Esteban Gutierrez, Sauber, Spa-Francorchamps, 2013

Spa-Francorchamps – circuit information

Spa-Francorchamps, 2014The original Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps was based on public roads running between the villages of Francorchamps, Malmedy and Stavelot in the Ardennes forest. Motorbike racing began at the track in 1922, and three years later it held its first grand prix.

It was part of the original world championship calendar in 1950, but even for its time the 14-kilometre long circuit was fearsomely fast and dangerous. Two drivers were killed in a single weekend in 1960, Chris Bristow and Alan Stacey perishing in separate accidents, while two others suffered major crashes.

By 1970 growing concerns over the frequency of serious accidents led to the circuit being removed from the calendar – Zolder and Nivells held the Belgian Grand Prix in the meantime. Spa was restored in 1983 having been shortened, but while dramatic corners such as the Masta Kink and Burnenville had been lost other famous bends including Eau Rouge and Blanchimont remained.

The new configuration also added new high-speed turns which complemented the circuit perfectly, including the tricky downhill double-left at Pouhon. Spa-Francorchamps has been the home of the Belgian Grand Prix since 1985, although that year the race was postponed from its original date when a newly-laid track surface broke up badly.

The impetus for ever higher safety standards has led to further changes since then. A major overhaul in 2007 led to yet another re-profiling of the problematic ‘bus stop’ chicane, and the run-off area at its many fast corners have been extended as far as possible. Yet it remains one of the most dramatic and exciting venues on the calendar.

Circuit information

Lap data
Lap length 7.004km (4.352 miles)
Race laps 44
Race distance 308.052km (191.415 miles)
Pole position Right-hand side of the track
Lap record* 1’47.263 (Sebastian Vettel, 2009)
Fastest lap 1’44.503 (Jarno Trulli, 2009, qualifying two)
Maximum speed 324kph (201.324 mph)
DRS zone/s (race) Pit straight and Kemmel straight
Distance from grid to turn one 265m
Car performance
Full throttle 70%
Longest flat-out section 2015m
Downforce level Medium
Gear changes per lap 45
Fuel use per lap 2.2kg
Time penalty per lap of fuel 0.088s
2015 prime tyre: Medium (2014: Medium)
2015 option tyre: Soft (2014: Soft)

*Fastest lap set during a Grand Prix
Data sources: FIA, Williams, Mercedes

Spa-Francorchamps track map

2013 Belgian Grand Prix track map

Spa-Francorchamps video lap

Spa-Francorchamps aerial map

Spa-Francorchamps pictures