Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium – spectators’ experiences

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Tell us about your experiences of visiting Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium.

You may wish to include:

  • When you visited the track
  • Where you watched from
  • How easy it was to get to
  • How much of the track you could see
  • What support races there were
  • What you liked and didn’t like
  • How much it cost and whether it was good value

Please use the reply box below to leave your comments.

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839 comments on Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium – spectators’ experiences

  1. Carol Treurnicht said on 12th May 2009, 18:49

    I am so excited already- and today is my 50th birthday to boot (yeah I know I don’t look it……haha)- so if the typing deteriorates this evening I have a good excuse! Can’t wait to meet all you peeps- Spa is really a special event!

    • Andy Kelly said on 12th May 2009, 19:05

      Happy Birthday Carol,

      hope you have a fantastic night. Your right, you don’t look a day over 21!!

      Andy

  2. Andy Kelly said on 12th May 2009, 19:42

    WOW!!
    Ferrari are seriously threatening to quit next season due to the new rules concerning a budget cap. You can’t have F1 without the Tifosi, what are Bernie & Max thinking??

  3. Carol Treurnicht said on 12th May 2009, 20:26

    Andy
    don’t worry- they are only confirming what Toyota, Red Bull, Toro Rosso and BMW have said- if Bernie wants an F1 without Toyota, BMW, Ferrari, _Renault etc- then good luck- I am sure we’ll then all be watching and fevering elsewhere–just the politics taking over at the moment………..they will agree on a format for 2010 soon…..

  4. tony loveland said on 12th May 2009, 21:51

    Happy Birthday to you, Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday to Carol, Happy birthday to you!! (sounded o.k to me!)
    The teams are right to object to the changes,1) it would introduce lots of slower cars.2)It would prevent development( which is also happening this year to a lesser extent). The penalties for engine and gearbox changes should be abolished (not exactly fair in a drivers championship) (please excuse all the brackets!),a cap of about 60million should be about right for most teams. Tony and Deb

  5. Carol Treurnicht said on 12th May 2009, 22:00

    Hey Tony and Deb don’t overdo it!
    Thanks for the singing bit but as my official B’day present is our trip to Spa then my new offer- meet up in local pub on the Thursday to celebrate my 50 and going on 100- drinks on me!See ya all there!

    • tony loveland said on 12th May 2009, 22:16

      That’s a done deal! after you.. mind the step…age before beauty and all that!! Ha Ha
      Tony and Deb

  6. Liz said on 13th May 2009, 17:48

    Ok oh wise ones! My boyfriend and I are planning on attending Spa. I’ve just booked a hotel in Brussels for Friday and Saturday nights, and one in Durbuy for Sunday night. Is the traffic REALLY hellish on Sunday morning? Am I being completely ridiculous thinking about driving from Brussels to the circuit on Sunday morning???

    Would really appreciate your advice so I can think of a plan B if necessary!

    Thanks!

    • Andy Kelly said on 13th May 2009, 20:31

      Hi Liz,
      from my own experience it’s hard to say as we got there before the Sun rose on the Sunday (it was packed in the GA areas by then)so didn’t see the traffic. We heard that it was manic but would say that if you intend to get there really early you may be ok but if you have tickets for a stand then you may not needt to get there so early to gain a good position.
      One suggestion would be to book in at the Elephant for the Saturday as they have a B&B I think as well as the campsite, you are then within 15 minutes of the circuit & you can join the party crowd that’s growing by the week (as you can see above) to celebrate Carol’s belated 50th & (tongue firmly in cheek here) a famous Lewis victory!!
      Have you been to Spa before, I think it’s a good hour or so drive from Brussels.
      Andy

    • Carol Treurnicht said on 13th May 2009, 22:10

      Liz
      cancel the hotel and come and join us mad lot- sure you and your BF would have a super time and not worry about getting stuck in traffic/ closed roads or whatever….think about it- maybe plan B is the better option!

    • Hi Liz,
      Carol is right – I still have the contact for a B&B-Room in Jalhay. not to far from Francochamps and with my spacial Pass without terrible traffic jam.
      Reservation can do via my web site.
      Also it is possible to make the reservation for the parking place and there you get also the special pass.
      cu
      Michael

  7. Carol Treurnicht said on 13th May 2009, 20:46

    Andy
    I seem to remember Lewis thought he won last year…..(runs and hides now)

    • Andy Kelly said on 13th May 2009, 20:52

      Ouch Carol, that hurts, that really hurts!!
      Funnily enough we also thought Lewis had won, even up to when we were in Stavelot on the Sunday night celebrating with a nice Chianti & we were informed of the stewards shamefull decision. We had exited the circuit with our flags held high, annoying most of the Tifosi we passed & feeling on top of the world, for it all to come crashing down around our ears. I bet the Ferrari fans were searching everywhere for us so that they could do some flag waving of their own!!
      Did you have a good birthday?
      Am I right in saying that Michael has a B&B at the Elephant?
      Andy

  8. Carol Treurnicht said on 13th May 2009, 22:08

    Hey Andy
    don’t take me too seriously!
    As for B&B- not exactly at Elephant but I know Michael or a cousin or aunt of his does a B&B somewhere in Ster (the village there)- he seems either to be related to or know everyone there………
    I think we should just tell Liz to stuff the hotel lark and come and join us……sure they would have much mnore fun and not get stuck in traffic……..

    • Andy Kelly said on 14th May 2009, 0:30

      Carol,
      absolutely not, it just brought memories back from last year, walking round Stavelot in the rain, trying to find a reason to enjoy our last night out after we had been given the terrible news ha ha!!
      Sounds like Michael is THE man to know, & yes Liz should save herself a few hundred Euro’s & come join the party, especially as your a fellow Pit Yacker Liz!!
      Andy

  9. tony loveland said on 13th May 2009, 22:11

    Hi all,
    Deb thinks it’ll be vettel,(she always thinks that-it’s that cheesy grin!),I think Massa’s in with a shout, the car’s getting faster so Carol should hold on to her Ferrari flags!.I’ll just stick with alonso,if he wins i’ll be the bloke who’s smug on here for weeks after! Tony and Deb

    • Andy Kelly said on 14th May 2009, 0:47

      Tony,
      think Deb could be right, the best Seb is fast becoming the best driver!! Have you noticed how dejected Lewis has been in the post qualifying/ race interviews recently? I have always been told that the secret to prolonged success is to accept both the praise when times are good & the criticism when times are bad, ignore them both, get your head down & just get on with your job!
      Getting back to the Renault thread, how about a simulator challenge during the weekend at the ING/ Renault stage? Seem to remember you get print out’s showing details of your performance, best lap wins!
      Andy

  10. Liz said on 13th May 2009, 22:35

    Thanks guys! I’ll look into the B&B…I’m a fellow northener but have obviously been in London too long and have turned into a southern softie as I don’t think I can handle camping!!

    Thanks again for your opinions!

    Liz

  11. Carol Treurnicht said on 13th May 2009, 22:58

    Hey Liz no problem- you can park here too- especially race day and if you decide you can’t face the drive to your digs then I am sure we can find you a spot in someone’s camper for the night! Just do what you think is right but stay in touch!
    And another thing- Brussels is a great and beautiful city but it has the most dog poo in the world……

  12. Guys, I’m really jealous watching your conversation and knowing I won’t be back at Spa this year!

    We stayed in Maastricht for the race weekend in 2007. The drive in on Sat was no problem, and we were in the new little stand at the bus-stop chicane.

    Sunday was a whole different story, however – it took us 3 hours to cover 4km on the motorway trying to get off at the right exit. Team mechanics were being sent out on pit scooters to come pick up staff and guests that were stuck in the traffic – and when we got to the end of the queue it turned out that it was all caused by 2 lanes becoming 1 – crazy!!!!!

    That time we just made it into the village about 10 mins before race start and had to hare along to attempt to get to our stand in time – which we made just as they passed on the warm-up lap – close thing!

  13. tony loveland said on 14th May 2009, 9:13

    Andy,
    i’ll give you a thrashing on the simulator if you want Ha Ha! If don’t win i’ll try and convince you the things faulty…
    There is no dought that Hamilton is a fast driver, but some drivers have difficulty when they can’t communicate a way forward to the team, things like ‘it’s slow everywhere’ winds the team up. This is one of the reasons i support alonso, the car isn’t fast enough, but he works out a way to keep the car as far forward as he can until they come up some way to improve the car, fuelling light, less wing , long stints ect,this motivates the team and keeps the sponsers happy.In spain for example, alonso knew he couldn’t win, but fuelled light to keep the car near the front for the fans. Hamilton is used to the car being near the front,He started at the top of the old car’s development and now will it take some time to get the car working, should do well at monaco next week though, thinking top five. Tony and Deb

    • Andy Kelly said on 14th May 2009, 19:58

      Good points Tony, here’s hoping!
      Simulator challenge accepted, does your confidence spring from experience I wonder? If so I might have to call the handicappers in to even things up a bit, ha ha. We could maybe work out a points system based on bottles of Val-Dieu?
      Andy

  14. Christopher said on 14th May 2009, 17:51

    Carol & Andy:

    Brilliant job on the campsite info! Thanks very much! Will be taking my dad to his 1st GP in 30 years (!) (Watkins Glen ’79) and we are really looking forward to it. Looks like I’m going to follow your lead & set up shop @ the Elephant. Quick question, do they have tents set up or is it a must to bring your own camping gear? We are flying over from the States, so it would help not to have to bring along the tent, but is also no problem if we have too. I look forward to meeting everyone off Fanatic & def. downing a few fine belgian ales! Really, I can’t wait to see this legendary track. (1st up, Silverstone in just over a month!) Thanks for the help. Oh, so with all the different emails floating around, which seems to work best?

    • Andy Kelly said on 14th May 2009, 20:08

      Hi Christopher,
      not sure about pre-erected tents at the Elephant, the site we were on last year did have them but I’m sure Carol will know & reply to your question. If all else fails I can bring a 2 man tent with me in the caravan that you & your Dad are welcome to use for the weekend.
      You are in for a treat at Spa, the atmosphere is fantastic!!
      As for the best email address, it seems that Michael is still having problems with his ISP so I would suggest you call him on his cell phone just to be sure (it’s on his website)good luck.
      Andy

  15. Catherine H said on 14th May 2009, 18:03

    Hi Carol, Andy, everyone

    Following on from Christopher’s e-mail above I’m confused as to the best e-mail for the Elephant. I’ve tried the one from the website (bounced back), and all@the-elephant.de, but I’ve had no reply (maybe I’m just impatient!). Any other suggestions???

    Cheers

    Catherine

    • Andy Kelly said on 14th May 2009, 20:16

      Catherine (& Christopher)
      as an addition to Tony’s advice, it may be worth trying Michael’s mobile number which is +32 485 176 121. This is how I originally got in touch with him & then via the email address supplied above. Don’t forget the different time zones though as he might not be too happy with a call in the middle of the night.
      Good luck, hope Michael has enough room for us all!!
      Andy

  16. tony loveland said on 14th May 2009, 19:13

    Hi Catherine and Christopher, we got through on
    f1_reservation@francorchamps-camping.com, Michael said his elephant site works but he’s going to change it soon anyway,so try that. Watkins glen christopher! that’s lucky, you can tell us all about it when you come over, I think andretti won there. Tony and Deb.

  17. Carol Treurnicht said on 14th May 2009, 21:33

    Hi all
    this web addy works:
    f1_reservation@francorchamps-camping.com
    otherwise as for a few peeps mail me and I will ensure Michael responds.
    carol.treurnicht@arcor.de
    Also Michael has looked in here so he might in future too…..let me know if anyone has problems and we get it fixed.
    @ Christopher
    no they don’t have pre erected tents but if you want to join us for a good time then I have a good tent (depends how many of you are coming- I understand only you and Dad?- in which case i could bring mine along and a few home comforts for you- we are coming in a camper so can bring some things for you – think about what you need and post something- would be great to have you guys from over the water join us! We co9uld also book your space near to us and the rest on Wednesday so not far for you guys for food and beer…….

  18. Carol Treurnicht said on 14th May 2009, 21:40

    Yeah guys- lets all club together to get Christopher and his dad over to us…….Ok we got offers of tents….I also got a huge inflatable mattress and could bring bed stuff too also those of us in campers can bring a couple of chairs etc and extra food and beer (Carol just upped the beer order…….)

    • tony loveland said on 14th May 2009, 23:47

      Hi all, I’m good for the barbeque and we have an awning on the camper, so we’re alright for shelter- something to sit under for a break from the weather, hot or cold drinks ect, got lots of camping stuff thats on the van all the time, so should be able to help with most things. If your dad’s got any special requirements just mention it and we’ll bring it if we can.
      Andy, I’m up for the challenge! I haven’t been on a simulator before,but….Carol will be jealous! we,ve got tickets to a renault show at silverstone, Should get some good Photos close-up of the R28 running!I’ll send you and carol some when i’ve got them (I think grosjean is going to do a couple of laps in it!)There’s also a simulator for me to practice on… so i’ll probably be rubbish. Tony and Deb.

    • Andy Kelly said on 15th May 2009, 21:37

      Yes definetly, I’ll bring extra chairs etc, loads of room in the van, also got spare (clean) sleeping bags & stuff like that & will bring plenty of food over from Blighty (Bacon, Sausage & Black Pudding for Carol) & am travelling through France on the way so we will be stopping for some beers.
      Hey Christopher, I make a mean Yorkshire Pud, have you tried it before? If not you & your Dad are in for a treat!!
      Andy

      • tztztztz – bringing beer to Belgium! Same as if you go to swim and you take some water with you!

        • Andy Kelly said on 15th August 2009, 0:21

          Ha Ha Michael,
          I was just reading through the old comments & came across this one, your right, I will wait until I cross the border in to Belgium before buying my beer with a special one for our host!! ;-)
          Andy

    • Andy Kelly said on 15th May 2009, 21:40

      Oh no, Tony’s getting his eye in at Silverstone ready to whoop me!! I might do a Bernie & make some new rules up ha ha!!
      Andy

  19. Catherine H said on 15th May 2009, 8:32

    Hi All

    Thanks for all your help with the mails/phone numbers – I’ve tried all the e-mail addresses (the f1_reservation@francorchamps-camping.com is the one that bounced back, but will try again today). If still no luck I’ll try and call Michael tomorrow.

    Tony – the Renault show sounds fun – is that at the formula renault weekend? Catherine

    • tony loveland said on 15th May 2009, 9:19

      Catherine.
      Yes it is, on the 4th july,going to be cars from all renault formulas there, so should be a treat! It’s between f1 races- a week after silverstone so might get nelson,who crashed this car in bahrain last month(on you tube)or Grosjean having a go. This is the car (R28)richard hammond tried to drive on ‘top gear’ so should be good to see it running close up.Tony and Deb.

  20. Christopher said on 15th May 2009, 17:34

    Wow, I’m overwhelmed by the response! Carol, we would be more than happy to join you at the Elephant (won’t be able to bring the beer, but more than happy to pay our share;) Looks like we will be flying in to Brussels on Thursday morning, grabbing a rental car & heading out to the track! My Dad may appreciate the air mattress, I’d say it’s a safe bet it will go to use. As far as the tent, I have my own 2 man but it may be a huge help if you had an extra in the camper (I don’t want to trouble you at all). Seriously, I couldn’t be looking forward to this more! It sounds all the better because of the great people on here. @Tony: I was never lucky enough to attend a Watkins Glen GP (wasn’t born yet) but my Dad went to every one from ’73 to ’79 and saw some incredible races (winners included Peterson, Reuteman, Lauda, Hunt & Villeneuve!!) and also some terrible tragedies (Cevert). He can tell you some good stories about the BOG!!

    • tony loveland said on 15th May 2009, 22:50

      Andy, I’m sure it’ll be a good competition,who ever wins!
      Christopher, cool, your can dad tell us all about the turbo’s, it must have been amazing watching f1 when the cars were so quick, did he ever see the six wheel tyrell race? i’ve seen the car a few times but have never seen it running, only on display, can’t wait. Tony and deb

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