19-point lead, but Hamilton hopes to make up some places. He’s managed to recover from deep positions in the past.

Red Bull’s Verstappen to step up

This is Max Verstappen’s home race. A native of Belgium and the son of a Belgian mother, the 18-year-old will have the crowd behind him. He showed great skill – and a little sportsmanship – defending the advances of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen for fifth place at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Red Bull has already surpassed the prancing horse in the Constructors’ Standings, with both Verstappen and teammate Daniel Ricciardo reaching the podium before the break at the German Grand Prix. This is, however, the Rookie of the Year’s chance to shine on his own.

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