It was an early start on Thursday morning as I headed to London St Pancras Station ready to catch the Eurostar to Brussels! I met up with the other Gullivers staff members who were all excited for the weekend ahead. Once on the train the journey flew by, and we arrived at Brussels Midi Station in no time. After being greeted by fellow Gullivers staff in the station who were directing clients to the coach park we made our way onto the coach transfers to our Brussels hotels.
After assisting with check-in at the hotel we then had free time for the rest of the afternoon to explore the city of Brussels. It was my first time visiting the city so I was keen to visit the key tourist sites, including the Royal Palace, strolling through Grand Place, and visiting the famous landmark the Mannekin Pis. Brussels is also famous for its Belgium beer, so we decided to visit the iconic Delirium Village to experience the incredible atmosphere! I then headed back to my hotel for an early night in anticipation of the busy weekend ahead.
After an early wake up it was time for clients and I to make the journey to the Spa-Francorchamps circuit ready for Qualifying day! There was a good atmosphere on route with everyone on board very excited for the weekend to come. We arrived at the circuit in good time and the clients all headed into the circuit ready for a full day of action. I met up with the Gullivers Team and made my way into the circuit for the first time. I was in awe at seeing the iconic Eau Rouge corner in real life and seeing how steep it really is.
The weather at Spa is known to have its own micro-climate, and as the longest circuit in the calendar, the weather can be raining in one corner and glorious sunshine in another. On Friday there was lots of rain and it was great to spot so many Gullivers ponchos in the crowds! After a slight delay due to rain, the qualifying race got underway. This meant lots of teams had to think fast due to track conditions constantly changing. In the end, Max Verstappen took the fastest time, but it was not straightforward after the Red Bull driver snuck into Q3 by the closest of margins in 10th position. Due to a grid penalty, Verstappen lost 5 places, meaning he would start the race from P6. Charles Leclerc starts in pole position, with Perez in P2 and Hamilton in P3.
Today was Sprint Race at the Belgian Grand Prix. My coach arrived at the circuit in the morning to allow clients to make the most of the events throughout the day. I joined the rest of the Gullivers Team and made our way into the circuit. We explored the fan zone which was buzzing despite the damp weather! We enjoyed exploring all the shops and seeing what merchandise was on offer. As Spa-Francorchamps is the longest circuit in the race calendar we wanted to walk around as much as the circuit as possible to experience all the different views which were amazing.
The Sprint Race itself saw Verstappen take victory after wet weather caused the start to be delayed. It was an exciting race as Piastri dived into the pits early for intermediate tyres, allowing him to overtake Verstappen to the lead. It wasn’t long until Verstappen managed the overtake moments after the safety car which was caused by Alonso spinning out of the race on Lap 4, leaving Piastri to cross the line in 2nd place. Hamilton and Perez also came together in the race, leaving Perez with damage that forced him to retire eventually and Hamilton was given a 5-second penalty leaving him in 7th place despite crossing the line in 4th. Gasly secured 3rd place for Alpine which was a good result for him after having a string of bad luck on the track recently.
Today was the day everyone had been waiting for, there was a good atmosphere on route to the circuit and to get everyone excited I ran a sweepstake to get everyone’s predictions for the race. Once we arrived all the clients headed off into the circuit hoping for a drier day. With Verstappen starting from P6 due to a penalty it meant that he had some work to do to get back to the top of the grid. In turn 1 of the race Oscar Piastri and Carlos Sainz collided, forcing both drivers out of the race. This allowed Verstappen to gain a few places and by lap 17 Verstappen overtook his teammate Perez to reach the top of the grid. The results finished as a perfect day for Red Bull with Verstappen in P1 and Perez in P2, with Leclerc holding on to secure third place for Ferrari. The coach journey back was full of clients reminiscing on the best bits from the weekend.
I was happy to be able to have a bit of a lie-in this morning with no need to head off early to the circuit! I headed down for breakfast and it was nice to have clients come over and tell me what a great weekend they have had. After breakfast myself and some of the other Gullivers team had a free morning and early afternoon in Brussels before the Eurostar, so decided to do some shopping. We of course had to visit the famous Belgian chocolate shops to buy some delicious treats to take home with us! In the afternoon we had a transfer back to the train station ready to take the Eurostar back to London. Once back in London we said our goodbyes and headed home with fond memories from our weekend trip to Belgium.
by Claire Humphries, Marketing & Sales Assistant