Find out more about the Belgian Grand Prix at the Spa-Francorchamps, including race information and a destination guide for a visit to the Ardennes
One of the most iconic circuits on the calendar, and the longest track currently visited by F1, Spa-Francorchamps has it all. Eau Rouge and Radillon is the most iconic section of the track, where cars plunge downhill from La Source - the first corner hairpin - before immediately climbing steeply and turning right before a left hander as they crest the hill flat out. Then follows the long Kemmel Straight before a wide chicane at Les Combes, the highest point of the circuit. The track then drops down through the right-handed Rivage and a 90-degree left to the fast, downhill left-hander at Pouhon. From here another change of direction is followed by two rights which precede the long, flat-out drag through Blanchimont to the major braking point at the Bus Stop chicane to end the lap.
Set in the Ardennes forest, Spa-Francorchamps is a legendary venue for F1 fans as it harks back to the sport’s past. Many of the roads around the circuit make up the old track and can be driven themselves, giving fans the opportunity to really appreciate the history of this fearsome circuit.
As the name would suggest, Spa-Francorchamps is located near the historic town of Spa, which describes itself as the “Mother of all spa cities” as it gives its name to every spa in the world. Nearby Stavelot is an abbey site which is labelled by the circuit as “The true historical and cultural heart of the High Ardennes”, often featuring exhibitions and music festivals. The Musee de Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps can also be found in Stavelot, while the surrounding region offers mountain biking and hiking opportunities.
The Belgian Grand Prix is a race which sees an influx of fans from all over Europe and provides plenty of camping opportunities for a real old-school experience, if you’re willing to brave the unpredictable weather. Hotel options are available at the picturesque nearby towns of Stavelot and Malmedy - which lend their names to corners on the circuit - while the larger town of Verviers and the city of Liege are also both commutable if a wider selection is required.
HOW TO GET THERE
Served by the E32 motorway, the circuit is relatively easily accessible by car but lacks most forms of public transport due to its location. Visitors from the United Kingdom are able to reach the track in around three and a half hours from the ferry terminal or Eurotunnel at Calais. While the Eurostar can also be used to reach Brussels and then a train to Liege would leave you within in hour’s drive of the track.
The nearest airports are found at Liege and Luxembourg, although for cost and frequency of flight Brussels airport is the better bet.