Everything you need to know about the Belgian Grand Prix

Published on
25 Aug 2022
Est. reading time
4 Min

We’re back after the summer break

After a four-week break, Formula One is finally back and we’re ready to tackle the iconic Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.
While the shorter layout at the Hungaroring last time out brought with it a heavy focus on downforce, it’s all change this week with Spa being the longest track on the 2022 calendar measuring just over 7km.
The run from Turn 1 down to Eau Rouge, up through Raidillon and along the Kemmel Straight towards Les Combes is 23 seconds of full throttle racing, with this year’s regulations opening up the opportunity for more wheel-to-wheel action at eye-watering speeds.

Track Facts

Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps has had multiple layouts since opening in 1921, but its reputation as a high-speed venue has never diminished.
The current Grand Prix layout is 7.004km long with 19 corners for the drivers to navigate, each with its own unique challenge.
With lap times north of 100 seconds, Spa has the longest lap time on the current Formula One calendar, and that’s before you add in the persistent threat of wet weather in this corner of the Ardennes Forest.
While gravel traps have been added beyond the kerbs at several corners to improve safety, the layout of the instantly recognisable Eau Rouge and Radillon section remains intact, but the tarmac run-off areas on both sides have been expanded.

What are the drivers saying?

Nicholas Latifi is certainly looking forward to getting back to the day job after a few weeks away from the circuit, sharing: “I’m super excited to get back to it and go racing.
“The summer break was very nice with time to switch off, relax and recharge. I feel refreshed heading into the second half of the season.
“It’s always great to head to Spa after the summer break as it’s one of the most enjoyable tracks on the calendar.
“The circuit has a fast-flowing nature with an old school feel, so it’ll be nice to drive this modern generation of car around there.
“Hopefully we can maximise any opportunities for a strong result, and it also seems like the weather might play a part as it typically can in Spa.”
His teammate, Alex Albon, is also in a positive mood ahead of F1’s return, adding: “It’s great to be back racing after a needed break.
“Spa is one of my personal favourite tracks of the year, it’s great for racing and fun over one lap.
“It can also always throw surprises with the weather, as we saw last year!”

From the Pit Wall

“Racing at Spa is one of the highlights of the season and we are very happy to be back,” explained our Head of Vehicle Performance, Dave Robson.
“The lap is long and offers almost every possible challenge for an F1 car and driver. The significant elevation changes and the variable weather add to the mix.
“Everyone knows the circuit well, but it will be interesting to see how this new generation of Formula One car deals with the high-speed corners at Eau Rouge, Pouhon and Blanchimont.
“Tyre compounds are from the middle of the Pirelli range and are the same as we used a few weeks ago in Budapest. However, the behaviour of the tyres will be quite different at this circuit, and we will need to spend Friday understanding how to maximise their performance here.
“Overtaking is possible in Spa and finding a suitable trade between downforce and drag will be critical to the race on Sunday.
“The FW44 should work reasonably well in Spa, and we are looking forward to getting back to racing at this mighty circuit.”
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Did you know?

When the Spa-Francorchamps was first designed in 1920, the circuit was 15km long. This layout was used until 1939 when it was ever so slightly shortened to 14.120km.
The qualifying track record at Spa is a 1:41.252 set by Lewis Hamilton in 2020 while the official race lap record is a 1:46.286 set in 2018 by Valtteri Bottas.
The Bus Stop chicane was modified multiple times before the current design was settled on in 2007. The chicane gets its name as it was once a bus stop. This is due to the fact that some parts of the circuit were still public roads until 2000.
While Eau Rouge is one of the most well known parts of the circuit, its name derives from the stream that runs beneath it. Meandering for 15km throughout Liège, Eau Rouge earns its title thanks to the red oxide deposits found in the river.
Williams Racing have won 3 races at Spa with Nigel Mansell taking victory in 1986, driving his FW11 and Damon Hill winning back-to-back races in 1993 and 1994 in the FW15C and FW16.
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