Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
The original layout of the track was designed in 1920, and was 15km long. Roughly triangular in shape, the course used public roads between the towns of Francorchamps, Malmedy, and Stavelot. In the 1930s and 40s several changes were made which reduced the length of the circuit to 14km, and also made it even faster. However the most radical change in layout came in 1979, when the track was reduced in length to 7km, by removing much of the wide, open run out to the towns of Malmedy, and Stavelot.
I would hazard a guess that Spa Francorchamps would win the prize for best F1 circuit, if we were to take a poll. It is one of the most dramatic tracks on the calendar, it is the longest, and has the greatest elevation change of over 100m.
The run from turn 1, La Source, through to turn 6, Les Combes probably says it all. A 2km long, flat out, roller coaster ride, sweeping down through the famous Eau Rouge, and back uphill onto the Kemmel straight, before hitting the tight complex of corners at Les Combes. The whole track is an undulating, sweeping series of turns that provide a huge challenge for any driver.
The most succesful driver at the Belgian GP is Michael Schumacher who has won the event six times. Ayrton Senna has five wins. Jim Clark and Kimi Raikkonen have four. Juan Manuel Fangio, Damon Hill, Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel all have three.
Ferrari have the most GP victories in Belgium, with 17. McLaren have 14, Lotus have 8. Mercedes have six wins, but two of those were not F1 races.
Amongst our current F1 drivers, Raikkonen is the most successful with four wins, Hamilton and Vettel each have three.
It is no surprise that the Belgian GP is a popular event, with record attendaces last year of 265,000, perhaps boosted by local interest in Vandoorne, and Verstappen.