1091st F1 GRAND PRIX | 79th BELGIAN GRAND PRIX | 56th GRAND PRIX AT SPA FRANCORCHAMPS
2022 POLESITTER: CARLOS SAINZ | 2022 WINNER: MAX VERSTAPPEN
Belgian Grand Prix organisers secured a single-year contract to keep Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps on the calendar in 2023. The 2023 Belgian Grand Prix is set to take place on July 28-30.
2023 BELGIAN GRAND PRIX: WEEKEND SCHEDULE
Friday 28th July
Free Practice 1 – 1:30pm Local Time / 12:30pm UK Time
Qualifying – 5:00pm Local Time / 4:00pm UK Time
Saturday 29th July
Sprint Shootout – 12:00pm Local Time / 11:00am UK Time
Sprint – 4:30pm Local Time / 3:30pm UK Time
Sunday 30th July
The 2023 Belgian Grand Prix – 3:00pm Local Time / 2:00pm UK Time
2023 BELGIAN GRAND PRIX: WEEKEND MILESTONES
In a change from recent tradition, the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix takes place before the summer break. July 30 is the earliest date on which the Spa race will take place since 1987, when the event took place in May.
The grid for the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix will be determined by the result of a Saturday sprint race. This will be the ninth race to use the F1 Sprint since it was introduced at the 2021 British Grand Prix.
Victory for Lewis Hamilton at the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix would see him become the third driver, after Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna, to have won five races at Spa Francorchamps.
If Max Verstappen wins the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix, he would become the fourth driver to take three successive wins at Spa Francorchamps, after Jim Clark, Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher.
A top three finish for either Ferrari driver at the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix would see the Scuderia become the first team to record 50 top three finishes at the Belgian Grand Prix.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE 2023 BELGIAN GRAND PRIX
WHAT HAS CHANGED AT THE CIRCUIT SINCE LAST YEAR?
There have been minor changes to the track since the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix. Grass verges have been renewed at multiple corners, while the run off area at Turn 2 has been resurfaced and the kerb in this area has been rebuilt.
HOW MANY DRS ZONES WILL THERE BE AT THE 2023 BELGIAN GRAND PRIX?
There are two DRS detection points and two activation zones at the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix. There were also two DRS zones at the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix. The activation zones are located on the Kemmel Straight and on the pit straight.
CIRCUIT DE SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS TRACK GUIDE
Situated in the heart of the Ardennes Forest, the ferocious Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is one of Formula 1’s legendary tracks. The longest circuit on the calendar, with its own micro-climate and massive elevation changes, means the Belgian Grand Prix is always unpredictable.
Spa-Francorchamps is one of the original racing circuits, as racing moved from city to city races to racing around circuits. The original nine mile circuit linked the towns of Malmedy, Stavelot and Francorchamps in a triangular shaped course.
The track, which incorporated public roads, was designed in 1920 by Jules de Thier and Henri Langlois Van Ophem and held its first race soon after. For the first years of its existence, the track held only motorcycle races, until – following the success of the 24 Hours of Le Mans race – Spa held its own day long race for cars.
The first Belgian Grand Prix was held in 1925, and was won by Antonio Ascari, the father of future Formula One World Champion Alberto Ascari. Further Grands Prix were held here from 1930 onwards, with the iconic Radillion and Eau Rouge corners being added to the track in 1939. The 1939 race itself was held in treacherous conditions, and led to the death of Richard Seamen, who crashed out from the lead.
The 1939 event was the last held before the onslaught of World War II. The area around the circuit played a role in the war. The Battle of the Bulge, which was the last major German offensive campaign on the Western Front, took place in the Ardennes forest. The battle saw over 20,000 deaths, including around 3,000 civilians.
WHO WILL BE IN THE 2023 BELGIAN GRAND PRIX PRESS CONFERENCES?
The world’s media will have the opportunity to talk to the drivers on Friday morning before the opening practice session. The drivers appearing in the press conference are:
Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)
Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
Sergio Pérez (Red Bull)
Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)
Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
Lando Norris (McLaren)
Alex Albon (Williams)
The media will also be talking to prominent members of Formula 1’s teams on Saturday morning. The team members who will appear in the press conference are: Alessandro Alunni Bravi (Alfa Romeo), Bruno Famin (Alpine), Mike Krack (Aston Martin) and Christian Horner (Red Bull).
WHO WILL BE THE RACE DIRECTOR AT THE 2023 BELGIAN GRAND PRIX?
Niels Wittich will be the race director at the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix.
WHO WILL BE THE DRIVER STEWARD AT THE 2023 BELGIAN GRAND PRIX?
Each weekend a former Formula 1 driver, or a driver from another prominent series of motorsport, joins the stewards to help judge any incidents from a drivers’ perspective. The Driver Steward this weekend is Derek Warwick.
WHICH TYRE COMPOUNDS WILL BE USED AT THE 2023 BELGIAN GRAND PRIX?
Pirelli have announced that the C2, C3 and C4 tyre compounds will be used at the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix. The C2, C3 and C4 compounds were used in 2022.
WHAT HAPPENED LAST TIME AT THE BELGIAN GRAND PRIX?
There were grid penalties galore at Spa Francorchamps for the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix, where Verstappen won from 14th on the grid.
Following a crash in a support category, qualifying for the 2022 Belgian Grand Prix was delayed by almost half an hour. No fewer than eight drivers took grid penalties for the race. That included Max Verstappen, who had set the fastest time in qualifying. Charles Leclerc – who bumped the barriers with a spin in Free Practice 3 – was another driver demoted on the grid.
Verstappen’s penalty meant that he started from 14th on the grid, while Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz inherited pole position. Sainz maintained his lead at the start and the drivers kept it clean at Turn 1.
Fernando Alonso, who was moved up to third on the final grid, was running in second place at the end of the Kemmel Straight. He and Lewis Hamilton made contact at the end of the straight, sending the Mercedes off the ground and into retirement. The same area was a hot spot for action on Lap 2, as Nicholas Latifi and Valtteri Bottas collided, ending the Alfa Romeo driver’s race.
The Safety Car was deployed as a result of Latifi and Bottas’ coming together, under which Ferrari took the opportunity to pit Leclerc as a tear off had become lodged in his brake duct. When the Safety Car period ended, on Lap 5, Verstappen continued his progress through the grid and ran fourth by Lap 7 after passing Alonso. He was into the podium places on the following lap.
Ferrari brought race leader Sainz into the pits on Lap 12 as Verstappen passed his Red Bull team-mate on track for the lead. The Dutchman pitted four laps later and emerged in second place behind the Ferrari. By Lap 18, Verstappen was able to make an easy DRS-aided overtake on Sainz on the Kemmel Straight. Sainz soon came under pressure from the other Red Bull and dropped to third. That’s how the race would end, with Verstappen taking his ninth win of the 2022 season.
Sebastian Vettel, Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon enjoyed a side-by-side scrap for seventh place, with the latter Frenchman eventually coming out on top. The other Alpine of Alonso battled Leclerc on the penultimate lap, overtaking the Ferrari – though Leclerc re-passed on the final lap when trying to set the fastest lap of the race on fresh tyres. However, post-race, Leclerc was handed a five second time penalty for speeding in the pit lane, dropping him back behind the Spaniard.
WHAT’S THE FASTEST EVER LAP TIME AT THE BELGIAN GRAND PRIX?
Attending the 2023 Belgian Grand Prix? Learn more about visiting Spa-Francorchamps in the F1Destinations Travel Guide.