The Spa-Francorchamps circuit is one of the oldest out there, dating all the way back to 1921.
Originally, it was mainly for motorcycle racing and stretched a whopping 15 kilometers, winding through the villages of Spa-Francorchamps, Burnenville, Malmedy, Masta, Holowell, La Carriere, Stavelot, and Blanchimont on those old secondary roads.
1920 – Move over Mario Kart! Spa-Francorchamps hits the scene, thanks to Jules de Thier and friends. They carved out a 15.820 km racetrack on public roads. Talk about ambitious!
1922 – First Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps in August. The Impéria-Abadal? Killed it, cruising at 88.900 km/hr. 🚗💨
1925 – June 28, 1925: Spa-Francorchamps hosted the Grand Prix of Europe. Antonio Ascari and his Alfa Romeo stole the show!
1939 – Raidillon corner? More like Rollercoaster Ride! This 17% slope corner made Spa-Francorchamps THE place to be!
1947 – After a 7-year snooze post-WW2, Grand Prix of Belgium is back. Jean-Pierre Wimille and his Alfa Romeo rocked it!
1950 – June 18, 1950: First Formula 1 Grand Prix vibes. Juan Manuel Fangio? Legend. Fun fact? Spa-Francorchamps has been on the F1 calendar for 70 years!
1951 – More space! The track gets a facelift from 6m to 9m wide. New turns? Yes, please!
1970 – Last dance for the big track, soon to be revamped in ’83. Pedro Rodriguez zooms at an average of 241 km/hr!
1972-1982 – F1’s Belgian Grand Prix plays musical chairs, moving between circuits. Catch us if you can!
1983 – Back to Spa-Francorchamps, but slimmer at 6.947 km. Fresh turns like Pouhon pop up!
2003 – The circuit goes VIP, bans traffic from March to October. But, oops! No Belgian F1 Grand Prix due to a tobacco ad ban.
2006 – Time for a makeover! Circuit upgrades make it a long beauty at 7.004 km. No Grand Prix this year – paint’s still wet!
2007-TODAY – Spa-Francorchamps is now THE dream stage for drivers. Hosting the Belgian F1 Grand Prix? Just legendary things.
Since 1985, Spa has hosted every Belgian Grand Prix, held every year with the exception of 2003 and 2006.
Great legends such as Ayrton Senna, Prost or Fittipaldi have won at Spa.
Here’s the rundown with the top winners at Spa:
🥇 Michael Schumacher – 6 wins
🥈 Ayrton Senna – 5 wins
🥉 Kimi Raikkonen – 4 wins
Most succesful constructors:
🥇 Ferrari – 14 wins
🥈 McLaren – 11 wins
🥉 Mercedes – 5 wins
The layout and the changing conditions make the Belgian GP a special Grand Prix, where many things can happen and unexpected races can take place.
🌳 Spa-Francorchamps Circuit: A Captivating Layout
Nestled in Belgium’s enchanting Ardennes region, Spa holds a special place in the hearts of drivers, teams, media, and fans alike.
Its allure stems from the breathtaking scenery and thrilling layout it offers.
Notably, Spa remains the longest track on the Formula 1 calendar, boasting an impressive 7.004-kilometer stretch and a challenging 19 turns.
With its rapid-paced nature, the circuit showcases constant elevation changes and iconic corners like Eau Rouge – Raidillon, the bus stop chicane, La Source, Le Combes, and Blanchimont.
The combination of these elements creates an unforgettable racing experience that captivates all who witness it.
Let’s take a ride on board at Spa-Francorchamps hand in hand with Lewis Hamilton as the Briton takes pole position for 2008.
Enjoy the scenery and the roar of that V8 engine!
🤯 Spa-Francorchamps Fun facts
- No Belgian driver has ever won at Spa-Francorchamps. Jacky Ickx, the most successful Belgian driver in F1 history came close in 1968 by finishing third.
- The 2021 Belgian Grand Prix was the shortest in history. Heavy rain meant that only 2 laps of the race were completed under the Safety Car. Max Verstappen won that race, and only half of the points were shared.
- The most famous corner of the track, Eau Rouge, owes its name to the river that runs underneath, which has a particular reddish color due to the reddish color of the stones and the riverbed from the rich iron oxide deposits.
- Due to its dangerousness, many drivers did not like to race at Spa during the first decades of F1, such as Jim Clark.
- 60% of the lap is spent on full throttle.
- Despite being the longest circuit on the calendar, Spa is one of the circuits with the lowest spectator capacity.
- The smallest win margin at Spa came back in 1961, when Phil Hill took victory by finishing just 0.7 seconds ahead of Wolfgang von Trips. The largest win margin happened in 1963 when Jim Clark won by 474 seconds.
- Overall, the average win margin at Spa Francorchamps is 34.598 seconds. But for the last ten Belgian Grands Prix, the average win margin has been 6.975 seconds.