Kravitz cool on Kimi's hopes
Lotus and Kimi could be hindered by Spa's cool conditions, warns Sky Sports F1 pundit
Last Updated: 30/08/12 5:14pm
Sky Sports F1's Ted Kravitz has warned that the much-fancied Lotus team may be stymied by Pirelli's tyre selection for this weekend's Belgian GP as well as the chilly weather forecast to descend on Spa.
Having come within two seconds in Hungary of achieving his first F1 victory since returning to the sport after two years spent rallying, Kimi Raikkonen - something of a Spa specialist - has been widely backed to win this weekend when the season resumes after its month-long hibernation. Lotus are expected to be boosted by the use of the 'Double DRS' device they trialled during Practice at both Budapest and Hockenheim, but Kravitz has cooled expectations that the Finn is poised to become F1's latest 2012 victor.
"Kimi Raikkonen is a Spa specialist - that is something that just happens, drivers go better at certain circuits than others and Raikkonen has won at Spa-Francorchamps four times, so he knows all the little tricks of how to win here," Ted told Sky Sports News.
"Spa is a circuit that separates the men from the boys. It is the longest circuit at just over five miles and it has everything. It has fast corners, it has slow corners and it has big gradients, so it really tests the bravery of driver and performance of the car. This weekend, we will see the best drivers in the best cars being successful and that is something that you do not get at every track."
Sky Sports F1's Ted Kravitz. Quotes of the week
"He is in a car that is capable of winning here this weekend. They have this little aerodynamic gizmo that they are going to try out and race for the first time this season, which gives them a straight-line speed boost and that should help as we have a long straight here going up to the third corner after the infamous Eau Rouge.
"So the car is capable, but what might go against Lotus is that it is quite chilly here, it is anorak weather, and they like it hot. The second thing that might go against them is that they like the softer tyres and here we have two of the hardest tyres we bring to all the circuits. So they will have to overcome both of those to win here this weekend."
With this weekend's event followed immediately by the Italian GP, 'momentum' is likely to become F1's next buzzword. For World Championship leader Fernando Alonso, however, Sunday's result could prove a pivotal harbinger of his ambition to land a third title in a car that fell way off the pace in Hungary.
"If Ferrari can be on the podium here, if Alonso can be second or third, or better still win, then we can start putting a bit more money on him for the Championship," added Ted.
"If, however, what happened in Hungary is repeated with McLaren on top of the podium, then the two Lotus drivers and Alonso only third, fourth, fifth, then they are going to start to be worried and that is going to start to set alarm bells off at Ferrari. They are going to know that at the fly-away races in Singapore and Japan they are going to need to bring serious speed, otherwise they could squander that early season Championship lead they have now."
And what of Lewis Hamilton after his seemingly-critical victory in Hungary before F1 embarked on its summer holiday?
"I don't think Lewis Hamilton is Fernando Alonso's only rival, but he is certainly one of the main ones. I think Sebastian Vettel will also be there, Mark Webber will inevitably be there as the Red Bull is a very good car and was the class of the field here last year. But they need to get on with it - Alonso has 164 points and they really need to start beating Alonso. But don't count Ferrari out, they can be quick here too."