There have been plenty of incidents at Spa Francorchamps which have resulted in the Safety Car being called out. From rain-related caution periods to first lap shunts, here’s a list of every time the Safety Car has made an appearance at the Belgian Grand Prix!
1995 Belgian Grand Prix, Lap 29
The Safety Car made its first appearance at the Belgian Grand Prix in 1995. It was called out due to worsening weather, with many cars still lapping on slick tyres. Ukyo Katayma crashed out in the tricky conditions, but this was after the Safety Car was called. A Porsche 911 GT2 acted as the Safety Car at this event.
1996 Belgian Grand Prix, Lap 12
Jos Verstappen crashed his Footwork car heavily on Lap 12 of the 1995 Belgian Grand Prix, due to a “faulty wheel”. He had complained of a sticking throttle on the previous lap. He had pitted but the team found no damage. Staying out for six laps, this is the longest Safety Car period at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps to date.
1997 Belgian Grand Prix, Lap 1
For the first time in Formula 1 history, the 1997 Belgian Grand Prix started behind the Safety Car due to heavy rain.
1998 Belgian Grand Prix, Lap 1
After the huge collision at the first start of the 1998 Belgian Grand Prix which resulted in an immediate Red Flag, the second start was cleaner but the Safety Car was required following a collision at Turn 1. Mika Hakkinen spun and Johnny Herbert subsequently crashed into him.
1998 Belgian Grand Prix, Lap 28
Giancarlo Fisichella collided with the back of Shinji Nakano’s Minardi at the Bus Stop chicane. Both front tyres were ripped from the Benetton, which caught fire before coming to a stop.
2000 Belgian Grand Prix, Lap 1
The 2000 Belgian Grand Prix started behind the Safety Car due to wet weather conditions. The drivers completed only a single lap before proper racing commenced.
2004 Belgian Grand Prix, Lap 1
Four drivers were eliminated in a first lap incident at the top of Eau Rouge in the 2004 Belgian Grand Prix. Takuma Sato crashed his BAR after being hit by Mark Webber. A further collision followed between Giorgio Pantano and Gianmaria Bruni, attempting to avoid the stricken BAR, which led to a fire on the Minardi car.
2004 Belgian Grand Prix, Lap 30
Jenson Button collided with Zsolt Baumgartner following a tyre failure at the end of the Kemmel Straight, bringing out the second Safety Car period of the 2004 Belgian Grand Prix.
2004 Belgian Grand Prix, Lap 39
The Safety Car was called out for a third time in the 2004 Belgian Grand Prix due to debris on track after David Coulthard hit the back of Christian Klien on the Kemmel Straight.
2005 Belgian Grand Prix, Lap 11
In damp conditions at the 2005 Belgian Grand Prix, Giancarlo Fisichella lost control of his car at the top of Eau Rouge. With debris strewn across the circuit, the Safety Car was called out.
2009 Belgian Grand Prix, Lap 1
Four cars were eliminated in a first lap collision at the end of the Kemmel Straight in the 2009 Belgian Grand Prix. Championship leader Jenson Button, reigning World Champion Lewis Hamilton, Jaime Alguersuari and Romain Grosjean were all out in the incident.
2010 Belgian Grand Prix, Lap 2
At the final turn at the end of the first lap of the 2010 Belgian Grand Prix, all the drivers were caught out by the weather conditions and ran wide. Rubens Barrichello collided with Fernando Alonso. The Williams driver retired as a result.
2010 Belgian Grand Prix, Lap 38
Running eighth, Fernando Alonso crashed out on intermediate tyres on the 38th lap of the 2010 Belgian Grand Prix.
2011 Belgian Grand Prix, Lap 13
Lewis Hamilton made contact with Kamui Kobayashi at Les Coombes on Lap 13 of the 2011 Belgian Grand Prix, putting him out of the race and necessitating a Safety Car period.
2012 Belgian Grand Prix, Lap 1
Following contact with Lewis Hamilton, Romain Grosjean flew over the top of Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari on the way into Turn 1 at the start of the race, eliminating all three cars. Grosjean was handed a race ban for the incident. Sergio Perez also retired as a result of the collisions.
2015 Belgian Grand Prix, Lap 21
The Virtual Safety Car made its first appearance at the Belgian Grand Prix in 2015. Daniel Ricciardo retired with mechanical troubles after exiting the final chicane at the end of Lap 20. The VSC was called while his car was cleared away. The VSC period lasted two minutes.
2016 Belgian Grand Prix, Lap 2
Carlos Sainz suffered a puncture on the Kemmel Straight on the second lap of the 2016 Belgian Grand Prix. He continued but spun at the chicane. Continuing again, the loose thread then tore his rear wing from his car. He pulled off, with the VSC deployed while his car was cleared away. The VSC period lasted just over two minutes.
2016 Belgian Grand Prix, Lap 6
Kevin Magnussen crashed heavily at the top of Eau Rouge on the sixth lap of the 2016 Belgian Grand Prix. The Medical Car was deployed as well as the Safety Car, with the Dane escaping without injury. The race was red-flagged due to barrier repairs being required.
2016 Belgian Grand Prix, Lap 10
The Safety Car led the drivers around to a rolling restart following the red flag period at the 2016 Belgian Grand Prix.
2017 Belgian Grand Prix, Lap 30
Team-mates Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon made contact on the run to Eau Rouge, leaving parts of a front wing scattered in Sector 1. A puncture for Perez littered more debris around the circuit, necessitating a Safety Car period.
2018 Belgian Grand Prix, Lap 1
A lock up for Nico Hulkenberg saw him collide into the rear of Fernando Alonso at Turn 1. In turn, Alonso’s McLaren flew over the top of Charles Leclerc’s Sauber. The Safety Car led the drivers through the pit lane while the debris from the incident was cleared away.
2019 Belgian Grand Prix, Lap 1
After making contact with Kimi Raikkonen at Turn 1, Max Verstappen suffered car damage and subsequently crashed out through Raidillion on the first lap of the 2019 Belgian Grand Prix.
2020 Belgian Grand Prix, Lap 11
Antonio Giovinazzi crashed out of the race on Lap 11 of the 2020 Belgian Grand Prix. George Russell was unable to avoid the incident and crashed in the same area before Stavelot.
2021 Belgian Grand Prix, Lap 0
Heavy rain saw the formation lap of the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix take place behind the Safety Car. Complaints about aquaplaning and poor visibility meant that the race did not actually begin with the start procedure aborted. Two formation laps took place, with one lap taken from the total of the planned 44 lap Grand Prix.
2021 Belgian Grand Prix, Lap 1
After three hours the drivers ventured out again behind the Safety Car in an attempt to get the 2021 Belgian Grand Prix underway. The weather conditions had not improved enough for the race to begin, so the two laps completed here behind the Safety Car counted towards the final race result.
2022 Belgian Grand Prix, Lap 2
Nicholas Latifi ran wide and, trying to avoid the Williams, Valtteri Bottas ended up stuck in the gravel trap. Lewis Hamilton’s stranded Mercedes in Sector 3 – after making contact with Fernando Alonso on Lap 1 – was also cleared under Safety Car conditions.