Max Verstappen has praised the renovation work at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit ahead of the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix.
The reigning world champion believes the changes will make things a lot old-school for the riders.
For safety reasons, run-off areas have been widened at certain points along the course, but gravel traps around the venue have also been injected.
In recent years, motorists have taken a critical view of paved run-off areas, as they often go unpunished for a mistake.
Mario Isola, Pirelli’s Head of F1, says the changes at Spa mean drivers “have to be more aware of track boundaries” or risk a big loss of lap time.
Verstappen claims he’s a fan of the changes as they will present rivals with a greater challenge.
“I feel ready to race again after a good break,” he said. “I definitely got the itch to go back to that.
“It’s going to be a busy triple-header but it’ll be fine as we’ve all been resting. The track upgrades have made them a bit more vintage with the gravel traps, which I think is a good idea.
“It’s my favorite circuit so I’m looking forward to racing there this weekend.
“It looks like it’s going to rain, which makes it more difficult, but luckily as a team we like challenges.”
Verstappen goes into the 14th round of the season at Spa with a lead of 80 points over Charles Leclerc in the drivers’ standings.
The Dutchman won the 2021 abridged Belgian Grand Prix, with just a handful of laps behind the safety car due to torrential rain.