Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Spa-Francorchamps
Spa-Francorchamps is a true classic Formula 1 circuit. There was a time when it was 14 kilometres in length and, even today, it is the longest track on the calendar, at 7.004 kilometres. One key section is the Bus Stop, formerly a double chicane and now a single turn. It’s very easy to overshoot and for safety reasons, it’s not possible to cut the corner. Rejoining the track therefore costs precious time. It nearly always rains in Spa, either in practice or during the race. It’s a track that sorts the boys from the men and the majority of drivers love it. To appreciate the difficulty of the challenge it presents, you only have to look at the winners’ roll of honour. Among the track’s most famous sections are the uphill esses at Eau Rouge and the following Raidillon, as well as Les Combes, Malmedy, Stavelot and Blanchimont. Ferrari has won 16 times in Belgium, 12 of them at Spa: the first victor was Alberto Ascari in 1952 and the last to date courtesy of Kimi Raikkonen in 2009.
Eau Rouge and Raidillon
One of the most spectacular pieces of track in the world. The barriers used to be much closer, punishing the slightest error, but even today it has to be treated with respect: making a slow exit almost invariably means losing a place.
Bus Stop and La Source
You arrive here on the run down from Blanchimont with the brakes having now cooled. A slow exit means laying yourself open at La Source, after the finish line. The hairpin after the start is very tricky: in 2012, Romain Grosjean played skittles with the pack, even flying over Alonso’s Ferrari.