26 AUGUST 2016
BELGIAN GP – FRIDAY PRACTICE
First Practice Session: 1:49.865, Position: 7, Laps: 24
Second Practice Session: 1:48.085, Position: 1, Laps: 27
“It has been a very positive Friday for us. We showed great pace today in comparison with other teams, though it’s hard to say what Mercedes is like. Of course I’m happy to be first in front of so many Dutch fans but it’s still not qualifying and not the race so let’s see. When I went up to first position in the second practice the fans were all cheering me on with their flags. It definitely gives me a boost and motivates me a lot. This track is very difficult for setting up the car balance so I also had some struggles but at the end it paid off with the last set up change we did. We’ll see what happens tomorrow. I’m sure we can improve even more, but we have to wait and see what the others are doing. So far we had a very good start to the weekend.”
First Practice Session: 1:49.782, Position: 6, Laps: 24
Second Practice Session: 1:48.341, Position: 2, Laps: 27
“It was a pretty good day today, not bad. I think on the time sheets we look good, both Red Bulls are first and second, but I don’t think Mercedes used the super soft (tyres) and Force India is quite close. I think we can still be quicker than what we showed today, but I feel like we definitely got into the right rhythm. No one is on holiday anymore and we’re back in work mode, the energy around the garage was good and everyone is ready to go. I think we can improve the set up tonight, as there are some things I’m not 100% happy with, but it’s nice to be back behind the wheel.”
CARRY ON CAMPERVANNING
You might have noticed that the combo of Max Verstappen’s success and Spa’s proximity to his homeland has resulted in the circuit being swamped by legions of fanatical Dutch fans. And how has the mighty orange invasion rolled into the Ardennes? Well, where there are Dutch people there are caravans. So, to celebrate our clog-shod brethren’s passion for cramming their surprisingly tall selves into small spaces, we’re delighted to present our guide to the boldest, biggest and best the world of caravanning has to offer…
- The Priciest – The big surprise is that this doesn’t come from the Netherlands but is instead built in one of our home territories – Austria. Yep, if you can lay your hands on a paltry €2.2 million, the nice people at Marchi Mobile will build you the mother of all motorhomes – the eleMMent Palazzo Superior. The space-age motorhome comes complete with a vast master bedroom, 40-inch TV, full bar, fireplace and even its own rooftop terrace.
- The Largest – As you’d expect this is the subject of some debate. Do custom-made one-offs qualify? Should it only be about production models? Well, we had a look at the production models and they’re pretty dull. Instead, we went for the German behemoth known only as DerBus. Built by MAN subsidiary Neoplan, DerBus is a double-decker, articulated coach based on a Jumbocruiser N138. The motorhome version is a whopping 18 metres in length, 4m tall, 2.5m wide and weighs 28 tons. It’s also got a 433hp, V12 engine. DerBus can hold 144 passengers with plenty of amenities to entertain them. It has casino facilities, a lounge, central heating and air conditioning.
- The Fastest – In 2012 American Jason Sands hooked a standard Carson Kalispell caravan to a GMC 2500HD truck and at El Mirage Dry Lake, California, USA, dragged the whole lot up to 228.523 km/h (141.998 mph). The only modification to the caravan was uprated tyres, the wheels and all other components were unchanged.
- The Smallest – The QT Van, developed in 2015 by the UK’s Environmental Transport Association to promote Green Transport Week, is a fully equipped, single-berth caravan designed to be towed by a bicycle. The €6,500 caravan, which is full road worthy, measures 2.39m (7 ft, 10.9 in) in length, 1.53 m (5 ft, 0.24 in) high and 0.79 m (2 ft, 7.9 in) wide. It boasts a full-sized single bed, 19” TV, drinks cabinet and tea-making facilities.
- The Oldest – There are plenty of cultures that can boast millennia of caravan use but according to the UK’s National Motor Museum Trust the world’s first, and thus oldest, caravan built solely for leisure touring is ‘The Wanderer’, commissioned in 1884 by Scottish-born doctor and children’s fiction author Dr William Gordon Stables. Stables believed that caravanning offered an outdoor lifestyle that would have great benefits to health. The 132-year-old, 30ft ‘land yacht’, which boasts a bookcase, china cabinet and a piano, is currently owned by the Costwold Caravan Club in the UK.