Jarno Zaffelli: “There was the option to change Eau Rouge” at the Belgian Grand Prix

Home » Jarno Zaffelli: “There was the option to change Eau Rouge” at the Belgian Grand Prix
Jarno Zaffelli: “There was the option to change Eau Rouge” at the Belgian Grand Prix

Dromo Circuit Design is a company specializing in the repair and resurfacing of circuits which has worked in Zandvoort, Le Castellet and Silverstone. At Spa-Francorchamps, she intervened on the Eau Rouge-Raidillon sequence as well as on the Brussels (8) and Jacky-Ickx (9) corners, now doubled with a specific layout for motorcycles, cars (including F1) following exactly the same track as before.

“What did Dromo take care of when renovating the circuit?
We arrived at a time when the design of the circuit and the contractors had already been chosen and we were in charge of the asphalt changes with a particular mixture created specifically for Spa. At the start, we had to redo turn 9 (ickx) and its motorcycle version with smoothing of the curbs and resurfacing but for the same budget we were able to change the tar of the previous bend (Brussels). Then we redid the Eau Rouge, also at the level of the vibrator, and all of the Raidillon.

What did you bring to this game?
The plot limits are exactly the same. In two dimensions it is the same but not in 3D. The geometry has changed. For us, the track is a carpet to which we can give a shape according to what we want the cars or motorcycles to do. There, we have notably removed the bumps. During the 24 Hours of Spa (a GT event), we no longer saw the cars heeling and bouncing. Since it was safer, they could take a more direct path too, which made the place a bit faster.

Rumor has it of a new route on this part…
In November, there was the option to change the route. It had been validated by the circuit commission to be tested virtually. But with the winter weather here, there was no time to realize it between November and March. The final decision was to just change the asphalt. If you modify such a place, you will not be able to satisfy everyone, so it was better to say: we will fix this version rather than redo another one.

What did this alternate route look like?
I can’t talk about it in detail (smile). The FIA’s goal was to slow down Eau Rouge. But this idea also came from the perception that we then had a fast corner where we could lose control of the car. But for six months, that does not happen any more. If it continues like this, the desire to change the route could evolve and perhaps disappear. »

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