This year, the circuit has undergone various modifications: the track layout itself is almost identical to the previous one, apart from a change to turn 9 – Les Combes – which features new kerbs that should allow the corner to be taken at greater speed. The famous Eau Rouge-Raidillon section of track, the uphill esses, remains unchanged, although the run-off area on the left hand side at the top of the climb has been substantially altered and increased in size. The historic chalet has disappeared, now replaced by a large grandstand. Going against the trend seen at other venues, the tarmac run-off areas on the outside of most of the corners, with the exception of Eau Rouge-Raidillon and Blanchimont corner, have been replaced with gravel, to eliminate the “track limits” problem, as going wide now involves losing time or getting stuck off track. This is a circuit where the driver can still make a real difference. The first braking point at the La Source hairpin requires the car to slow from 285 to 80 km/h, before accelerating down the hill and onto the uphill esses and the long Kemmel straight. Pouhon is another tricky corner, a left hander which puts a big strain on a driver’s neck muscles. Stavelot is the penultimate braking point on the lap, before accelerating through Blanchimont, before slowing on the approach to the Bus Stop chicane which leads onto the start-finish straight.