► Spa was one of the venues
for the inaugural F1 WorldChampionship season in1950. It has been the circuitused for the bulk of BelgianGrands Prix, hosting the racefor 45 of its 57 runnings.
► Sebastian Vettel leads the
World Championship after theHungarian Grand Prix. Thistraditionally has been a pointat which championshippotential is assessed,regardless of the number of races that follow. Recenthistory suggests the leader after Hungary is rarelyoverhauled. In the last 13seasons, only four times hasthe lead been relinquished.Michael Schumacher trailedMika Häkkinen in 2000, KimiRäikkönen was third in 2007with Lewis Hamilton leading,and Vettel himself lay third inboth 2010 and 2012, MarkWebber and Fernando Alonsorespectively spending thesummer break on top.
► The calendar has become
increasingly back-loaded inrecent years. The BelgianGrand Prix used to herald thebeginning of the run-in to theend of the season with threeor four races (depending onwhether it preceded or followed the Italian GrandPrix) coming after. Eightfurther grand prix will followSpa in 2013.
► Michael Schumacher
reigns supreme at Spa-Franchorchamps with sixvictories (1992, 1995-97,2001-02). He made his F1debut at Spa in 1991 andcame back to record his firstF1 victory a year later.Victory in 2001 was
overtaking Alain Prost at thetop of the order. He refers to
it affectionately as his ‘livingroom’. In 2012 it was the
venue for his 300th GrandPrix.
► The 2012 Belgian Grand
Prix marked the end of anunusual run for another world champion.
Räikkönen’s F1 record at
Spa prior to this saw theFinn either win or fail tofinish every time he came tothe famous circuit. WithSauber in 2001 he failed toget off the line. He had anengine failure with McLarenin 2002 and spun off in thefinal laps while dicing for the
lead in 2008. He’s won the
race in 2003-05 and 2009.
His ’04 and ’09 victories
came in uncompetitive carsthat failed to record other wins in those seasons. In2012 he could only managethird
means he’s been on the
podium at every Belgium
Grand Prix ever time he’s
seen the chequered flag.
► Ferrari are the most successful
constructor in Belgium with 16 victories to
McLaren’s 14. Both, however, have won
the race a dozen times at Spa-Franchorchamps.
► McLaren share with Lotus the distinction
of having won the Belgian Grand Prix at allthree venues to host it. In addition to their 12 wins at Spa, McLaren have a JohnWatson victory at Zolder in 1982, whileEmerson Fittipaldi triumphed at Nivelles in1974. The only other grand prix theNivelles circuit was also won by Fittipaldi,driving for Lotus in 1972, for whom Gunnar Nilsson (1977) and Mario Andretti (1978)won at Zolder, while Jim Clark (1962-65))and Ayrton Senna (1985) triumphed atSpa.
Belgian GP Race StewardsBiographies
FIA WORLD COUNCIL MEMBER; HONORARYPRESIDENT OF THE SWEDISH AUTOMOBILE SPORTFEDERATION
Lars Österlind is a highly experienced FIA steward who hasofficiated at more than 100 grands prix and a similar number of World Rally Championship rounds. A social sciencesgraduate and lifelong motor sport enthusiast, Österlind wasPresident of the Swedish Rally Commission from 1978-1982,