Mercedes have had just one 1-2 finish in Belgium in the last nine seasons, a Red Bull driver has finished in the top three at Spa in all of the last three years and Toro Rosso have had only two top ten qualifications in the past ten seasons. Here’s how the teams’ histories compare at Spa-Francorchamps!
Mercedes took a 1-2 finish on their only visit to Spa-Francorchamps during their first stint in the sport. On their first appearance since 1955, Mercedes scored with both drivers – something which has happened more often than not in every Belgian Grand Prix appearance since. Michael Schumacher’s eleventh place finish in 2012 and Lewis Hamilton’s retirement in 2014 are the only occasions where a Mercedes driver has failed to score points here. The team have had at least one car on the podium at Spa in all of the last six seasons, with 2015 being their only 1-2 finish here since 1955, while the following season was the only other time both Mercedes cars have finished on the podium together.
Mercedes have taken pole position in all of the last six seasons at the Belgian Grand Prix, locking-out the front row in 2014 and 2015. The team have reached Q3 with both drivers in all of the last six years at the circuit – aside from in 2016 when Lewis Hamilton was forced to start from the back due to engine penalties, though that didn’t stop him from finishing on the podium.
Ferrari have won thirteen times at Spa Francorchamps, taking their first victory since 2009 last season. A Ferrari driver has scored points at the Belgian Grand Prix in every year since 1999, with 1998 marking the team’s last double non-finish at the track. The team suffered at least one retirement at the circuit in every year between 1987 and 1998. Ferrari have had 38 top three finishes at the circuit. Since their 2009 victory, Ferrari have had only three podium finishes – with Fernando Alonso in 2013, and with Sebastian Vettel in each of the last two seasons.
Ferrari have locked-out the front row five times at Spa. The last time they did so was in 2007, which was also the last time the team took pole here. Sebastian Vettel has qualified on the front row in each of the last two seasons with Ferrari. There have been only three occasions since 2006 where a Ferrari driver has failed to qualify in the top ten. Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen were eliminated in Q2 in 2012 and 2015 respectively, while Luca Badoer’s twentieth place in 2009, on his final F1 appearance, is the only time the team have been out in Q1 at the circuit.
Red Bull have taken three victories at the Belgian Grand Prix, and have finished on the podium in all but one of the last ten years at Spa. 2015 is the only year one of their drivers failed to finish in the top three, but even then Daniil Kvyat finished fourth for the team. Red Bull have recorded three DNFs in the past four years here – two for Daniel Ricciardo in 2015 and 2018, and one for Max Verstappen in 2017. The team’s first race here in 2005 is the only occasion where neither driver has picked up points.
Likewise, 2005 is the only time neither Red Bull driver has qualified in the top ten at the circuit. Red Bull have taken two poles at the Belgian Grand Prix, in 2010 and 2011, and have qualified on the front row on two further occasions in 2013 and 2016. The team have never been eliminated in Q1 at this circuit, and have had only four Q2 exits, most recently in 2015.
Alain Prost won for Renault on the team’s first visit to the Spa circuit, which remains their only win at the track. Eddie Cheever’s third place ensured the team scored a double podium finish, while they’ve taken two top three finishes since, with Fernando Alonso in 2005 and Robert Kubica in 2010. Since their return to the sport, Renault have scored points only once, when Nico Hulkenberg finished seventh in 2017.
Renault have taken two pole positions at the Spa circuit, in 1983 with Alain Prost and in 2004 with Jarno Trulli. They remain their only two front row starts at the track. In 2017, Renault recorded their only double Q3 appearance in Belgium since their return to the sport but couldn’t reach the final part of qualifying in last year’s wet session.
Haas have scored points in each of the last two seasons at the Belgian Grand Prix. Romain Grosjean scored their best result here, with seventh place in both 2017 and 2018. Kevin Magnussen also finished eighth last year, marking the first time both Haas cars scored at the track. A Haas car is yet to retire from a race at Spa, with 2016 being the team’s only point-less visit to Belgium.
Last season marked the Haas team’s first appearance in Q3 at the Belgian Grand Prix. They’ve never been eliminated in Q1 here, previously recording Q2 exits in 2016 and 2017. Romain Grosjean recorded the team’s best qualifying position here with fifth on the grid, while no Haas driver has qualified below thirteenth at Spa.
McLaren have taken twelve victories at Spa Francorchamps, including their first ever win with founder Bruce McLaren in 1968. Between 1987 and 1991, McLaren won all five Belgian Grands Prix, and took 1-2 finishes in all but one of those races. One McLaren car has failed to finish in all of the last three seasons at Spa, while Fernando Alonso’s seventh place finish in 2016 is the only time the team have scored here in the last four seasons.
McLaren have taken eleven pole positions at Spa, most recently with Jenson Button in 2012. They’ve had six front row lock-outs at the circuit. Last season, both McLaren drivers were eliminated in Q1 at the Belgian Grand Prix for only the second time. 2015 is the other occasion both cars were out in Q1. A double Q2 elimination in 2017 means no McLaren driver has qualified in the top ten here since 2016.
Racing Point (Force India)
Force India had a happy hunting ground at the Belgian Grand Prix, with their first visit here in 2008 being the only time the team failed to score at the track. Giancarlo Fisichella scored the team’s first podium at the track in 2009 and they’ve had six further top five finishes since then. The team failed to finish here only twice, with Paul di Resta in 2013 and Sergio Perez in 2017, while Nico Hulkenberg failed to make the start of the race in 2015 due to power unit issues.
Force India took their first, and only, Formula 1 pole in Belgium in 2009 with Giancarlo Fisichella. Aside from 2008, when both cars were eliminated in Q1, Force India recorded only two other Q1 exits at Spa. The team qualified in the top ten with both cars in all of the last three seasons, locking-out the second row in last year’s rain-hit qualifying session.
Racing Point make their first visit to the track this weekend; where their new ownership was announced last season. They’ll be hoping to continue the Silverstone-based team’s success here. It is of course where original owners Jordan scored their first Grand Prix victory in 1998.
Alfa Romeo (Sauber)
In the last eight years, Sauber have scored only two points at the Belgian Grand Prix – both with Marcus Ericsson in 2015 and 2018. The team have taken two podium finishes at the Spa circuit, their first being a third place finish for Jean Alesi in 1998, and the latest with Nick Heidfeld at the 2008 race. One Sauber driver has retired from the Belgian Grand Prix in all of the last three seasons.
Sauber have failed to qualify in the top ten in all of the last six seasons at the Belgian Grand Prix. The last time they reached Q3 was in 2012. They did so with both drivers that year, and Kamui Kobayashi qualified on the front row; the team’s best qualifying result at the circuit.
Alfa Romeo won twice here in the 1950s, with Juan Manuel Fangio in 1950 and with Giuseppe Farina in 1951. Those two drivers also took pole here for the team in the opposite year to which they won the race! Luigi Fagioli made it a 1-2 finish for Alfa Romeo in 1950, the third of four 1-2 finishes in the team’s history.
2016 is the only time in the last seven years that Toro Rosso have left the Belgian Grand Prix without scoring a point. 2008 and 2012 are the only seasons where both of the team’s drivers have scored points at Spa, while 2011 is the only time both Toro Rosso cars have failed to reach the end of the race. Their best finish here so far came in 2008, when Sebastian Vettel finished fifth.
Despite their high points rate at the track, Carlos Sainz in 2015 is the only time in the past seven years where a Toro Rosso driver has reached the top ten in qualifying. 2008 is the only season where both of the team’s drivers have reached Q3, while Jaime Alguersuari recorded Toro Rosso’s best qualifying result so far here with sixth in 2011.
Williams have taken three victories at Spa, with 1993 being the only time both their drivers have finished on the podium at the track. They took their most recent podium finish at the track in 2014 with Valtteri Bottas. Williams failed to score points at the Belgian Grand Prix for the first time in the hybrid era last season. The team haven’t recorded a non-finish here since 2012.
Williams have taken seven poles at Spa Francorchamps, including front row lock-outs in 1987, 1993, 1996 and 2001. Both Williams drivers have been eliminated in the first part of the qualifying session in each of the last two Belgian Grand Prix weekends.
After graduating 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. 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 Motorsport Guides and can be heard as the resident stats man on the 2 Soft Compounds Podcast. His work has appeared on WTF1, BadgerGP, motorsport.com, Sky Sports F1 and BBC Radio 5 Live. Nicky is also the host of the F1 Rewind Podcast.