Leclerc scored his maiden win at Spa Francorchamps last year, Hamilton has finished on the podium in all of the last five seasons and eight current drivers have a 100% finish rate at the circuit. Here’s everything you need to know about each driver’s history at the Belgian Grand Prix!
?? Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton has won the Belgian Grand Prix three times and has finished on the podium in all of the last five seasons. In fact, aside from his four DNFs at the circuit and his fourth place in 2007, Hamilton has finished on the podium on every other outing at the track. Hamilton has had more retirements at Spa than at any other circuit in his career. He has not retired from the event since 2014, a race in which he made contact with then team-mate Nico Rosberg. Hamilton has taken five poles at the Belgian Grand Prix, and 2009 and 2016 are the only times in thirteen appearances that he has not reached Q3 at the circuit. In total, Hamilton has had eight front row starts at the track. 2012 and 2014 are the only years that Hamilton has been out-qualified by a team-mate at Spa on pure pace.
?? Valtteri Bottas
Valtteri Bottas finished on the Belgian Grand Prix for a second time last season. His other podium finish at Spa came in 2014, when he also finished third. Bottas has a 100% finish rate at the circuit, and his first appearance in 2013 is the only year that he has failed to score. 2013 is also the only year that Bottas has missed out on Q3 at the circuit. Bottas is yet to start from the front row at the Belgian Grand Prix and is yet to out-qualify Lewis Hamilton at the track since joining Mercedes in 2017. Bottas has only ever led one lap at Spa. That was with Williams back in 2014.
?? Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel has been victorious three times at the Belgian Grand Prix. He won with Red Bull in 2011 and 2013 and took victory with Ferrari in 2018. He has had a further three podium finishes at the circuit. 2007 is the only year that Vettel has failed to reach the end of the race, while 2010 is the only other year that he has failed to score. He has finished in the top six on every other appearance. Vettel has taken pole only once at the track, in 2011, but has started from the front row a further four times – including in all of the last three seasons.
?? Charles Leclerc
Charles Leclerc took his maiden Formula 1 victory at last year’s Belgian Grand Prix. It was the first time he had completed a racing lap at the circuit, having been eliminated at the first corner in the 2018 race. Leclerc also qualified on pole position for last year’s Grand Prix. He has out-qualified his team-mate on both of his appearances at Spa-Francorchamps. Leclerc has won at the track in F3, GP3 and F2, though he was stripped of his F2 Feature Race win in 2017 due to a technical infringement.
?? Max Verstappen
Until the Dutch Grand Prix rejoined the calendar, the Belgian Grand Prix was Max Verstappen’s de facto home race. In five appearances, Verstappen has scored only one podium finish at the track, with third place in 2018. His eighth place in 2015 is the only other time he has scored here. Verstappen has retired from the event twice: he suffered power unit problems after just seven laps in 2017 and crashed out on the opening lap in 2019 after making contact with Kimi Raikkonen. 2015 is the only year that Verstappen has not reached Q3 at Spa, as well as the only season that he has not out-qualified his team-mate. His best result in qualifying here is second place in 2016.
?? Alex Albon
Alex Albon made his Red Bull debut at the Belgian Grand Prix last season. He had a grid penalty heading into the race weekend, and started seventeenth on the grid. But that didn’t stop him from impressing in his first race with the team, finishing in fifth place. Albon has previously competed at Spa in F3, GP3 and F2. He scored a podium finish in the first meeting of the F3 weekend at the track in 2015. In 2016 and 2017, he only picked up points with a ninth place in the first GP3 race of the 2016 meeting. Albon returned to form at the track in F2, finishing fifth in the 2018 Feature Race and third in the Sprint Race.
?? Carlos Sainz
Carlos Sainz has only scored one point in five visits to the Belgian Grand Prix. He finished tenth for Toro Rosso at the circuit in 2017. His only other finish here is eleventh place with Renault in the following year, with all of his other three appearances resulting in DNFs. 2015, when he qualified tenth, remains the only time that Sainz has reached Q3 at Spa. He has been eliminated in Q1 in each of the last two years.
?? Lando Norris
Lando Norris was set for a strong result at least year’s Belgian Grand Prix but retired just before the finish line, seeing him classified outside the points. Norris out-qualified his team-mate for the race and lined up eleventh on the grid. He had previously raced at Spa-Francorchamps in Formula 3 in 2017. He won two of the races that weekend, and recorded a DNF in the middle race. In 2018, Norris competed here in F2, taking fourth place in the feature race and finishing as runner-up in the Sprint Race. Also at the track in 2018, Norris made his first appearance at a Formula 1 weekend, when he participated in Free Practice 1 with McLaren.
?? Daniel Ricciardo
Daniel Ricciardo won the Belgian Grand Prix in 2014. He also finished on the podium with Red Bull in 2016 and 2017, but is yet to score since his last podium visit. Ricciardo has recorded three DNFs at the track – in 2011, 2015 and 2018. Last season marked the first time the Australian has finished the race in a position outside of the points. Ricciardo has reached Q3 in every year since 2014 and has a best qualifying result of fifth, which he recorded in both 2014 and 2016. He also started fifth on the grid in 2015. 2019 was only the second time that Ricciardo has out-qualified his team-mate at the circuit, the other time being in 2015. 2019 also marked the first time in his six finishes at the track that he has finished in a worse position than where he started.
?? Esteban Ocon
Esteban Ocon made his Formula 1 debut with Manor at the 2016 Belgian Grand Prix. From his three appearances at the track, that’s the only time that he has failed to score. Ocon finished ninth in 2017 and recorded his best result at the track with sixth on his last outing in 2018. Ocon recorded the best qualifying result of his career to date with third on the grid at the 2018 Belgian Grand Prix. It marked the second time that he had reached Q3 at the circuit and the first time that he had out-qualified his team-mate at the track.
?? Sergio Perez
Sergio Perez has a best result of fifth at the Belgian Grand Prix, a position which he has finished in at the track three times – in 2015, 2016 and 2018. Since 2014, his 2017 retirement is the only time that Perez has failed to score at the circuit. He also retired from the event in both 2011 and 2012. Meanwhile, 2013 and 2014 are the only years that Perez has not qualified in the top ten at Spa. His best qualifying result at the circuit is fourth in 2018; though he also started fourth on the grid in both 2012 and 2015.
?? Lance Stroll
Lance Stroll scored his first Belgian Grand Prix point last season with a tenth place finish. He has a 100% finishing record at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit, having finished eleventh in 2017 and thirteenth in 2018. Last season was the first time that Stroll has progressed past Q1 at the circuit, qualifying in thirteenth place; though that later became sixteenth on the grid. His best grid slot here is fifteenth, in 2017. Stroll has never out-qualified his team-mate at the circuit. He has gained at least three positions from his starting position on all three appearances.
?? Daniil Kvyat
Daniil Kvyat has a 100% finish record at the Belgian Grand Prix and has scored on three of his five visits to the Spa circuit. His best result here came with Red Bull in 2015, when he finished fourth. Despite scoring more regularly than not, Kvyat has never reached Q3 at the track. His best qualifying result at the circuit came on his first visit to the track in 2014, when he qualified eleventh. That’s also the only time he has out-qualified his team-mate here. He has been eliminated in Q1 on all of his last three outings and has started from nineteenth each time. Kvyat has gained at least five positions from where he has started in all of his last four races at Spa.
?? Pierre Gasly
Pierre Gasly has finished in ninth place on both appearances at the Belgian Grand Prix. The Frenchman is yet to qualify in the top ten at the circuit, having been eliminated in Q2 on both visits to the circuit. He has out-qualified his team-mate on both occasions. Prior to F1, Gasly raced at Spa in Formula Renault 3.5 and GP2. He won the GP2 Feature Race at the track in 2016.
?? Kimi Raikkonen
In his first seven visits to Spa Francorchamps, Kimi Raikkonen retired three times and won four times. He took three consecutive victories at the circuit between 2004 and 2006, while 2009 remains his most recent win at the track. Since his comeback, Raikkonen has finished on the podium at the event only once, with third place in 2012. Last year, Raikkonen finished sixteenth, marking the first time in fifteen appearances that Raikkonen has crossed the finish line but finished outside of the points-paying positions. 2007 is the only year that Raikkonen has taken pole for the Belgian Grand Prix, while 2002 and 2005 are the only other seasons that he has started from the front row. Since the knockout qualifying system was introduced in 2006, 2015 is the only season where Raikkonen has failed to reach Q3 at the track. Raikkonen has not out-qualified his team-mate on pace at the track since 2016 and has not finished in a better position than where he started since 2015.
?? Antonio Giovinazzi
Antonio Giovinazzi had an unlucky weekend at last year’s Belgian Grand Prix. Though he made it through to Q2, he was unable to compete in the session due to an engine failure. He started from eighteenth on the grid, but retired in the closing laps after crashing into the tyre barriers. Giovinazzi made previous appearances at this track in F3 and GP2. His best result here is his win in the 2016 GP2 Sprint Race.
?? Romain Grosjean
Romain Grosjean has had mixed fortunes in the past at the Belgian Grand Prix. While he took an unlikely third place for Lotus in 2015, his most recent podium to date, he was also banned from the sport for one race for causing a pile-up on the first lap of the 2012 event. In addition to that retirement, Grosjean also failed to finish at Spa in 2009 and 2014. Along with his podium finish, Grosjean has had a further three points-scoring appearances at the circuit, with his other two results – in 2016 and 2019 – being thirteenth place finishes. Grosjean has qualified in the top ten twice at Spa, with fourth place in 2015 and fifth in 2018. 2009 is the only year that the Frenchman has suffered a Q1 exit here, while 2019 marked the first time since 2012 that he has been out-qualified by a team-mate.
?? Kevin Magnussen
Kevin Magnussen’s only points-scoring appearance so far at the Belgian Grand Prix came in 2018, when he finish in eighth place. He has failed to score on any of his other four appearances, and suffered a hefty crash in the 2016 event. Magnussen has reached Q3 at Spa three times, including in each of the last two years. His best qualifying result at the track is seventh place, in 2014. 2018 is the only year in which Magnussen has finished the Belgian Grand Prix in a better position than where he qualified.
?? George Russell
George Russell finished fifteenth on his first Belgian Grand Prix appearance last season. He qualified nineteenth, but started fourteenth as a result of penalties for other drivers. Russell previously raced at Spa in F3, GP3 and F2, with the latter being the only category in which he has failed to take a victory in at the circuit. In 2018, Russell finished third in the F2 Feature Race at the track, and seventh in the Sprint Race.
?? Nicholas Latifi
Nicholas Latifi will make his Belgian Grand Prix debut in 2020. On his first visit to the track in British Formula 3 in 2013, Latifi took two pole positions. He also raced here in Formula 3 in 2014, and in Formula Renault 3.5 in 2015. He has appeared on F1 weekends at the track since 2016, failing to score points in the 2016 GP2 series meeting at Spa and failing to score in the F2 meeting in the following year. He finished eighth in the following year’s Feature Race and won the Sprint Race.
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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. Now in its sixth 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 Motorsport Guides. 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.