The majority of drivers don’t want changes made to Eau Rouge, according to George Russell, despite safety concerns in the build-up to the Belgian Grand Prix.
Anthoine Hubert’s fatal accident at the top of Raidillon in Formula 2 four years ago was followed by multiple serious crashes in other categories, and the first sector at Spa-Francorchamps was again the focus after Dilano van ’T Hoff was killed in a junior category race at the start of July. That crash happened in wet weather and with more rain forecast this weekend, drivers have been commenting on the safety of the track, but GPDA director Russell says they’re satisfied the iconic Eau Rouge section has been improved.
“No, we’ve spoken about it and I think between everybody we’ve concluded that we don’t think it needs (changing),” Russell said. “They’ve made a lot of progress with the run-off, that’s probably the most important thing.
“At the moment it’s sort of constant comms with the FIA following the tragic passing of Dilano in FRECA. The two questions are is Spa safe enough and then it’s the question of the conditions. The fact is motorsport will always be dangerous when you’re traveling at these speeds.
“If you were to put a ranking of risk of all of the circuits, for sure Spa is one of the riskier circuits, along with Jeddah, along with Monaco, for example. Suzuka to a degree.
“Then when you’ve got a combination of the weather, it’s very challenging. It’s the visibility — we just have no visibility whatsoever. The way I describe it to try and give some perspective is driving down the motorway in pouring rain and turning your windscreen wipers off. That’s genuinely how it feels in the cockpit. There’s not really any short-term solution. I personally think Spa is safe enough. We just need to find a solution for visibility.”
Russell’s comments followed Charles Leclerc’s call for further barrier tweaks for safety reasons and Zhou Guanyu stating he wants to see changes to Eau Rouge.