Belgian F1 Grand Prix

Introduction  |  Circuit details  |  Transportation Accommodation  |  Results

Belgium’s first national racing event took place in 1925 at the course located in the Wallonian (French speaking) mountainous Spa region. From the first years before the turn of the century, this part of Belgium had always been associated with the racing sport.

Belgian GP

In 1921, to provide a perfect facility for GP motor racing, the racing course known as the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps was constructed. Originally, this course was constructed for motor races only but after the huge success in 1923 of the new French 24-hour race in Le Mans, Francorchamps hosted the Spa 24 Hours, which was similar to the race in France.

In 1925 Antonio Ascari won Belgium’s first Grand Prix. Later his son Alberto would both win the 1952 and 1953 race. Tragically Antonio Ascari didn’t survive a crash in his next race at the French Grand Prix. British driver Richard ‘Dick’ Seaman was killed in 1939, while he was leading the race. Alan Stacey and Chris Bristow had fatal accidents during the 1960 races – Stacey in a bizarre occurrence when a bird flew into his face.

In 1972 the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps was considered no longer safe for hosting F1 races and Zolder, together with the rather unspectacular Nivelles-Baulers circuit near Brussels provided the new Belgian Grand Prix courses. At Nivelles-Baulers, Emerson Fittipaldi won the first race, but although the circuit was safe, the event was less exciting compared to the enthralling old Spa-Francorchamps course.

In 1974, the Belgian Grand Prix returned to Nivelles and again Emerson Fittipaldi won the race. After the 1974 race the organisation wasn’t able to keep on hosting the Grand Prix at Nivelles and the circuit faded from the F1 Grand Prix sports scene. The Belgian Grand Prix took place in Zolder again and the circuit would host the race a further nine times. Zolder will probably always be remembered by most of the Grand Prix fans as the track where Gilles Villeneuve lost his life in 1982. The Belgian Grand Prix returned to Spa-Francorchamps in 1985, where it has taken place ever since. Michael Schumacher holds the record for the most wins at the Belgian Grand Prix, with six wins.

The FIA announced in 2006 that the Belgian Grand Prix would not be part of the F1 2006 Season. This was due to renovation activities at the Spa Francorchamps circuit that year. Having returned in 2007, the event was won by Kimi Räikkönen, who drove for Ferrari, winning his third Belgian Grand Prix in a row; Räikkönen won again in 2009. In 2013, Sebastian Vettel won the Belgian Grand Prix, his second win at Spa.

Introduction  |  Circuit details  |  Transportation  |  Accommodation  |  Results