Circuit de Spa Francorchamps is one of Formula 1’s most iconic and historic circuits. Here are all the facts and statistics you need to know about the circuit ahead of the Belgian Grand Prix!
Track length: 7.004km
Race length: 308.052km
Circuit opened: 1925
F1 first visited: 1950
Races held: 55
Track Record: 1:41.252, Lewis Hamilton, 2020
Lap Record: 1:46.286, Valtteri Bottas, 2018
SPA RACE WINNERS
Since 1950, 55 Belgian Grands Prix have been held at the Spa Francorchamps circuit. In that time, 28 different drivers have won the Belgian Grand Prix at the track.
The 2023 Belgian Grand Prix is the last race of Spa Francorchamps’ current F1 contract, meaning this could be the 56th and final time that the track appears on the calendar.
Schumacher has the most Belgian Grand Prix victories
Michael Schumacher has the most wins at Spa Francorchamps, with six in total.
There are three previous winners of the Belgian Grand Prix on the 2023 grid. Lewis Hamilton has won at Spa four times, Max Verstappen has won the Belgian Grand Prix in the last two seasons, while Charles Leclerc took his maiden Formula 1 win at the 2019 Belgian Grand Prix.
Alberto Ascari, Juan Manuel Fangio, Jim Clark, Ayrton Senna, Damon Hill, Michael Schumacher, Kimi Raikkonen and Max Verstappen are the eight drivers who have taken back-to-back victories at the track. Schumacher is the only driver to have taken consecutive Belgian Grand Prix victories on multiple occasions, having done so in 1995, 1996 & 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.
British drivers have won at Spa Francorchamps more often than drivers from any other nation, having stood on the top step 17 times.
The longest streak of Belgian Grand Prix winners at Spa came between 1965 and 1986, when there were no repeat victors in the eight races held at the track during the period.
A single Grand Slam has been recorded at Spa
Jack Brabham is the only driver to record a Grand Slam at Spa Francorchamps. He did so by taking pole, leading every lap and setting the fastest lap on his way to victory in the 1960 Belgian Grand Prix.
Ferrari have taken the most wins of any team at the Belgian Grand Prix
Ferrari are the most successful team at Spa Francorchamps, with 14 wins; two ahead of McLaren.
Ferrari-engined cars have also taken the most wins at the circuit, with 14 victories compared to 11 Mercedes-powered victories.
There have been 19 occasions on which a team has recorded a 1-2 finish at Spa Francorchamps. Ferrari and McLaren are tied for most 1-2 finishes at the track, with five each. The most recent 1-2 finish here was for Red Bull in 2022.
Jim Clark won the 1963 Belgian Grand Prix by almost eight minutes
The Belgian Grand Prix at Spa has been won by less than ten seconds on 24 occasions, by less than five seconds on 20 occasions and by less than a second on four occasions, most recently in 2019.
13 of the last 23 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 was at the 1963 Belgian Grand Prix, where Jim Clark won by a colossal 474 seconds.
Overall, the average win margin at Spa Francorchamps is 33.225 seconds. From the last ten Belgian Grands Prix, the average win margin is 7.911 seconds.
ON THE PODIUM AT SPA
75 different drivers have stood on the podium after a Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps.
Hamilton has the most Belgian Grand Prix podiums
In 2021, Lewis Hamilton set a new outright record for most podiums at the track, recording his tenth top three finish.
From the 2023 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 ten, Max Verstappen has four while Fernando Alonso and Valtteri Bottas each have three. Charles Leclerc’s 2019 win is his only podium appearance so far at Spa, George Russell recorded his maiden podium result at the track in 2021 and Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz took their first Belgian Grand Prix podiums in 2022.
It’s British drivers who lead the way in terms of most podiums for a nationality at Spa. British drivers have had 40 top three finishes at the track.
Ferrari have the most podiums of any team at Spa
Ferrari are the team with the most podium finishes here, with 40 in total.
The furthest back podium finish at Spa came from 21st on the grid
The polesitter has gone on to finish on the podium at this circuit on 36 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 finishing position in the Grand Prix.
There have been seven races at the track in which 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, 2010, 2020 and 2021.
2007, 2020 and 2021 are the only times on which the top three finished in the same order as they started.
There have only been three occasions on which 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.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE BELGIAN GRAND PRIX
From the 54 Belgian Grands Prix held at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, there have been 34 different polesitters.
Hamilton has the most Belgian Grand Prix poles
Lewis Hamilton has taken the most pole positions at Spa, with six.
There are four previous Belgian Grand Prix polesitters on the current grid. Aside from Lewis Hamilton’s record tally of six, Charles Leclerc, Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz have each started from pole here once.
Max Verstappen took pole in 2022 but a grid penalty demoted him to 14th on the grid. It was only the second time that the fastest qualifier at Spa did not actually start from pole position. Juan Pablo Monotya was forced to start from the back of the grid after stalling at the start of the formation lap in the 2001 Belgian Grand Prix.
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).
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 16 poles between them.
The longest streak of different polesitters at the circuit came between 2002 and 2012. There were no repeat polesitters in the nine events held during that period.
Two teams are tied for most poles at Spa
McLaren and Ferrari are tied as the teams with the most starts from the front, having each taken pole on 11 occasions.
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.
There have been 19 occasions on which a team has locked-out the front row of the grid at Spa. Mercedes were the last team to do so, at the 2020 Belgian Grand Prix.
Pole has not been decided by less than a tenth of a second since 2010
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 at Spa 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 is 0.420 seconds.
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 20th on the grid.
SATURDAY TO SUNDAY
The Belgian Grand Prix at Spa has been won from pole on 21 occasions. It has been won from the front row of the grid 35 times, meaning 20 wins have come from third or lower on the grid. All but three of the last 17 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 16th on the grid. Max Verstappen won from 14th on the grid in 2022. Jim Clark in 1962 and Kimi Raikkonen in 2004 are the only other drivers to win from 10th or further back on the grid.
There have been 14 occasions on which the polesitter has finished on the podium at Spa without winning the Grand Prix – including seven times in the last 15 races.
There have 24 occasions on which the polesitter has not led at the end of the first lap at Spa. Mika Hakkinen is the only polesitter at the track to retire on the opening lap. He did so at the 1998 Belgian Grand Prix.
There have been 2,149 Grand Prix racing laps held so far at the Spa Francorchamps circuit.
Sebastian Vettel has completed the most Grand Prix racing laps at Spa, having toured the track 622 times in total. Michael Schumacher is the only other driver to have raced more than 600 laps at the track.
In total, 1,211 cars have been entered into World Championship races at Spa. Of those, 1,164 cars have qualified for races and 1,145 have started the race. Of those 1,125 cars, 703 have reached the chequered flag. That gives a finish rate of just under 62.5%.
Aside from the rain-hit 2021 race – in which all 20 cars completed the single lap which counted towards the final result – the highest number of drivers to complete all the laps of a race at Spa is 17, which happened in 2020. Meanwhile, the fewest number of un-lapped drivers in a Belgian Grand Prix at this track is two, which has happened seven times, most recently in 1987.
From the 55 races held at the track, 64 first lap retirements have been recorded. The most recent was for Lewis Hamilton in 2022. The most cars eliminated on the opening lap here is seven, which happened in 1998.
Red Flags and Safety Cars at the Belgian Grand Prix
The Safety Car has featured in 13 of the last 18 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.
Six F1 races at Spa have been red-flagged. The 1987, 1990, 1998, 2001, 2016 and 2021 Belgian Grands Prix all featured red flag periods.
The 2001, 2015 and 2021 Belgian Grands Prix are the only races at Spa which did not reach their scheduled distances. The 2001 Belgian Grand Prix ran to 36 laps instead of 44 following a crash for Luciano Burti in the early stages. A loss of power for Nico Hulkenberg at the end of the formation lap in 2015 meant that the original start was aborted and another formation lap commenced. As a result, the race distance was shortened from 44 laps to 43 laps. Meanwhile, heavy rain saw the 2021 event called off, with just a handful of laps completed under Safety Car conditions. Read more: F1 races which did not reach full distance.
Spa and the surrounding Ardennes Forest area is notorious for its micro-climate. 16 races here have been affected by rain.
Prost has the most fastest laps at Spa
35 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. The count of 35 includes Nikita Mazepin, who was not officially credited with the Fastest Lap in 2021.
With 15 fastest laps, Ferrari drivers have set the fastest lap at Spa more frequently than drivers from any other team.
Schumacher has led the most Belgian Grand Prix laps
Michael Schumacher holds the record for most laps led at Spa Francorchamps, having led 259 laps at the track. Ayrton Senna is the only other driver to have led more than 200 laps here.
61 drivers have led a lap here in total, including 33 who have never won a race at the track. Juan Pablo Montoya heads the list of most laps led here without a win, having spent 33 laps at the front of the field.
There have been 16 occasions on which the winner has led every lap of the race at Spa.
There have been ten occasions on which the winner of the race at Spa has not been the driver who led the most laps in the Grand Prix.
Bruce McLaren won the 1968 Belgian Grand Prix despite leading just a single lap. He took the lead from Jackie Stewart, who ran out of fuel on the final lap.
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.
There have been four occasions on which the Constructors’ Championship has been decided at Spa. McLaren won the title here in 1988, Williams secured victory in 1992 and 1993, while Ferrari are the most recent team to win the championship here, in 2007.
The 2001 and 2002 Belgian Grands Prix are the only dead rubber F1 races which have been held at Spa Francorchamps. In addition, the Drivers’ Championship was already decided before the Belgian Grand Prix in 1992, while the Constructors’ Championship was decided prior to the event in 1996 and 2004.
The winner of the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa has gone on to win the title in the same season on 23 occasions – including in all of the last three seasons.
There have been 28 occasions on which the polesitter at Spa has gone on to win the title in the same year. It has happened six times in the last eight years.
The leader of the Drivers’ Championship after a race at this track has gone on to win the title 34 times. Meanwhile, the last time the leading team in the Constructors’ Championship after the Belgian Grand Prix failed to go on and win the title was in 2000, when McLaren failed to take that year’s honours.
Read more Spa statistics from last year’s Belgian Grand Prix: 2022 Belgian Grand Prix Post Race Statistics