Belgian Grand Prix

Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps

First grand prix 1925

Number of laps 44

Race distance 308.052KM

Circuit length 7.004KM

About the Belgian Grand Prix

The Belgian Grand Prix is currently hosted at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps and has been a historical race on the Formula 1 calendar since 1925.

The first race was won by Antonio Ascari for Alfa Romeo and the Grand Prix became a popular event with the race becoming part of the calendar every year since 1950. 

Two other locations have held the Belgian Grand Prix throughout history with both Nivelles and Zolder holding the event but Spa, as it is commonly known, is a fan favourite due to it’s high speed nature and challenging corners. 

The 2020 Belgian Grand Prix was a quiet one due to the restrictions on fans due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2021 race looks likely to have a similarly low number of supporters in the stands due to the virus.

Spa-Francorchamps Track guide

The current Spa-Francorchamps circuit is very different to the original track but it is still one of the most thrilling laps on the calendar. The original layout spanned 8.7 miles but the track used nowadays is 4.3 miles.

It features one of the most iconic sections of a Formula 1 track, the Eau Rouge/Raidillon corners, an extremely fast uphill left/right/left.

The start/finish begins near the enterance of the pit-straight, the first DRS section, and drivers head up to the right-hand hairpin of turn 1 before heading flat-out through turn two.

Whilst still accelerating through turn two down to Eau Rouge the gradient of the track changes to an extreme uphill at speeds of 180mph. Because of the uphill change, Eau Rouge/Raidillon becomes a blind corner at the top of the hill before continuing flat-out onto the Kemmel straight.

After the Kemmel straight it is Les Combes which makes up turns 7,8 and 9 before leading down to a long right-hand hairpin at turn 10 and then a left at turn 11.

Turn 12, also known as Pouhon, is a long flat-out left turn in which cars use as much downforce as possible to keep grip on the track. 13 and 14 are a right/left before timing the braking right for turn 15.

In dry conditions it is then flat-out through turn 16 and the long stretch of Blanchimont before dropping speed for the bus-stop chicane before the pit straight.

Race history

The Belgian Grand Prix has had a lot of variation over its history, with amendments being made to the track or the race being held in a different location. But it still features as one of the highlights of the Grand Prix calendar because of its setting and location.

Back when the Formula 1 World Championship was properly introduced in 1950, Juan Manuel Fangio won the first of his three wins in Belgium, with more victories coming in 1954 and 1955, on the old Spa-Francorchamps.

Other historical winners throughout those years include Alberto Ascari, son of Antonio Ascari, Jack Brabham, Jim Clark who won four in a row for Lotus-Climax and Bruce McLaren.

In 1971 the Belgian Grand Prix was cancelled due to the track not meeting the FIA-mandated safety specs, leading to a relocation for the next thirteen years. During this time the race was held at Nivelles and Zolder with winners including Emerson Fittipaldi, Jackie Stewart and Niki Lauda.

When the Belgian Grand Prix returned to Spa on the shorter track in 1983, Alain Prost was the first winner before Ayrton Senna won five out of seven between 1985/91. Michael Schumacher’s record of seven wins started in 1992.

More recently we saw Mark Webber pull off a phenomenal overtake on Fernando Alonso in 2011 going into Eau Rouge and Kevin Magnussen lost his car and crashed at the top of Raidillon into the barriers, causing his headrest to come off.

 

Session Date Time
Practice 1 27 August 2021 05:00 - 06:30
Practice 2 27 August 2021 09:00 - 10:30
Practice 3 28 August 2021 06:00 - 07:00
Qualifying 28 August 2021 09:00 - 10:00
Times are in America/New_York Timezone
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