Belgian GP Fast Facts
Spa was one of the venues for the inaugural F1 WorldChampionship season in 1950. Ithas been the circuit used for thebulk of Belgian Grands Prix,hosting the race for 45 of its 57runnings.
► Sebastian Vettel leads the
World Championship after theHungarian Grand Prix. Thistraditionally has been a point atwhich championship potential isassessed, regardless of thenumber of races that follow.Recent history suggests theleader after Hungary is rarelyoverhauled. In the last 13seasons, only four times has thelead been relinquished. MichaelSchumacher trailed MikaHäkkinen in 2000, KimiRäikkönen was third in 2007 withLewis Hamilton leading, andVettel himself lay third in both2010 and 2012, Mark Webber and Fernando Alonsorespectively spending thesummer break on top.
► The calendar has become
increasingly back-loaded inrecent years. The Belgian GrandPrix used to herald the beginningof the run-in to the end of theseason with three or four races(depending on whether itpreceded or followed the ItalianGrand Prix) coming after. Eightfurther grand prix will follow Spain 2013.
Michael Schumacher reignssupreme at Spa-Franchorchampswith six victories (1992, 1995-97,2001-02). He made his F1 debutat Spa in 1991 and came back torecord his first F1 victory a year later. Victory in 2001 was
Schumacher’s 52nd, overtaking
Alain Prost at the top of the order.He refers to it affectionately as his
‘living room’. In 2012 it was the
venue for his 300th Grand Prix.
► The 2012 Belgian Grand Prix
marked the end of an unusual runfor another world champion.
Räikkönen’s F1 record at Spa
prior to this saw the Finn either win or fail to finish every time hecame to the famous circuit. WithSauber in 2001 he failed to get off the line. He had an engine failurewith McLaren in 2002 and spunoff in the final laps while dicing for
the lead in 2008. He’s won the
race in 2003-05 and 2009. His
’04and ’09 victories came in
uncompetitive cars that failed torecord other wins in thoseseasons. In 2012 he could onlymanage third
nevertheless means he’s been on
the podium at every Belgium
Grand Prix ever time he’s seen
the chequered flag.
Ferrari are the most successfulconstructor in Belgium with 16
victories to McLaren’s 14. Both,
however, have won the race adozen times at Spa-Franchorchamps.
► McLaren share with Lotus the
distinction of having won theBelgian Grand Prix at all threevenues to host it. In addition totheir 12 wins at Spa, McLarenhave a John Watson victory atZolder in 1982, while EmersonFittipaldi triumphed at Nivelles in1974. The only other grand prixthe Nivelles circuit was also wonby Fittipaldi, driving for Lotus in1972, for whom Gunnar Nilsson(1977) and Mario Andretti (1978)won at Zolder, while Jim Clark(1962-65)) and Ayrton Senna(1985) triumphed at Spa.