Any time a sporting venue has a short nickname like “Augusta”, “San Siro”, “The Swamp” or “The Brickyard”, you know it’s legendary.
This is the case at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, commonly referred to as “Spa” in the world of Formula 1.
I’m no F1 snob, but if you go around saying Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, you may get some weird looks. Spa is a “cracking” venue with a fascinating history and a true test of motorsport for our modern day drivers.
Below is the ultimate travel guide for the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps and what you should expect when you attend the Belgian Grand Prix:
Quick Facts – Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
- First Grand Prix – 1950
- Circuit Length – 7.004 km (4.3520 miles)
- Lap Record – 1:46.286 – Valtteri Bottas (2018)
Fascinating History at Spa
Spa is located in the region of the Ardennes in Belgium. This beautiful area of rolling hills and thick forest has seen a long history of European military conflict. Battles during the Roman era, Napoleonic Wars, World War I and World War II all took place here. In modern times, the only real fighting taking place is between Formula One drivers racing to win the Belgian Grand Prix.
The original track linked the Belgian towns of Francorchamps, Malmedy, and Stavelot. Similar to the Nürburgring and Le Mans circuits, which run on public roads, Spa has a history of fatal accidents. There have been motorsport deaths as recently as 2019 (Anthoine Hubert Formula 2), which only adds to the intense drama displayed every year at the Belgian Grand Prix.
Why Should you Travel to Spa?
You should travel to Spa for the racing action. This venue may not be an official major, but there’s no doubt, it’s on the top three “favorite” circuit list of every Formula 1 driver.
It has a natural layout in terrain, design and flow that should be considered a masterpiece.
There’s always going to be risk getting in a race car going over 200 mph but Spa is unique. Not only is the circuit incredibly difficult with its high elevation, twists, turns and long straight-aways, but the weather plays a huge role. The inconsistent rain and wind in the local environment of the Ardennes can cause some parts of the track to be dry and others wet. As always, teams will need to have a good tire strategy to get a top 10.
Grandstands & Hospitality
Spectating at Spa might be just as good, if not better than Silverstone. The famous Eau Rouge and Raidillon combination, in the Spa configuration, is even more dangerous and exhilarating than the corners of Maggots and Becketts.
Witnessing the action at Eau Rouge is a must if you are attending the Belgian Grand Prix.
They have many high end VIP packages and regular tickets overlooking this famous stretch of the circuit.
Belgians are very proud of their racing events so hospitality for this event is fantastic and may transcend some of the other European races.
Food & Travel Options
Spa is about a 1 hour and 40 minute drive from Brussels, making it a fairly convenient day trip if you want to book a room in the city. Belgian cuisine is superb, as it has influences from France, Germany and the Netherlands. Don’t forget the monks have been brewing beer here for a “million” years, making it one of the beer capitals of the world. Grab an ale and enjoy!
Book Your Trip
Spa should be at the top of everyone’s list when traveling to a Grand Prix. So buckle up and head over to Belgium. You won’t regret it.