Guide to the Spa-Francorchamps Grand Prix Circuit

Introduction  |  Circuit details  |  Transportation  |  Accommodation  |  Results

The Spa-Francorchamps racing circuit has a long racing history, having hosted the Grand Prix in 1950, and each year thereafter non-stop until 1970. However, after some horrific crashes at Spa in 1966, one of which involved legendary British driver Jackie Stewart, he began seriously campaigning for improvement in circuit safety at F1 Grand Prix races.

Belgian aerial

Over its long history, the Spa-Francorchamps Circuit has gone through many iterations and improvements. It was originally designed by Jules de Their and Henri Langlois Van Ophem in 1920 and was triangular in shape – today, it is shaped more like a claw. It is considered to be one of the last traditional F1 circuits.

The current circuit, which began hosting F1 Grand Prix racing in 2007, is 7.004 kms (4.352 mi) in length. The circuit has 20 turns and is known for its big elevation change and quick corners. Drivers tend to like the circuit at Spa-Francorchamps, because it has wide corners, such as at Blanchimont, which allows drivers who turn wide to simply return to the race, rather than dropping out by driving into the rough. Michael Schumacher still holds the lap record of 1:43.726, which he posted in 2002. However, with the new layout, which included the Bus Stop chicane in 2007, Sebastian Vettel holds the lap record with a time of 1:47.263.

Spa is also known for its extremely unpredictable weather. This provides another challenge for drivers, who have to deal with sunshine and rain and fog, all in one race. In the famous 1998 Belgian Grand Prix race, there was a pile-up of 13 cars in the first corner, in torrential rain! In fact, Spa is known for its crashes.

Introduction  |  Circuit details  |  Transportation  |  Accommodation  |  Results