FISA's fuel restriction rules could have ruined the Belgian Grand Prix, but didn't quite. Nigel Mansell just made it to the line for his first victory of the season, and Ayrton Senna was similarly hard-pressed to collect another six points for his title quest. Another two or three miles and we might have had a Ferrari one-two! As it was, Stefan Johansson and Michele Alboreto were third and fourth.
A multiple shunt at the first corner effectively ruled out Alain Prost, who came back majestically to claim a point, and Gerhard Berger, the sensation of qualifying. For a while it seemed that Nelson Piquet was going to walk this one, but his engine let go. After that it was a matter of coping with understeer, tyre wear and fuel consumption and of working judiciously with the boost switch, as usual. At Spa, Mansell, Williams and Honda had the best compromise, even surviving a spin on the way.
We first came back to Spa three years ago, and on that occasion too, it was the next race on the calendar after Monaco. The feeling of euphoria was almost overwhelming and a lot of us felt the same last weekend. After the claustrophobia of the principality, the sensation of space and speed in the forests of the Hauts Fagnes is a delight. I defy anyone - no matter how outwardly jaded - not to be impressed at the sight of a modern grand prix car as it rifles into Eau Rouge. Flick left at the bottom of the hill, pitch right as you go through the dip. The really quick do this with the left hand only, for the right is changing down.
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