The F1 World Championship roars back into action this week at the famous Spa-Francorchamps track in Belgium.
The Ardennes track is a favourite among drivers, and this weekend’s race is set to be a head-to-head battle between the Mercedes AMG Petronas team-mates Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
The duo are locked in a duel for the 2015 world drivers’ title, and although Hamilton, the reigning champion, holds the upper hand currently, Rosberg is not far behind.
The pair clashed during this race last year, which started a feud within the team that lasted for the majority of the remaining 2014 races. The pairing have put the issue well and truly behind them now, and both only have eyes on winning the 2015 title.
Hamilton said: “Spa is an awesome track and it is a place where all drivers love racing.”
Rosberg added: “I don’t have a German Grand Prix to race in this year so this race is the closest to my home country and will allow many fans of Mercedes-Benz to visit.
“The Spa track is one of the very best in the world and it offers an amazing driving experience. Eau Rogue is a fierce corner, and the speeds of a Grand Prix car through the corner are simply stunning.”
The Mercedes duo can expect a strong challenge from the Ferrari cars of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen. It is known that Ferrari have been working hard on closing the gap to Mercedes, and Vettel has twice been a winner this year for the Italian team.
Former Buckingham University student, Marc Gene, who is the Ferrari official test and reserve driver, said this week: “We’ve been working hard this season and we believe we are now much closer to Mercedes than at the start.
“We think that the race for the title is not over yet.”
The Silverstone-based Sahara Force India will be represented in Belgium by Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez.
Hulkenberg raced at Spa earlier this season for the Porsche factory squad in the World Endurance Championship. He said: “It was great to race a Porsche at Spa and I am looking forward to returning this weekend with a F1 car.”
Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz Jr. will drive the Bicester-based Scuderia Toro Rosso-Renault cars.
The Belgian Grand Prix starts at 1pm on Sunday.