Belgian Grand Prix: Is Spa-Francorchamps the Longest F1 Circuit on the Calendar?

Published 08/21/2021, 2:31 AM EDT
Formula One F1 – Belgian Grand Prix – Spa-Francorchamps, Spa, Belgium – August 30, 2020 Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas in action during the race | Courtesy: Pool via REUTERS/John Thys


After a long summer break, the circus makes its way to Spa. The Belgian Grand Prix not only marks the resumption of the season but is also the first race of the season’s second triple-header. Heading back to the challenging Spa-Francorchamps, the grid will be more than ready to be back.

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Circuit stats

The longest circuit on the calendar, the circuit stretches to 7.004 km. As a result, the race is 44 laps long, totaling 308.052 km of the race distance. Built in 1921, the circuit is only half its original length.

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SPA, BELGIUM – AUGUST 26: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (33) Red Bull Racing Red Bull-TAG Heuer RB13 TAG Heuer on track during qualifying for the Formula One Grand Prix of Belgium at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on August 26, 2017, in Spa, Belgium. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

The circuit is the perfect combination of long straights and challenging corners, making it an interesting race to watch. When dry, the track pushes the drivers to perform their best; but when the Belgian weather switches up, some parts of the track see rain, while the others remain dry.

Barring the racetrack, the surroundings of the historic circuit are an attraction in themselves.

Belgian Grand Prix circuit guide

The 19 turn course has plenty of dramatic elevation changes. Turn 1 of the track is a tight hairpin, La Source, which sets the tone for the rest of the race. After maneuvering the tricky T1, drivers head into the most iconic section of the track– Eau Rouge. The most famous sequence of corners forces the drivers to go left, right, and then up the hill through Raidillon.

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The first DRS zone, the Kemmel straight, is a long ribbon of tarmac, providing drivers the perfect opportunity to overtake. Crossing the corners of Bruxelles and Speaker’s Corner, drivers enter Pouhon. The double-apex left curve is often approached with dizzying speeds.

The final sector of the circuit also holds the final challenge. Once called the Bus Stop chicane, the right-left corner is particularly tight. After negotiating the chicane, drivers are in a DRS zone, heading to complete a lap around Spa-Francorchamps.

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Last season, Hamilton took his fourth victory at the circuit, followed by teammate Bottas and Max Verstappen. Daniel Ricciardo finished fourth, seconds away from the podium in his Renault chassis. Will the fast-paced circuit favor Ricciardo? Will Verstappen impede the fifth victory for Hamilton this season? Or will there be fresh faces on the podium? A week to go to find out.

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Shreya Sanjeev

361 articles

Shreya Sanjeev is an F1 author at EssentiallySports. Having attained a journalism degree from St Xavier's College, she finds comfort in the sound of her keyboard while typing and excitement in the sound of F1 cars speeding on a track. A street circuit and Daniel Ricciardo fan through and through, Shreya claims the 2018 Monaco GP to be one of her favorite races of all time.

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