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The 2005 Belgian Grand Prix Preview

Championship leader Fernando Alonso has the title within his grasp, and the Belgian Grand Prix is his first opportunity to put an end to Kimi Raikkonen's hopes. The Finn, however, will be looking to delay what seems inevitable. Tom Keeble previews the race and rates the teams' chances of success ahead of the fifteenth round of the 2005 season

The Formula One circus is headed to one of the most popular circuits with teams, drivers and fans alike: Circuit National de Francorchamps, bounded by the towns of Malmedy, Stavelot and Francorchamps in the Ardennes, for the Belgian Grand Prix. One of the few circuits that puts driver skill to the fore, it includes the renowned Eau Rouge corner. The size of the circuit, with a variety of corners and straights over undulating ground ensure that finding the perfect set-up is nigh impossible. Overtaking is possible, particularly as tyres wear, and there is often rain at one end of the circuit whilst the other is dry. Accurate weather predictions are rare.

This is a circuit that often sees surprise results, typically due to inclement weather interfering with the natural order of things, but sometime simply due to drivers being able to get more out of their package than expected. That said, there's little substitute for outright horsepower around here, though efficient aerodynamics, good kerb riding and excellent balance are all big contributors to a great laptime.

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