Belgian Grand Prix: Wikis

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Flag of Belgium.svg Belgian Grand Prix
Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
Spa-Francorchamps of Belgium.svg
Race information
Laps 44
Circuit length 7.004 km (4.352 mi)
Race length 308.052 km (191.410 mi)
Number of times held 65
First held 1925
Most wins (drivers) Germany Michael Schumacher (6)
Most wins (constructors) Italy Ferrari (16)
Last race (2009):
Pole position Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
Force India-Mercedes
1:46.308
Podium 1. Finland Kimi Räikkönen
Ferrari
1h 23m 50.995s
2. Italy Giancarlo Fisichella
Force India-Mercedes
+0.939s
3. Germany Sebastian Vettel
Red Bull-Renault
+3.875s
Fastest lap Germany Sebastian Vettel
Red Bull-Renault
1:47.263

The Belgian Grand Prix (Dutch: Grote Prijs van België, French: Grand Prix de Belgique, German: Großer Preis von Belgien) is an automobile race, part of the Formula One World Championship. The first national race of Belgium was held in 1925 at the Spa region's race course, an area of the country that had been associated with motor sport since the very early years of racing. To accommodate Grand Prix motor racing, the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps race course was built in 1921 but it was only used for motorcycle racing until 1924. After the 1923 success of the new 24 hours of Le Mans in France, the Spa 24 Hours, a similar 24 hour endurance race, was run at the Spa track.

Drivers and fans alike love the Belgian Grand Prix. Since inception, Spa-Francorchamps has been famous for its unpredictable weather. At one stage in its history it had rained at the Belgian Grand Prix for twenty years in a row. Frequently drivers confront a part of the course that is clear and bright while another stretch is rainy and slippery. Most drivers today say that the Spa course is the most challenging race track that remains on the F1 calendar.

Contents

History

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Original Spa circuit

In 1925, the first Belgian Grand Prix was won by Antonio Ascari whose son Alberto would win the race in 1952 and 1953. Unfortunately, after winning the Belgian race, Antonio Ascari would be killed in his next outing at the French Grand Prix. In 1939, the race claimed the life of British driver Richard "Dick" Seaman while leading the race. During the 1960 race Chris Bristow and Alan Stacey lost their lives in separate incidents, the latter in a freak occurrence when hit in the face by a bird.

A Belgian Grand Prix was scheduled for 8 June 1969 as part of the 1969 Formula One season at Spa, but when Jackie Stewart visited the circuit on behalf of the Grand Prix Drivers' Association he demanded many improvements to safety barriers and road surfaces, in order to make the track safe for racing.[1] When the track owners were unable to make these improvements, British and Italian Formula 1 teams withdrew from the event, and it was cancelled in early April.[2]

Relocation

In 1972 Spa was considered too dangerous for Formula 1 machinery. Following that decision, the Belgians decided to alternate their Grand Prix between Zolder and a characterless circuit at Nivelles-Baulers near Brussels. The first race at Nivelles was won by Emerson Fittipaldi but although the track was safe, it inspired little enthusiasm when compared to the magnificent old Spa circuit. Zolder hosted the race the following year and it was won by Jackie Stewart. Formula One returned to Nivelles in 1974. Once again the race was won by Emerson Fittipaldi, but after that event the organizers were unable to sustain a Grand Prix at Nivelles and the track faded from the racing scene.

Afterwards, the race returned to Zolder. The Belgian Grand Prix would be held there a further nine times. Niki Lauda scored back-to-back victories at the track in 1975 and 1976, and in 1977 Gunnar Nilsson scored his only F1 victory at Zolder. The following year Mario Andretti won the race for Lotus. In 1979, Jody Scheckter won the race in his Ferrari. In 1980 Didier Pironi became a first time winner at the track in his Ligier. The 1981 meeting that was won by Carlos Reutemann was chaotic with a mechanic being killed in the pitlane, a drivers' strike and then a nasty startline accident. Zolder will always be remembered, however, as the place where Gilles Villeneuve died in 1982. John Watson won the race for McLaren, but a year later the rebuilt Spa circuit opened for racing and the Belgian Grand Prix returned there. The 1982 Belgian Grand Prix was held at Zolder. In 1983, the race returned to Spa before returning to Zolder in 1984. This was the last F1 race held at Zolder with Michele Alboreto taking the final victory there. In 1985 the Belgian F1 Grand Prix returned to Spa-Francorchamps where it has remained ever since.

Modern Spa

World Champion Michael Schumacher, who made his debut at Spa in 1991 and won his first F1 race there in 1992, won his 52nd Grand Prix at Spa in 2001, surpassing Alain Prost's all-time record of 51 wins. Schumacher also won his seventh World Drivers' Championship title at Spa in 2004. There was no Belgian Grand Prix in 2003 because of the country's tobacco advertising laws but it returned to the schedule again in 2004.

Another notable race was the 1998 Belgian Grand Prix which took place in torrential conditions. The race was originally stopped after a massive accident involving thirteen of the twenty-two runners at the first corner. The heavy rain caused low visibility, and Michael Schumacher ran into the back of David Coulthard, an event that angered Schumacher so much he stormed into the McLaren garage to confront Coulthard, claiming he had tried to kill him. Coulthard later admitted he had been at fault, due to his own inexperience (despite it being his fourth year of Formula One)[1] Only eight drivers were classified finishers (two of whom were five laps behind, one of whom was Coulthard) and Damon Hill secured a memorable victory ahead of team mate Ralf Schumacher to record the previously underperforming Jordan team's first Formula One win in its history, and a 1-2 to top it off.

In 2006, the FIA announced the Belgian Grand Prix would not be part of the 2006 Formula One season, since the local authorities had started major repair work in Spa-Francorchamps. The Belgian Grand Prix returned in 2007, when Kimi Räikkönen took pole position and his 3rd Belgian Grand Prix win in a row.

In 2008, McLaren's Lewis Hamilton survived a frantic last two laps in a late shower of rain to win the Belgian Grand Prix. Hamilton lost the lead to Ferrari's Kimi Räikkönen with an early spin but fought back in the closing laps to re-take the lead with two laps to go. In a dramatic climax on a soaking track, Hamilton passed Räikkönen, lost the lead again with a spin, re-took it and then saw Räikkönen crash. Ferrari's Felipe Massa took second leaving him eight points behind Hamilton. However, the stewards decided after the race retrospectively to apply a drive-through penalty for Hamilton's pass on Räikkönen (i.e. a 25-second penalty). This left Hamilton in third place behind Ferrari's Felipe Massa and BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld. The penalty cut Hamilton's lead over Massa to just two points with five races remaining. McLaren appealed the decision but were turned down as it is not permissible to appeal drive-through penalties. The stewards' decision was widely criticised, with former world champion Niki Lauda calling it "completely wrong", "stupid" and "bad for the sport".[3]

In 2009, Bernie Ecclestone said in an interview that he would like the Belgian Grand Prix to rotate with a Grand Prix at the Nürburgring, rather than the Nürburgring rotating with the Hockenheimring.[4]

On 23 September 2009 it was reported that the Belgian Grand Prix is in doubt after the Spa licence was suspended until 2026 due to complaints made from local residents in 2007.

Winners of the Belgian Grand Prix

Repeat winners

Number of wins Driver Years
6 Germany Michael Schumacher 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002
5 Brazil Ayrton Senna 1985, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991
4 United Kingdom Jim Clark 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965
Finland Kimi Räikkönen 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009
3 Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio 1950, 1954, 1955
United Kingdom Damon Hill 1993, 1994, 1998
2 Italy Alberto Ascari 1952, 1953
Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi 1972, 1974
Austria Niki Lauda 1975, 1976
France Alain Prost 1983, 1987

Year by year

A pink background indicates an event which was not part of the Formula One World Championship.

A cream background indicates an event which was part of the pre-war European Championship.

Year Driver Constructor Location Report
2009 Finland Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari Spa-Francorchamps Report
2008 Brazil Felipe Massa Ferrari Spa-Francorchamps Report
2007 Finland Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari Spa-Francorchamps Report
2006 Not held
2005 Finland Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes Spa-Francorchamps Report
2004 Finland Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes Spa-Francorchamps Report
2003 Not held
2002 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari Spa-Francorchamps Report
2001 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari Spa-Francorchamps Report
2000 Finland Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes Spa-Francorchamps Report
1999 United Kingdom David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes Spa-Francorchamps Report
1998 United Kingdom Damon Hill Jordan-Mugen-Honda Spa-Francorchamps Report
1997 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari Spa-Francorchamps Report
1996 Germany Michael Schumacher Ferrari Spa-Francorchamps Report
1995 Germany Michael Schumacher Benetton-Renault Spa-Francorchamps Report
1994 United Kingdom Damon Hill Williams-Renault Spa-Francorchamps Report
1993 United Kingdom Damon Hill Williams-Renault Spa-Francorchamps Report
1992 Germany Michael Schumacher Benetton-Ford Spa-Francorchamps Report
1991 Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda Spa-Francorchamps Report
1990 Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda Spa-Francorchamps Report
1989 Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda Spa-Francorchamps Report
1988 Brazil Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda Spa-Francorchamps Report
1987 France Alain Prost McLaren-TAG Spa-Francorchamps Report
1986 United Kingdom Nigel Mansell Williams-Honda Spa-Francorchamps Report
1985 Brazil Ayrton Senna Lotus-Renault Spa-Francorchamps Report
1984 Italy Michele Alboreto Ferrari Zolder Report
1983 France Alain Prost Renault Spa-Francorchamps Report
1982 United Kingdom John Watson McLaren-Ford Zolder Report
1981 Argentina Carlos Reutemann Williams-Ford Zolder Report
1980 France Didier Pironi Ligier-Ford Zolder Report
1979 South Africa Jody Scheckter Ferrari Zolder Report
1978 United States Mario Andretti Lotus-Ford Zolder Report
1977 Sweden Gunnar Nilsson Lotus-Ford Zolder Report
1976 Austria Niki Lauda Ferrari Zolder Report
1975 Austria Niki Lauda Ferrari Zolder Report
1974 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi McLaren-Ford Nivelles Report
1973 United Kingdom Jackie Stewart Tyrrell-Ford Zolder Report
1972 Brazil Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Ford Nivelles Report
1971 Not held
1970 Mexico Pedro Rodríguez BRM Spa-Francorchamps Report
1969 Not held
1968 New Zealand Bruce McLaren McLaren-Ford Spa-Francorchamps Report
1967 United States Dan Gurney Eagle-Weslake Spa-Francorchamps Report
1966 United Kingdom John Surtees Ferrari Spa-Francorchamps Report
1965 United Kingdom Jim Clark Lotus-Climax Spa-Francorchamps Report
1964 United Kingdom Jim Clark Lotus-Climax Spa-Francorchamps Report
1963 United Kingdom Jim Clark Lotus-Climax Spa-Francorchamps Report
1962 United Kingdom Jim Clark Lotus-Climax Spa-Francorchamps Report
1961 United States Phil Hill Ferrari Spa-Francorchamps Report
1960 Australia Jack Brabham Cooper-Climax Spa-Francorchamps Report
1959 Not held
1958 United Kingdom Tony Brooks Vanwall Spa-Francorchamps Report
1957 Not held
1956 United Kingdom Peter Collins Ferrari Spa-Francorchamps Report
1955 Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Mercedes-Benz Spa-Francorchamps Report
1954 Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Maserati Spa-Francorchamps Report
1953 Italy Alberto Ascari Ferrari Spa-Francorchamps Report
1952 Italy Alberto Ascari Ferrari Spa-Francorchamps Report
1951 Italy Giuseppe Farina Alfa Romeo Spa-Francorchamps Report
1950 Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Alfa Romeo Spa-Francorchamps Report
1949 France Louis Rosier Talbot Spa-Francorchamps Report
1948 Not held
1947 France Jean-Pierre Wimille Alfa Romeo Spa-Francorchamps Report
1946 France Eugène Chaboud Delage Spa-Francorchamps Report
1945
-
1940
Not held
1939 Germany Hermann Lang Mercedes-Benz Spa-Francorchamps Report
1938 Not held
1937 Germany Rudolf Hasse Auto Union Spa-Francorchamps Report
1936 Not held
1935 Germany Rudolf Caracciola Mercedes-Benz Spa-Francorchamps Report
1934 France René Dreyfus Bugatti Spa-Francorchamps Report
1933 Italy Tazio Nuvolari Maserati Spa-Francorchamps Report
1932 Not held
1931 United Kingdom William Grover-Williams
Italy Caberto Conelli
Bugatti Spa-Francorchamps Report
1930 Monaco Louis Chiron Bugatti Spa-Francorchamps Report
1929
-
1926
Not held
1925 Italy Antonio Ascari Alfa Romeo Spa-Francorchamps Report

References

  1. ^ "Need for safer circuit", The Times, 25 March 1969, p. 14.
  2. ^ "Belgian GP succumbs to ban", The Times, 12 April 1969, p. 11.
  3. ^ BBC Sport, 8th September 2008
  4. ^ http://www.sporza.be/cm/sporza/auto_motor/F1/090804_ecclestone_gp_belgie

External links

Coordinates: 50°26′13″N 5°58′08″E / 50.437°N 5.969°E / 50.437; 5.969


Simple English

File:Flag of Belgian Grand Prix
Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
File:Circuit Spa
Race information
Laps 44
Circuit length 7.004 km (4.352 mi)
Race length 308.052 km (191.410 mi)
First held 1925, First F1-1950
Most wins (drivers) Michael Schumacher (6)
Most wins (constructors) Ferrari (16)
Last race (2010):
Pole position Mark Webber
Red Bull-Renault
1:45.778
Podium 1. Lewis Hamilton
McLaren-Mercedes
1h 29m 04.268s
(207.510 km/h)
2. Mark Webber
Red Bull-Renault
+1.571s
3. Robert Kubica
Renault
+3.493s
Fastest lap Lewis Hamilton
McLaren-Mercedes
1:49.069

The Belgian Grand Prix is an motor race, part of the Formula One World Championship. The first national race of Belgium was held in 1925 at the Spa region's race course, an area of the country that had been associated with motor sport since the very early years of racing before the turn of the century. To accommodate Grand Prix racing, the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps race course was built in 1921 but it was only used for motorcycle racing until 1924. After the 1923 success of the new 24 hours of Le Mans in France, the Spa 24 Hours, a similar 24 hour endurance race, was run at the Spa track.

Contents

= Multiple winners (drivers)

=

Wins Driver Years
6 Michael Schumacher 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002
5 Ayrton Senna 1985, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991
4 Jim Clark 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965
Kimi Räikkönen 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009
3 Juan Manuel Fangio 1950, 1954, 1955
Damon Hill 1993, 1994, 1998
2 Alberto Ascari 1952, 1953
Emerson Fittipaldi 1972, 1974
Niki Lauda 1975, 1976
Alain Prost 1983, 1987

Active drivers are in bold.

Multiple winners (constructors)

Wins Constructor Years
16 Ferrari 1952, 1953, 1956, 1961, 1966, 1975, 1976, 1979,
1984, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2002, 2007, 2008, 2009
13 McLaren 1968, 1974, 1982, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991,
1999, 2000, 2004, 2005, 2010
8 Lotus 1962, 1963, 1964, 1965, 1972, 1977, 1978, 1985
4 Williams 1981, 1986, 1993, 1994
2 Alfa Romeo 1950, 1951
Benetton 1992, 1995

Active constructors are in bold.

By year

Year Driver Constructor Track
2010 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
2009 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
2008 Felipe Massa Ferrari Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
2007 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
2006 Not held
2005 Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
2004 Kimi Räikkönen McLaren-Mercedes Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
2003 Not held
2002 Michael Schumacher Ferrari Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
2001 Michael Schumacher Ferrari Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
2000 Mika Häkkinen McLaren-Mercedes Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1999 David Coulthard McLaren-Mercedes Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1998 Damon Hill Jordan-Mugen-Honda Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1997 Michael Schumacher Ferrari Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1996 Michael Schumacher Ferrari Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1995 Michael Schumacher Benetton-Renault Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1994 Damon Hill Williams-Renault Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1993 Damon Hill Williams-Renault Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1992 Michael Schumacher Benetton-Ford Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1991 Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1990 Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1989 Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1988 Ayrton Senna McLaren-Honda Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1987 Alain Prost McLaren-TAG Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1986 Nigel Mansell Williams-Honda Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1985 Ayrton Senna Lotus-Renault Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1984 Michele Alboreto Ferrari Circuit Zolder
1983 Alain Prost Renault Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1982 John Watson McLaren-Ford Circuit Zolder
1981 Carlos Reutemann Williams-Ford Circuit Zolder
1980 Didier Pironi Ligier-Ford Circuit Zolder
1979 Jody Scheckter Ferrari Circuit Zolder
1978 Mario Andretti Lotus-Ford Circuit Zolder
1977 Gunnar Nilsson Lotus-Ford Circuit Zolder
1976 Niki Lauda Ferrari Circuit Zolder
1975 Niki Lauda Ferrari Circuit Zolder
1974 Emerson Fittipaldi McLaren-Ford Nivelles-Baulers
1973 Jackie Stewart Tyrrell-Ford Circuit Zolder
1972 Emerson Fittipaldi Lotus-Ford Nivelles-Baulers
1971 Not held
1970 Pedro Rodríguez BRM Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1969 Not held
1968 Bruce McLaren McLaren-Ford Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1967 Dan Gurney Eagle-Weslake Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1966 John Surtees Ferrari Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1965 Jim Clark Lotus-Climax Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1964 Jim Clark Lotus-Climax Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1963 Jim Clark Lotus-Climax Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1962 Jim Clark Lotus-Climax Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1961 Phil Hill Ferrari Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1960 Jack Brabham Cooper-Climax Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1959 Not held
1958 Tony Brooks Vanwall Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1957 Not held
1956 Peter Collins Ferrari Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1955 Juan Manuel Fangio Mercedes Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1954 Juan Manuel Fangio Maserati Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1953 Alberto Ascari Ferrari Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1952 Alberto Ascari Ferrari Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1951 Giuseppe Farina Alfa Romeo Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
1950 Juan Manuel Fangio Alfa Romeo Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps

Other websites

Coordinates: 50°26′13″N 5°58′08″E / 50.437°N 5.969°E / 50.437; 5.969


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