Here are all the facts and statistics you need to know about Spa Francorchamps ahead of the 2020 Belgian Grand Prix!
🇧🇪 RACE WINNERS
Since 1950, 52 Belgian Grands Prix have been held at the Spa Francorchamps circuit. In that time, 27 different drivers have won a race at the track.
Michael Schumacher has the most wins at the circuit, with six in total. Ferrari are the most successful team at the track, with fourteen wins; two ahead of McLaren. Ferrari-engined cars have also taken the most wins here, with fourteen compared to ten Mercedes-powered victories. British drivers have won here more often than drivers from any other nation, having stood on the top step sixteen times.
Alberto Ascari, Juan Manuel Fangio, Jim Clark, Ayrton Senna, Damon Hill, Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen are the seven drivers who have taken back-to-back victories at the track. Schumacher is the only driver to have taken consecutive victories on multiple occasions, having done so in 1995, 1996 and 1997 and then again in 2001 and 2002.
Jim Clark and Ayrton Senna share the record for the most consecutive victories here, with four. Clark won in every season between 1962 and 1965, while Senna won every year from 1988 to 1991. Their wins also mean that Lotus and McLaren share the record for most consecutive team wins at the track.
There are five previous winners of the Belgian Grand Prix on the current grid. Kimi Raikkonen has won at Spa four times, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel have each taken three victories here and Daniel Ricciardo recorded his only Belgian Grand Prix victory so far in 2014. Charles Leclerc became the 27th different winner at the circuit by taking his maiden win here last year.
The longest streak of different winners at this track came between 1965 and 1986, when there were no repeat victors in the eight races held at the track during the period.
The Belgian Grand Prix at Spa has been won by less than ten seconds on 22 occasions, by less than five seconds on nineteen occasions and by less than a second on four occasions, most recently in 2019. Twelve of the last twenty Belgian Grands Prix have been won by less than five seconds!
The smallest win margin at Spa came back in 1961, when Phil Hill took victory by finishing just 0.7 seconds ahead of Wolfgang von Trips. The largest win margin seen at the track followed two years later, as Jim Clark won by a colossal 474 seconds.
Overall, the average win margin at Spa Francorchamps is 34.598 seconds. From the last ten Belgian Grands Prix, the average win margin has been 6.975 seconds.
🇧🇪 ON THE PODIUM
72 different drivers have stood on the podium after a Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps.
Michael Schumacher has the most podium finishes at the track, with nine in total. Ferrari are the team with the most podium finishes here, with 29 in total. Meanwhile, it’s British drivers who lead the way in terms of most podiums for a nationality at Spa. British drivers have had 37 top three finishes at the track in total.
From the current grid, there are eight drivers who have previously finished on the Belgian Grand Prix podium. Lewis Hamilton has the most of the current field with eight, Sebastian Vettel has had six top three finishes at the track, Kimi Raikkonen has had five and Daniel Ricciardo three. Valtteri Bottas has appeared in the top three twice here, while Romain Grosjean, Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc have each had one podium appearance at Spa.
The polesitter has gone on to finish on the podium at this circuit on 33 occasions, including in every season since 2007.
The furthest back a podium finish at Spa has come from is 21st. Lewis Hamilton completed this feat in 2016. Having started near the back due to multiple engine penalties, Hamilton fought back to a third place position in the Grand Prix.
There have been five races at the track where all of the top three on the grid have gone on to finish the Grand Prix on the podium. It has happened in 1990, 1993, 1999, 2007 and 2010. 2007 is the only time where the top three finished in the order in which they started.
There have only been three occasions where none of the top three qualifiers have gone on to finish on the podium after a race at this track. It happened in 1986, 1987 and most recently in 1995.
From the 52 races here, there have been 32 polesitters. Lewis Hamilton has taken the most pole positions at Spa, with five. McLaren are the team with the most starts from the front, having taken pole on eleven occasions. British drivers have more poles than any other nation here, with Graham Hill, Nigel Mansell, Mike Hawthorn, John Surtees, Jim Clark, Jackie Stewart, Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button taking fifteen poles between them.
There are four previous Belgian Grand Prix polesitters on the 2020 grid. Aside from Lewis Hamilton’s record tally of five, Kimi Raikkonen, Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc have each started from pole here once.
Juan Manuel Fangio, Graham Hill, Alain Prost, Ayrton Senna, Jacques Villeneuve, Mika Hakkinen and Lewis Hamilton are the seven drivers who’ve taken back-to-back poles at Spa Francorchamps. Senna and Hakkinen are the only drivers to have taken more than two consecutive poles at the track. Senna has the record for the most consecutive poles at the circuit, having set the Saturday pace in every season between 1988 and 1991 (all races which he went on to win).
Mercedes hold the record for most consecutive team poles at the track, with six in a row between 2013 and 2018. The streak was ended by Ferrari in 2019.
The longest streak of different polesitters at the circuit came between 2002 and 2012, when there were no repeat polesitters in the nine events held during that period.
The largest gap between the slowest and fastest cars in a qualifying session at Spa is 165.5 seconds. That happened in 1962, when polesitter Graham Hill was almost three minutes quicker than Dan Gurney. Gurney’s car was not ready to be raced at full speed, so he lapped the circuit slowly, eventually deciding not to start the race. The smallest qualifying spread at Spa came in 2008, when just 2.41 separated Lewis Hamilton’s fastest Q2 time from the time which saw Giancarlo Fisichella line up twentieth on the grid.
Pole has been decided by less than a tenth of a second on six occasions at Spa Francorchamps, including five times in the six races at the track between 2004 and 2010. 2010 is the last time pole was decided by less than a tenth here.
The largest pole margin at Spa is 4.9 seconds, which is the amount of time Juan Manuel Fangio lapped the circuit faster than anyone else in 1956. The smallest pole margin here is 0.011 seconds, the margin by which Alain Prost took pole in 1983.
From the last ten races at the track, the average pole margin for the Belgian Grand Prix has been 0.355 seconds.
🇧🇪 SATURDAY TO SUNDAY
The Belgian Grand Prix at Spa has been won from pole on nineteen occasions. It has been won from the front row of the grid 33 times, meaning nineteen wins have come from third or lower on the grid. All of the last five races here have been won from the front row of the grid.
The furthest back win at the circuit came in 1995, when Michael Schumacher won from sixteenth on the grid.
There have been thirteen occasions where the polesitter has finished on the podium at Spa without winning the Grand Prix.
🇧🇪 SUNDAY STATS
The highest number of drivers to complete all the laps of a race at Spa is sixteen, which happened in 2017. Meanwhile, the least number of un-lapped drivers in a Belgian Grand Prix at this track is two, which has happened seven times, most recently in 1987.
The Safety Car has featured in ten of the last fifteen Belgian Grands Prix, and has appeared in every year since 2016. The most number of outings for the Safety Car in a race at this track is three, which happened in 2004.
Spa and the surrounding Ardennes Forest area is notorious for its micro-climate. Fifteen races here have been affected by rain.
32 different drivers have set the fastest lap of a race at Spa Francorchamps. Alain Prost is the driver with the most fastest laps here, having set the fastest lap of the Grand Prix six times.
In total, 1,086 cars have started a Formula 1 race at Spa. From those, 648 have reached the chequered flag, giving an overall finish rate of 59.67%.
There have been 2,060 Grand Prix racing laps held so far at the Spa Francorchamps circuit.
🇧🇪 CHAMPIONSHIP GLORY
Michael Schumacher’s seventh and final World Championship victory came here in 2004. It’s the only time a World Champion has been crowned at the track.
The winner of a Belgian Grand Prix at Spa has gone on to win the title in the same season on twenty occasions. The championship leader after a race at this track has gone on to win the title 32 times.
After graduating from the University of Hull in 2015 with a First Class honours degree in English Language and Literature, Nicky Haldenby, a lifelong fan of Formula 1, founded the Lights Out F1 Blog in 2016. Now in its fifth season, the blog has become a firm fan-favourite, delving deep into the sport’s history books and lifting the cover on unusual F1 statistics. Nicky also writes at F1Destinations and GPDestinations. In 2017 and 2018, he wrote for Badger GP. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast.