Ferrari have won the Belgian Grand Prix in two of the last three seasons, Mercedes have taken pole in seven of the last eight years and Red Bull have taken eleven podiums here in the last twelve races. Here’s everything you need to know about each team’s history at Spa Francorchamps!
2020 RESULT: HAMILTON 1st, BOTTAS 2nd
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 on which 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 eight seasons, with 2020 being their first 1-2 finish here since 2015. 2016 and 2019 are the only other times that both Mercedes cars have finished on the podium together.
Mercedes took six consecutive poles at the circuit between 2013 and 2018, but that run came to an end in 2019 with neither Mercedes driver qualifying on the front row. They locked-out the front row once again in 2020, having previously done so in 2014 and 2015. The team have failed to reach Q3 only once in the last eight years at the circuit. The time they missed out was 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.
Red Bull have taken three victories at the Belgian Grand Prix, and have finished on the podium in all but two of the last twelve years at Spa. 2015 and 2019 are the two years that Red Bull have missed out on the podium at the circuit; with Daniil Kvyat finishing fourth in 2015 and Alex Albon finishing fifth on his Red Bull debut in 2019. Red Bull have recorded four DNFs in the past six years here – two for Daniel Ricciardo in 2015 and 2018, and two for Max Verstappen in 2017 and 2019. 2020 marked the first time since 2016 that both Red Bull drivers reached the end of the Belgian Grand Prix, as well as the first time since 2014 that both drivers scored. The team’s first race here in 2005 is the only occasion on which 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 five Q2 exits. Their most recent Q2 exit at the track came in 2019, when Alex Albon did not progress to Q3 as he was due to start from the back of the grid. Last year marked the first time both Red Bull drivers qualified in the top six at Spa since 2016.
2020 RESULT: VERSTAPPEN 3rd, ALBON 6th
2020 RESULT: NORRIS 7th, SAINZ DNS
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. Last year, Lando Norris finished in seventh place, marking the first time the team scored at the circuit since Fernando Alonso’s seventh place finish in 2016. Norris was running well within the points in 2019 until he retired just metres before the finish line. That, along with Carlos Sainz’s retirement meant that McLaren recorded their first double DNF at Spa since 1983. At least one McLaren car has failed to finish in all of the last five seasons at the Belgian Grand Prix. Sainz failed to even start last year’s race.
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. Prior to 2020, McLaren had appeared in Q3 only once in the previous five seasons at Spa, with Jenson Button qualifying ninth in 2016. Both cars were eliminated in Q1 in both 2015 and 2018. In 2020, both Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz reached Q3. It was the first time both McLaren drivers qualified in the top ten at the Belgian Grand Prix since 2014.
Spa Francorchamps has been a happy hunting ground for the Silverstone-based team. The team’s original guise, Jordan, scored their first victory with a 1-2 finish in the rain-hit 1998 Belgian Grand Prix, while Force India recorded their first pole position and podium at the circuit in 2009. Giancarlo Fisichella’s 2009 podium remains their most recent at the circuit – but big points hauls are common for the team in Belgium. In all of the last three seasons, both Racing Point drivers have scored here. While in the last nine seasons, Paul di Resta and Sergio Perez’s retirements in 2013 and 2017, and Nico Hulkenberg’s DNS in 2015, are the team’s only non-scores.
Giancarlo Fisichella’s pole here for Force India in 2009 remained Team Silverstone’s most recent pole until the 2020 Turkish Grand Prix. In the last five years, Lance Stroll’s thirteenth place in qualifying in 2019 is the only time that the team has failed to reach Q3 at Spa. Aside from 2008, when both cars were eliminated in Q1, Force India recorded only two other Q1 exits at Spa. The team locked-out the second row of the grid in 2018’s rain-hit qualifying session.
2020 RESULT: STROLL 9th, PEREZ 10th
2020 RESULT: RICCIARDO 4th, OCON 5th
Team Enstone’s first appearance at Spa Francorchamps came in 1985 under their original Toleman guise, when Teo Fabi and Piercarlo Ghinzani both retired from the race. The team’s first podium here came courtesy of Nelson Piquet, at Benetton, in 1991. Benetton would secure four more podiums here, including two wins – both for Michael Schumacher, in 1992 and 1995. As Renault, they’ve taken two top three finishes since, with Fernando Alonso in 2005 and Robert Kubica in 2010. Their Lotus guise also brought two podium results – with Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean finishing third in 2012 and 2015 respectively. 2020 marked the first time since 2011 that the team scored with both cars at the Belgian Grand Prix. Daniel Ricciardo finished fourth, while Esteban Ocon came home fifth. It was the team’s first double top five result at the track since 1992.
Team Enstone’s only pole at the Belgian Grand Prix was with Jarno Trulli, in 2004, under their Renault guise. As Benetton, the team qualified on the front row three times – in 1986, 1994 and 1997 – but never took pole. In recent years, both Renault drivers reached Q3 at Spa in the last two seasons. Meanwhile, Pastor Maldonado in 2014 and Carlos Sainz in 2018 have recorded the Enstone team’s only Q1 exits in the past ten years.
Ferrari have won fourteen times at Spa Francorchamps, taking their most recent victories here back-to-back in 2018 and 2019. Last season marked the first time since their double DNF in 1998 that Ferrari failed to score at the Belgian Grand Prix, with Sebastian Vettel finishing thirteenth and Charles Leclerc fourteenth. The team suffered at least one retirement at the circuit in every year between 1987 and 1998. Ferrari have had 39 top three finishes at the circuit, but in the last eleven seasons, the team has had only four podium visits at the circuit. Fernando Alonso finished as runner-up in 2013, as did Sebastian Vettel in 2017 before going on to win in 2018, and Charles Leclerc was victorious in 2019.
Ferrari have locked-out the front row six times at Spa, doing so for the first time since 2007 in 2019. Before 2019, Sebastian Vettel had qualified on the front row in both 2017 and 2018 with Ferrari. Until 2020, there had 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, remains the only time the team have been out in Q1 at the circuit. Last season, both Vettel and Leclerc were eliminated in Q2. It was the first time in 53 F1 races at Spa that neither Ferrari car qualified in the top ten.
2020 RESULT: VETTEL 13th, LECLERC 14th
2020 RESULT: GASLY 8th, KVYAT 11th
The Red Bull junior team have scored at the Belgian Grand Prix in all but one of the last nine races at Spa Francorchamps. For the first time since 2012, both Toro Rosso cars finished in the top ten at the 2019 Belgian Grand Prix. In addition to 2012 and 2019, both cars also scored in 2008. 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 nine years that a Red Bull junior team 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. Both Daniil Kvyat and Pierre Gasly were eliminated in Q1 in 2019, marking the team’s first double Q1 exit at the track since 2013. They just missed out on Q3 last year, qualifying in eleventh and twelfth.
Alfa Romeo won twice at Spa 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.
In the last ten years, the former Sauber team have scored only two points at the Belgian Grand Prix – both with Marcus Ericsson finishing in tenth place in 2015 and 2018. The Sauber 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/Alfa Romeo driver has retired from the Belgian Grand Prix in all of the last five seasons.
In the past eight seasons, Kimi Raikkonen’s eighth place in qualifying in 2019 is the only time that this team has reached Q3 at the Belgian Grand Prix. In 2012, both cars reached Q3, and Kamui Kobayashi qualified on the front row; the team’s best qualifying result at the circuit. Both cars were eliminated in Q1 last year – the first time that has happened at this track since 2017.
2020 RESULT: RAIKKONEN 12th, GIOVINAZZI DNF
2020 RESULT: GROSJEAN 15th, MAGNUSSEN 17th
Haas scored points in both 2017 and 2018 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 in 2018, marking the first time both Haas cars scored at the track. While neither driver has scored in the last two seasons, a Haas car is yet to retire from a race at Spa.
2018 was the first time that Haas appeared in Q3 at the Belgian Grand Prix, doing so with both cars. Romain Grosjean recorded the team’s best qualifying position here with fifth on the grid that season. Kevin Magnussen progressed to Q3 in 2019, qualifying tenth. With both cars out in Q1 in 2020, it was the first time that a Haas driver qualified below thirteenth at the Belgian Grand Prix.
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 in 2018 and have not scored here since 2017. George Russell’s retirement here last year was the team’s first at Spa since 2012.
Williams have taken seven poles at Spa Francorchamps, including front row lock-outs in 1987, 1993, 1996 and 2001. Last year, George Russell qualified in fifteenth place, becoming the first Williams driver to not be eliminated in Q1 at the Belgian Grand Prix since both cars reached Q3 in 2016.
2020 RESULT: LATIFI 16th, RUSSELL DNF
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.