Rosin and Philippe Confident F2 Will Prioritise Safety at Spa as Rain Looms

Rosin and Philippe Confident F2 Will Prioritise Safety at Spa as Rain Looms

rosinRosin and Philippe Confident F2 Will Prioritise Safety at Spa as Rain Looms

ART Grand Prix team principal Sébastien Philippe and PREMA Racing team principal René Rosin say they are confident in FIA Formula 2 Championship race direction’s decisions about racing in the wet at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps just weeks after a fatal Formula Regional accident at the Belgian circuit.

In the second race of the Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine (FRECA)’s round at Spa four weeks ago, MP Motorsport driver Dilano van ’t Hoff died after a high-speed accident at Raidillon in wet conditions with low visibility.

The incident occurred in the closing stages of the race following a safety car restart with two laps remaining. The other driver involved in the impact, Adam Fitzgerald, sustained several broken bones.

Other accidents at the venue in wet conditions a six-car pile-up in W Series in 2021 that sent two drivers to the hospital and Lando Norris’ accident in the F1 qualifying session the following day. All drivers escaped unharmed.

The weekend later attracted significant controversy after torrential rain meant that only two of the Belgian Grand Prix’s scheduled 44 laps were run, with both of those laps taking place behind the safety car.

At the time of writing, the forecast for the Belgian Grand Prix weekend indicates that rain is likely to fall Friday and will almost certainly fall overnight through Saturday afternoon, when it is expected to intensify. That coincides with F2’s Sprint Race, which gets underway at 13:45 local.

According to the forecast, rain may also affect Sunday’s racing, though the intensity is expected to be lower if it does come.

The length of the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, which clocks in at an F2-high 7.004 kilometres, also means that conditions can vary significantly from one part of the circuit to another.

At a virtual media roundtable ahead of the Silverstone F2 round three weeks ago, Van Amersfoort Racing team boss Frits van Amersfoort expressed concern about going racing at Spa without modifications to the track just weeks after Van ’t Hoff’s accident.

In light of the weather forecast, InsideF2 also asked Philippe and Rosin how they felt about returning to the circuit.

“It’s a tricky one. We all know that on these conditions, it can be tricky,” Philippe said at a media roundtable Thursday.

“Luckily, we have a race director [Rui Marques]. It’s his job to make the decision. I think he’s very professional and he knows what to do.

“Let’s wait and see how the weekend goes. I’m an optimistic guy, so I can still believe that the weather can change!”

Rosin echoed Philippe’s comments about the uncertainty over the weather but expressed confidence in the event organisers.

“From promoter to federation, the top-notch guys are working for it, and for sure safety will be on top on the items, looking also [at] the past facts,” Rosin said.

“I’m relying pretty much on what the FIA and the promoter will decide, but … if we race and if everything will go on, [it] will be in a proper safety condition, so I don’t have doubt on it.”

In response to InsideF2’s article featuring Van Amersfoort’s comments, PREMA team manager Guillaume Capietto, the father of FRECA driver Macéo Capietto, wrote on Twitter on 16 July that he was ‘not confident to race in Spa’ and that ‘the speed on top of eau-rouge [sic] is maybe too much for visibility due to relief’.

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rosinRosin and Philippe Confident F2 Will Prioritise Safety at Spa as Rain Looms