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Facts and stats: Your guide to the Belgian Grand Prix

After a three-week hiatus for the traditional Formula One summer shutdown period, it's finally race week once again. Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One™ Team is ready to kick off the second half of the season at the legendary Belgian Grand Prix.

Spa Eau Rouge

Ahead of the weekend's action, we're bringing you the best facts and stats from the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps.

One of the most historic and well-known circuits on the calendar, Spa is famous for its high-speed turns that test the capabilities of both man and machine in equal measure.

The original circuit was a staggering 15km long and featured much of what forms the modern layout, including La Source, the Kemmel Straight, and Les Combes.

The track was conceived after newspaper owner Jules de Their set out to revive La Meuse Cup, a race that had been interrupted due to the First World War.

Racing driver Henri Langlois van Ophem was called in to consult and design the circuit, alongside the Mayor of Spa, Baron Joseph de Crawhez.

The pair combined three roads connecting the towns of Spa, Malmedy and Stavelot to create a triangular circuit.

Eau Rouge and Raidillon were later created in 1939, when the Customs hairpin was removed and the two turns connected as a high-speed, sweeping sequence.

percentage incline at Eau Rouge and Raidillon
the largest win margin in seconds, by Jim Clark in 1963
acres of forest surround the track
Schumacher drafted for Team Silverstone, qualified 7th

The steep 17% incline continues to be one of the most challenging corners in motorsport.

The Belgian Grand Prix at Spa was a part of the original Formula One World Championship in 1950, with Juan Manuel Fangio winning the 35-lap race.

The circuit soon became notorious for its high speeds and proved dangerous in its early years, so much so that the race was boycotted by Formula One drivers in 1969.

Various safety measures were introduced, however these proved insufficient, and the race fell off the calendar the following year.

Formula One would not return to Spa until 1983 on a new modernised circuit, which has since played host to some spectacular moments both on and off the racetrack.

Of particular note was the 1998 Belgian Grand Prix, in which Team Silverstone [then under the Jordan Grand Prix moniker], brought home an amazing one-two in wet conditions. 

David Coulthard lost control of his McLaren on the first lap, causing a pile-up involving thirteen drivers which forced the race to be red-flagged.

At the restart, Coulthard’s team-mate Mika Häkkinen was then hit by Johnny Herbert's Sauber, forcing both out of the race.

Damon Hill took the lead before being overtaken by Michael Schumacher on lap eight of 44. However, as Schumacher came to lap Coulthard, the pair tangled.

Schumacher was forced to retire, allowing Hill to regain the lead, with team-mate Ralf Schumacher behind him all the way to the finish to claim a Jordan 1-2.

only four of the current drivers have won in Belgium
Belgian Grands Prix have been held
The length of the pitlane in metres (or 0.242 miles)
Sebastian Vettel has won three times at Spa

At the 2000 Belgian Grand Prix, spectators witnessed an intense battle between Schumacher and Häkkinen. 

After the Ferrari forced the McLaren onto the grass on the run up to Les Combes, Häkkinen soon hit back in style.

Back on the Kemmel Straight, Häkkinen and Schumacher sandwiched Ricardo Zonta, with the Finn sweeping around the back-marker to snatch the position from his fierce rival.

In 2004, almost half of the field were once again forced to either pit for repairs or retire after first lap incidents.

The race would see a total of six different leaders, with Kimi Räikkönen eventually beating the otherwise dominant Ferrari cars to victory.

2008 featured another fierce fight from Räikkönen, as he battled Lewis Hamilton until the very end of the race. In a late twist, however, Felipe Massa won the race after initial victor Hamilton was penalised for cutting a chicane and gaining an advantage over Räikkönen.

Due to financial issues, the track didn't host a race in 2006, but was back with a new financial backer in 2007. Formula One has raced at Spa every year since. 


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