Home - The Official Formula 1 Website Skip to content

The Belgian Grand Prix - did you know? 22 Aug 2013

Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus E20.
Formula One World Championship, Rd12, Belgian Grand Prix, Qualifying, Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium, Saturday, 1 September 2012 Rene Arnoux(FRA) Renault RE30B leads Rosberg and Prost at the start Belgian GP, Zolder, 9 May 1982. World © Phipps/Sutton Jacky Ickx (BEL) Ferrari 312B2 retired on lap 17 with an engine failure. Italian Grand Prix, Monza, 5 September 1971. World © Phipps/Sutton Michael Schumacher (GER) Jordan 191. Formula One World Championship. Belgian Grand Prix, Spa, Belgium. 25 August 1991. L to R: Sixth place finisher Mika Hakkinen (FIN) Lotus 107 pursues first time race winner Michael Schumacher (GER) Benetton B192 and Jean Alesi (ITA) Ferrari F92 who retired after spinning off in wet conditions. Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps, 30 August 1992 Race winner Jim Clark (GBR) Lotus 25 made an astonishing start to climb from eighth to first by the time the field reached Eau Rouge. Belgian Grand Prix, Spa-Francorchamps, 9 June 1963 Winner Alain Prost(FRA) Mclaren MP4-3 approaches Eau Rouge Belgian GP, Spa, 17 May 1987 Race winner Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) McLaren sprays the champagne on the podium. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd16, Belgian Grand Prix, Race, Spa Francorchamps, Belgium, 11 September 2005 Winner Didier Pironi(FRA) Ligier JS11/15 Belgian Grand Prix, Zolder, 4 May 1980 Winner Dan Gurney(USA) Eagle T1G takes the flag Belgian Grand Prix, Spa, 18 June 1967. World © Phipps/Sutton Race winner Damon Hill (GBR) Jordan 198 holds off Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari F300 early in the race. Formula One World Championship, Rd 13, Belgian Grand Prix, Spa Francorchamps, Belgium, 30 August 1998. World © Rose/Sutton Belgian racer Thierry Boutsen

Did you know that, at 7.004 kilometres long, the historic Spa-Francorchamps circuit is the longest track on the calendar? As Belgium prepares to host the 2013 Formula 1 Shell Belgian Grand Prix, we present a multitude of other interesting facts and figures about the race….

• The Belgian Grand Prix has been run 57 times previously, at three different circuits: Nivelles (twice), Zolder (ten times) and, of course, Spa-Francorchamps (45 times). McLaren and Lotus are the only teams to have won at all three tracks.

• Spa was one of seven tracks on the original world championship calendar in 1950. Three others are still on the calendar: Silverstone, Monaco and Monza.

• The first world championship race at Spa, in 1950, was run on a circuit that was a touch over 14 kilometres. This layout, which saw the cars turn left at Les Combes rather than right, was used for the final time in 1970. When F1 racing returned to Spa in 1983 it did so on a track broadly similar to today’s.

• 20 Belgian drivers have started a world championship Grand Prix. The most successful is Jacky Ickx, who claimed eight wins and 13 pole positions during the 1960s and ‘70s. The most recent appearance by a Belgian driver came at last year’s Italian Grand Prix when Jerome d’Ambrosio deputised for the suspended Romain Grosjean at Lotus.

• The first world championship race in Belgium, in 1950, was won by Juan Manuel Fangio in an Alfa Romeo. The Argentine would go on to win the race on two further occasions - in 1954 and 1955. He also shares the record for most Belgian poles (four) with Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost.

• Michael Schumacher, who made his F1 debut in Belgium in 1991, holds the record for the most Belgian Grand Prix wins - six. The German’s tally is just one more than that of Ayrton Senna, who was allowed to keep the famous Coupe de SM Leopold III trophy after winning a third successive Belgian race in 1990. In all, Senna won in Belgium four times in a row to equal Jim Clark’s record.

• With four victories at Spa, Kimi Raikkonen has won in Belgium more times than any other current driver. In fact, every time he has reached the chequered flag in Belgium he’s been on the podium. Felipe Massa, Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Jenson Button all have one Spa victory on their scorecards but, somewhat surprisingly, Fernando Alonso has never won in Belgium.

• Sebastian Vettel holds the lap record for Spa in its current configuration - 1m 47.263s, set in 2009 in a Renault-powered Red Bull.

• The Belgian driver, Arthur Legat, is the third-oldest man to ever contest a world championship Grand Prix. He was aged 54 years and 232 days when he took the start of his home race in 1953.

• Ferrari are statistically the most successful team in Belgian Grand Prix history. The Italian team have won the race 16 times and finished on the podium on 28 other occasions. They also hold the record for poles (13) and fastest laps (17).

• In the 57 previous world championship Grands Prix in Belgium, the pole sitter has been victorious on only 21 occasions. Looking at Spa specifically, the record is 15 wins from pole in 45 races.

• The lowest grid slot from which a Belgian Grand Prix race winner has started is 16th - that was when Benetton’s Michael Schumacher lined up in 1995.

• The biggest winning margin in Belgian Grand Prix history - and one of the largest of all time - came in the 1963 race when Jim Clark beat Bruce McLaren across the line by 4m 54s.

• Of the last eight races at Spa, six have featured the safety car.

• At the 1994 Belgian Grand Prix, Rubens Barrichello became the then youngest polesitter in F1 history, aged 22 years 97 days. His record was subsequently surpassed, first by Fernando Alonso (in 2003) and then by Sebastian Vettel (in 2008).

• The drivers’ championship has been clinched in Belgium just once - by Michael Schumacher in 2004.

• According to Mercedes, the drivers are on full throttle for 72 percent of the lap distance. The longest time at full throttle is 22.7 seconds between Turn 1 and Turn 5. Drivers make an average of 45 gear changes per lap which equates to 1,980 gear changes over the 44-lap race.

• A number of milestones have been achieved at the Belgian Grand Prix over the years:

- Five drivers scored their maiden wins in Belgium: Peter Collins (1956); Jim Clark (1962); Gunnar Nilsson (1977); Didier Pironi (1980); Michael Schumacher (1992).

- Five drivers have claimed maiden pole positions on Belgian soil - Eugenio Castelotti (1955); Mike Hawthorn (1958); Graham Hill (1962); Michele Alboreto (1984); Rubens Barrichello (1994).

- McLaren famously recorded their first ever F1 race victory in Belgium in 1968 with the team’s founder Bruce McLaren at the wheel. A year earlier, Dan Gurney’s All American Racers had taken a maiden victory with the Eagle-Weslake.

- Spa is a special place for fans of the Jordan team (now Force India). The Silverstone-based squad recorded their first pole there in 1994 (with Rubens Barrichello) and their first win in 1998 with a Damon Hill led 1-2.

- A number of drivers have recorded race-start milestones in Belgium - home favourite Thierry Boutsen celebrated 100 race starts in 1989, Mark Webber and Fernando Alonso both started their 100th race in Belgium in 2007, Jenson Button took his 100th start in 2008, whilst Kimi Raikkonen won his 150th race start in Belgium in 2009.

• And finally, if Ferrari finish in the top ten this weekend, it will be their 59th consecutive race in the points, edging them ever closer to McLaren’s 64-race record. Kimi Raikkonen’s record point-scoring streak, meanwhile, currently stands at 27 races…

For tickets and travel to 2013 FORMULA 1 races, click here.
For FORMULA 1 merchandise, click here.