Spa-Francorchamps 1043

Spa-Francorchamps

Spa-Francorchamps remains the most challenging venue on the Grand Prix calendar.

Country
Belgium
Location
Francorchamps, Wallonia
Latest Race
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Spa-Francorchamps remains the most challenging venue on the Grand Prix calendar. A race circuit had been suggested at Spa as early as 1895 but did not become a reality until Jules de Thier designed a course in 1921. The original Spa-Francorchamps used the narrow public roads from La Source, through Malmedy, onto the Masta straight, before passing between the houses at the fearsome Masta Kink. A hairpin at Stavelot led to an equally fast return leg to complete the lap.

When the circuit was shortened for the 1979 24-hour race, there were worries that Spa-Francorchamps would be a shadow of its former self. But the new section was designed to match the character of the original. The old course, from the start at La Source through Eau Rouge and up the hill to Les Combes remains. A new link road was built across the valley to re-join the old circuit on the blast back to La Source.

Eau Rouge is considered by many to be the most demanding corner in Grand Prix racing. The weather in the area is notoriously fickle, often raining at one corner while dry at another. The safety issues raised by all of these factors led to the closing of the old circuit in the early 1970s. Stefan Bellof’s death during the 1985 sports car race robbed motor racing of an emerging talent and was a reminder of the dangers of any fast road course.

Circuit

Type

Temporary road course

Length

9.31 (Miles)

Description

Original circuit

Fastest Race Lap

Fastest Qualifying Lap

Antonio Ascari (Alfa Romeo P2), 6m51.2, 81.508 mph, GP, 1925

Type

Temporary road course

Length

9.236 (Miles)

Description

Malmedy right-hander eased

Fastest Race Lap

Fastest Qualifying Lap

Tazio Nuvolari (Maserati 8CM), 6m00.0, 92.360 mph, GP, 1933

Type

Temporary road course

Length

9.29 (Miles)

Description

Malmedy modified

Fastest Race Lap

Fastest Qualifying Lap

Hermann Lang (Mercedes-Benz W125), 5m05.6, 109.437 mph, GP, 1937

Type

Temporary road course

Length

9.06 (Miles)

Description

The Ancienne Douanne hairpin bypassed

Fastest Race Lap

Fastest Qualifying Lap

Hermann Lang (Mercedes-Benz W163), 5m19.9, 101.957 mph, GP, 1939

Type

Temporary road course

Length

8.774 (Miles)

Description

Malmedy further modified and Stavelot bypassed

Fastest Race Lap

Eugenio Castellotti (Lancia D50), 4m18.1, 122.381 mph, F1, 1955

Fastest Qualifying Lap

Juan Manuel Fangio (Mercedes-Benz W196), 4m20.6, 121.207 mph, GP, 1955

Type

Temporary road course

Length

8.768 (Miles)

Description

Stavelot Corner modified

Fastest Race Lap

Juan Manuel Fangio (Lancia-Ferrari D50), 4m09.8, 126.360 mph, F1, 1956

Fastest Qualifying Lap

Stirling Moss (Maserati 250F), 4m14.7, 123.929 mph, F1, 1956

Type

Temporary road course

Length

8.761 (Miles)

Description

Some corners gradually eased

Fastest Race Lap

Jacky Ickx (Ferrari 312PB), 3m12.7, 163.672 mph, Sports Cars, 1973

Fastest Qualifying Lap

Henri Pescarolo (Matra-Simca MS670), 3m13.4, 163.080 mph, Sports Cars, 1973

Type

Permanent road course

Length

4.317 (Miles)

Description

New circuit built using the section from Blanchimont-La Source-Les Combes on the old track with a new link road

Fastest Race Lap

Fastest Qualifying Lap

Type

Permanent road course

Length

4.312 (Miles)

Description

"Bus Stop" chicane built (re-measured in 1986, previously thought to be 4.3179 miles)

Fastest Race Lap

Alain Prost (Renault RE40), 2m04.615, 124.570 mph, F1, 1983

Fastest Qualifying Lap

Andrea de Cesaris (Alfa Romeo 183T), 2m07.493, 121.757 mph, F1, 1983

Type

Permanent road course

Length

4.312 (Miles)

Description

Startline moved to current location

Fastest Race Lap

Alain Prost (Williams FW15C-Renault), 1m47.571, 144.307 mph, F1, 1993

Fastest Qualifying Lap

Alain Prost (Williams FW15C-Renault), 1m51.095, 139.729 mph, F1, 1993

Type

Permanent road course

Length

4.35 (Miles)

Description

Chicane built at Eau Rouge for the Grand Prix and F3000 races

Fastest Race Lap

Franck Lagorce (Reynard 94D-Cosworth), 2m07.685, 122.646 mph, F3000, 1994

Fastest Qualifying Lap

Damon Hill (Williams FW16B-Renault), 1m57.117, 133.712 mph, F1, 1994

Type

Permanent road course

Length

4.329 (Miles)

Description

Eau Rouge chicane removed and corner re-profiled

Fastest Race Lap

Mika Hakkinen (McLaren MP4/13-Mercedes-Benz), 1m48.682, 143.395 mph, F1, 1998

Fastest Qualifying Lap

Michael Schumacher (Ferrari F2001), 1m49.758, 141.989 mph, F1, 2001

Type

Permanent road course

Length

4.316 (Miles)

Description

Exit of "Bus Stop" chicane and pitlane entry modified

Fastest Race Lap

Michael Schumacher (Ferrari F2002), 1m43.726, 149.795 mph, F1, 2002

Fastest Qualifying Lap

Michael Schumacher (Ferrari F2002), 1m47.176, 144.973 mph, F1, 2002

Type

Permanent road course

Length

4.333 (Miles)

Description

New approach to the "Bus Stop" chicane built

Fastest Race Lap

Juan Pablo Montoya (McLaren MP4/20-Mercedes-Benz), 1m46.391, 146.618 mph, F1 2005

Fastest Qualifying Lap

Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren MP4/19B-Mercedes-Benz), 1m45.108, 148.408 mph, F1, 2004

Type

Permanent road course

Length

4.352 (Miles)

Description

"Bus Stop" replaced by new chicane. New pitlane built

Fastest Race Lap

Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes-Benz F1 W11 EQ Performance), 1m41.252, 154.735 mph, F1, 2020

Fastest Qualifying Lap

Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes-Benz F1 W09 EQ Power+), 1m46.286, 147.406 mph, F1, 2018

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