The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is a motor-racing circuit located in Stavelot, Belgium. Also referred to as Spa, it is the venue for the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix, and the Spa 24 Hours and 1000km Spa endurance races. Regularly voted as a favourite by the world’s top drivers, the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is included amongst other legendary motorsport tracks such as Le Mans, Indianapolis and Monaco. At a little over 7 km (4.35 miles) this stunning circuit, featuring the legendary eau rouge chicane, is the longest in the F1 world championship and well deserves its official status of “the most beautiful circuit in the world”.
One of the few largely unchanged 'old generation' tracks still in use. Indeed, the track immersed in the green of the Ardennes still has nearly all the technical characteristics of the original circuit (which was about 14 kilometres long), making it exciting from first to last from the technical point of view.
It is full of technical aspects that can bring out differences between drivers. The fans' pulses quicken when the cars pass by the Eau Rouge or Radillon, and nerves fray when a driver goes at full tilt (or not) into this fearsome dip.
Of course, drivers don't only set their best times courtesy of the Eau Rouge and Radillon. The central part of Spa is very interesting, with its sequence of fast curves interspersed with short straights. This second stage is perhaps the most technical, with the driver needing to take a very particular approach so as not to spin out. After the mixed section, at the exit of the treacherous Stavelot, the drivers go back in time to the evocative straight in the Ardennes forest, the Blanchimont, which leads to the final turn, the Bus Stop.
However, the Belgian circuit is also famous for its very changeable weather conditions, which often produce wet and dry stretches on a track that is almost seven kilometres long!