Spa Track Guide
|Location: Spa, Belgium||Track Length: 7.004 km||Laps: 44||Lap Record: 1:46.286|
Spa F1 circuit guide
The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is one of the most iconic race tracks on the Formula 1 calendar.
Based in the small municipality of Stavelot, this track has hosted almost every Belgian Grand Prix since 1983, missing only 1984, 2003 and 2006.
Throughout its history Spa has undergone several design changes, but by far the most notable was in 1979 when it was cut from a 8.76-mile circuit to its current length of 4.32 miles. In the process this track went from using public roads to becoming a permanent racing facility with 20 corners.
Spa is seen as one of the ultimate tests of a driver. In particular the Eau Rouge and Raidillon corner combination is one of the most spectacular sights in Formula 1, especially when the cars are launched through there at full throttle.
And as if the circuit itself wasn't difficult enough, Spa has a habit of producing very unpredictable weather. Sometimes it can be raining at one part of the circuit, but dry and sunny at another part.
Spa's current contract to host the Belgian Grand Prix runs until at least 2022.
Spa F1 circuit information
The high-speed nature of Spa makes it a circuit that's very popular with the drivers, yet any of them would be lying if they said Eau Rouge and Raidillon didn't spike the adrenaline.
Turn 1, better known as the La Source hairpin, has also over the years provided plenty of drama when it comes to race starts.
Simply put, Spa was made for speed and favours the brave.
Turn 1 (La Source) - Brake hard at the end of the straight for this very tight right-hand hairpin.
Turn 2 - Nothing more than a minor right turn of the steering wheel. Easy flat out.
Turn 3 - Flat out again to start the upcoming famous section of corners.
Turn 4 - (Eau Rouge) - A gentle right curve, only dull the throttle slightly as you climb up the hill because skill and bravery are key.
Turn 5 (Raidillon) - Bare left, keep the car planted to have a perfect run down the Kemmel Straight.
Turn 6 (Kemmel) - A slight right kink, flat out still because if you aren't then you're a sitting duck down the straight.
Turn 7/8 (Les Combes) - Finally the screaming engine gets a break through this flowing right-to-left chicane.
Turn 9 (Malmedy) - A fast right-hander, but if the tyres slip or the back end steps out then you're heading for the gravel.
Turn 10 (Bruxelles) - Take less speed through this seemingly never-ending right curve, again gravel is a big deterrent for going out of bounds.
Turn 11 - Lift off for this left and then quickly back on the power. We have seen a few stunning overtakes around the outside here over the years.
Turn 12 - (Pouhon) - A double left-hander, ease off through the first part but full-throttle for the second.
Turn 13 - A medium-speed right curve.
Turn 14 (Campus) - throw the wheel the other way for this left curve.
Turn 15 (Stavelot) - Back on the power again but soon arriving at this fast right-hander. It's easy to get it wrong and end up beached in the gravel.
Turn 16 - A quick right curve, flat out in qualifying trim, before heading through the Courbe Paul Frere.
Turn 17 - (Blanchimont) - A slight left kink, flat out.
Turn 18 - A slightly sharper left, but still only a slight lift of the throttle.
Turn 19/20 (Chicane) - Again give the screaming engine a rest and downshift rapidly for this tight right-to-left chicane to head back onto the main straight.
Spa schedule: 2020 Belgian F1 Grand Prix
The 2020 Belgian Grand Prix will take place from August 28-30, managing to keep hold of its originally scheduled date on the calendar. The only difference this year is that it will be round seven on an initial eight-race European calendar. Like all other races confirmed so far, the 2020 race will be a behind-closed-doors event.
Spa tickets: how to get them for the big race
In normal circumstances, the Formula 1 website will have tickets on sale for the Belgian Grand Prix, while their experiences section offers fans the chance to get even closer to the F1 action with specialised offers.
Bookf1.com is another platform where fans can buy tickets, as well as grandprixevents.com and gpticketshop.com.
Last but not least, fans can go direct and buy tickets through the circuit's website.
Spa ticket lowdown: things to note
Fans certainly are not short of options when it comes to vantage points around Spa when it is fully functional and the fans are able to flood back again.
The Gold One and Gold Nine grandstands are the place to be if you want to see drivers accelerate down the main straight, while the Paddock Club is also situated down the straight.
Gold Seven and Eight give the perfect view of La Source where you can expect plenty of overtaking and incidents.
Silver One, Two and Gold Two allow fans to take in the run up to Eau Rouge as do the mezzanines suites, while Gold Ten, Four, Three and Five are all in prime position to watch the cars swoop through the Eau Rouge and Raidillon combination, one of the most exciting parts of track in the world.
There are plenty of grass verges too for fans to get settled on - the best one runs for the full length of the Kemmel Straight.
The Silver Four stand is situated at Turn 10 (Bruxelles), followed by another extensive general admission area for fans to chill out and watch the action.
Gold Six is the final main grandstand which is located at the chicane to end the lap.
Spa directions: how to get there
Spa-Francorchamps is situated in central Belgium between Liege and Brussels. The nearest international airport is Brussels Zavantem, approximately 110 km (70 miles) away, but private planes are able to use Spa La Souveniere airport which is only 5km (3 miles) away.
From 2019 there is now a shuttle bus service which connects major regional cities to the circuit on all 3 days of the 2019 Belgian Grand Prix weekend. These cities include Aachen (Aix-La-Chapelle), Amsterdam, Anver, Bruxelles-Midi, Bruxelles-Nord, Charleroi, Düsseldorf, Eindhoven, Gand, Liège, Lille, Luxembourg, Maastricht, Mons and Namur.
Verviers Central station is the closest major station to the circuit. Shuttle buses from Verviers to Spa (bus 294 or 395) run regularly on race weekends with a journey time of 45 minutes.
If you're driving then Spa-Francorchamps can be accessed by the E42 motorway. Fortunately the country roads which surround the track are well signposted.
Spa history, memorable races and past winners
At one point in its history the Belgian Grand Prix had seen rain for 20 years in a row, so it's no surprise that this place produces drama.
Michael Schumacher's first win in Formula 1 arrived at Spa back in 1992 while driving for Benetton, a year after making his debut at the circuit.
And nobody will ever forget the 1998 event when Schumacher drove into the back of David Coulthard as he tried to lap him in the pouring rain, before later rushing down to the pitlane to the McLaren garage looking for a piece of the Scotsman.
Ayrton Senna is the second most successful driver here with five wins, one shy of Schumacher's six, but the Brazilian legend cemented his legacy at Spa by being only one of two drivers to win four races in a row here from 1988-91.
Jim Clark was the other, achieving this from 1962-65.
Drivers with most wins
Michael Schumacher, 6 wins (1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002)
Ayrton Senna, 5 wins (1985, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991)
Jim Clark, 4 wins (1962, 1963, 1964, 1965)
Kimi Raikkonen, 4 wins (2004, 2005, 2007, 2009)
Teams with most wins
Ferrari, 14 wins (1952, 1953, 1956, 1961, 1966, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2018, 2019)
McLaren, 12 wins (1968, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1999, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2010, 2012)
Lotus, 5 wins (1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1985)
Mercedes 3 wins (2015, 2016, 2017)
Williams (1986, 1993, 1994)
Red Bull (2011, 2013, 2014)
Last 10 wins
2010 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes
2011 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault
2012 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes
2013 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault
2014 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault
2015 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2016 Nico Rosberg Mercedes
2017 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
2018 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari
2019 Charles Leclerc Ferrari
Spa F1 circuit fastest lap
Valtteri Bottas currently holds the race lap record at Spa after he set a 1:46.286 on Lap 32 of the 2018 event while driving for Mercedes.
The qualifying lap record is currently with Sebastian Vettel who set a 1:41.501 driving the Ferrari SF71H during Q2 ahead of the 2018 Belgian Grand Prix.
Spa F1 circuit: what the drivers say
Daniel Ricciardo: "The lap is long but it’s one where you feel that if you make a little mistake somewhere, maybe you can get it back, as there are so many corners and it’s never over until the full lap is done."
Max Verstappen: "Racing at Spa is always special. I was born just an hour down the road so it is pretty much a home race for me. You can see by the orange crowds and campsites full of Dutch caravans that the fans come out in force, this only adds to the home race feel."
Kevin Magnussen: "I’ve won in every category I’ve raced there with the exception of Formula One. I have many good memories from competing at Spa."
Belgian Grand Prix Schedule August 28-30
|Practice 1||28 Aug 2020 11:00 AM|
|Practice 2||28 Aug 2020 3:00 PM|
|Practice 3||29 Aug 2020 12:00 PM|
|Qualifying 1||29 Aug 2020 3:00 PM|
|Qualifying 2||29 Aug 2020 3:25 PM|
|Qualifying 3||29 Aug 2020 3:48 PM|
|Race||30 Aug 2020 3:10 PM|