Spa-Francorchamps is a favourite with Formula 1 drivers, team personnel and fans alike, and that certainly holds true with everyone at Alfa Romeo Racing. Nestled deep in Belgium’s Ardennes forest, the circuit can trace its roots all the way back to 1920. It was originally 15 kilometres long, but the layout has changed several times in the decades since.
Why Spa is so well-loved
Spa-Francorchamps is considered to be the holy grail of modern Formula 1 circuits because of the challenge that it presents to drivers and engineers. Not only is it very fast, but the circuit is also hilly and twisty. What’s more is that the racing always tends to be very good at Spa, with plenty of on-track action during most years.
There is also an incredible amount of history at Spa – grand prix cars have raced there on more than 50 occasions since 1925. Legends such as Juan Manuel Fangio, Jim Clark, Niki Lauda, Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher have all won at the circuit multiple times during their respective careers.
Although there are several amazing corners at Spa, such as the La Source hairpin, Raidillon, the blisteringly fast downill sweeper, and Pouhon, a very long and fast left-hander that can be taken flat out if you’re brave enough, it’s Eau Rouge that stands out above all others. It is unquestionably the most exciting corner in the sport.
Drivers come into the corner downhill, go through a sudden change of direction and then blast uphill through the sweeping right-hander that is taken flat out and blind. They also report a strange sensation of lift and compression due to the undulation of the corner. Getting it wrong will inevitably lead to a serious loss of lap time, or a very big accident.
Why Spa is Special to Alfa Romeo Racing?
Find out why Spa-Francorchamps is so special from Alfa Romeo Racing’s team members and drivers in this video:
Kimi Räikkönen – The King of Spa
The circuit has been a happy hunting ground for Alfa Romeo Racing’s driver, Kimi Raikkonen. He has won at Spa no less than four times during his career to date Although he probably won’t have any of it if you had to ask him yourself, it isn’t uncommon to hear Kimi being referred to as the “King of Spa” due to his past successes – in fact, he’s the most successful driver on the current grid at the circuit.