Perez expecting intense racing in Belgium

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McLaren driver Sergio Perez expects another intense grand prix at Spa-Francorchamps next weekend as Formula One returns after its summer break for the Belgian Grand Prix.

The team has endured a difficult start to the season, currently lying sixth in the constructors’ championship and struggling for outright pace with Jenson Button already writing off any hopes of a McLaren victory at Spa next weekend. However, Perez is pleased with the progress that has been made.

“We had a positive race in Hungary, which was a nice way to end the first half of the season,” Perez explained in a team statement, “Hopefully, it gave everybody within the team the motivation to return to work after the summer break with renewed focus. I’m certainly feeling incredibly strong and refreshed and am really looking forward to getting back into the cockpit and back to work.”

Like many drivers, Perez is a fan of the circuit as it poses a unique challenge thanks to its rapid changes in elevation and high-speed sections.

“It’s such a great place – I love fast corners, and the feeling of taking to the car to the limit around such a big and long circuit is incredible.

“The racing at Spa – particularly with KERS Hybrid and DRS – is usually pretty intense, so I’ll be looking forward to another exciting weekend.”

Perez has failed to finish before in Belgium, retiring from both of his previous grands prix at Spa. However, the Mexican driver did start an impressive P4 for Sauber before being caught-up in the accident at turn one caused by Romain Grosjean, resulting in the Lotus driver receiving a one-race ban.

FIA returns Manor’s F1 entry fee for 2017

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Good news: Manor Grand Prix Racing Limited got a refund of an entry fee it paid to the FIA to run in this year’s F1 season.

Bad news: Manor still hasn’t run this year, and won’t be for the foreseeable future (especially as Manor’s former leadership staff is moving that team into FIA WEC’s new-look LMP1 class in addition to its LMP2 program).

Manor Group’s receivership outfit, Just Racing Services Limited, went into administration earlier this year. As there was no new buyer for the F1 team, Manor dropped from the 2017 grid before the season.

The FIA said it would return its entry fee to help Manor Group pay off outstanding debts.

It basically means nothing in the grand scheme of things since Manor missed out on 10th place in the constructor’s standings in 2016 and fell from the F1 grid as a result, but hey, it’s a goodwill gesture going into Thanksgiving this week.