For the first time in years, I will watch the Formula One race in Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium this weekend with one very important man missing from the lineup.
Also known as Iceman, Kimster, Kimbot, ex-Sauber, McLaren and Ferrari driver, 2007 World Drivers’ Champion, but most important, The King of Spa. MY King of Spa.
I cannot, though, for the life of me, boycott this race, for Spa is the one race track that truly takes my breath away. It has been witness to innumerable Classic and Epic races throughout its history and I still dream of the day when I can see and touch that Famous “Corner of Corners” Eau Rouge and actually marvel at the sheer awesome steepness of that part of track. Eau Rogue defies horsepower and willpower in equal measure. It’s almost sculptural in its heft and grace.
Words are not enough to accurately describe the track so let Kimi Raikkonen take you through the track with his Pole Lap in the 2007 Belgian GP:
I can still remember 3 years ago, the Belgian GP race coincided with my Mom’s birthday, and all throughout the celebratory dinner I kept leaving the table, pretending to go to the loo when all the while I was surreptitiously checking the race on the telly, frantically sending text messages to my friend C demanding updates and analysis on everything I missed. Yeah, I didn’t win Daughter of the Year then. Good thing my Mom understands my brand of Crazy. =P
Unpredictable weather. Fast corners. Insane elevation changes. It is THE track that truly rewards the driver who is willing to push beyond the limit.
It takes a true racer to master this track.
I’m sorry, Kimi. I wanted to stay away in your memory but I won’t be able to. I will sit and watch the race and see a new winner stand on the top step of the podium, hoisting the trophy you’ve held aloft and spraying the champagne you’ve once gingerly cradled. But I won’t be sad, instead, I will smile and look forward to the day when I, and the thousands of your other fans, will see you race and triumph in Spa once again. I know you will be back, and there is nothing that can stop me from hoping.
This calls for a Cheesy Compilation Video. Except you can scratch off the cheesy part since this is practically a manual on How to Race in Spa and Completely and Utterly Own Your Opponents Without Breaking a Sweat:
Hurry back, Kimi.