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Mixed reaction to Spa revisions

The changes at Spa-Francorchamps have met with a mixed response from Formula One drivers on the first day of this week's three-day test at the track

The Belgian Grand Prix venue has seen substantial paddock upgrades, and the La Source hairpin, Bus Stop chicane and the pit entry have been reprofiled. Elsewhere, gravel run-off areas have been replaced by asphalt.

Some drivers believe that the alterations could increase the number of overtaking opportunities, but there was also concern about the safety of the revised pitlane.

"The new chicane is good for overtaking, you only have one corner and it is wider as you go into the main straight," Williams' Nico Rosberg told autosport.com.

"At La Source, more space is good at the start. Once we are running it will not affect much.

"The only negative thing is pit entry. It is completely blind. So as you rush to come in, if there is someone there it will be a big pile-up."

Super Aguri test driver James Rossiter agreed with Rosberg's conclusions.

"The last left (at the chicane) has a tricky exit, it's a bit slippery now," he told autosport.com.

"And it is tighter than the right, so maybe there is more opportunity for overtaking in Turn 1. Turn 1 did not seem wider or bigger but because there is no wall now, it looks wider and not so difficult at the start.

"The pitlane entry is narrow. You really can't see so when everyone rushes in there it could be a bit tricky.

"But out of the chicane there is more space, as the wall is further away so you can afford to make a mistake there, so this may create more overtaking opportunities."

BMW driver Robert Kubica believes the revised chicane was slower than its predecessor, and that the new run-off areas would prove significant.

"The chicane seems slower - now we go right then left onto the main straight, before we turned left then right, then right then left to the straight. We are entering slower and very tight," he told autosport.com.

"At La Source it's not much different.

"The change I noticed was corners 10 and 11 - there is no more gravel so you don't get stuck like we used to."

He also concurred with Rosberg and Rossiter's dislike of the pit entry: "It's very difficult to see the pitlane entry, the entry is very narrow and the wall comes very close."

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