Where Formula 1 history was written...
The Formula 1 race track in Spa-Francorchamps is said to be one of the most beautiful race tracks in the world. Long straights and fast curves interchange on the 4.6 mi (7.4 km) long race track, among which the hairpin curve (“La Source”) is especially challenging as well as the Eau-Rouge-Hollow. These have earned the race track the nickname “Ardennes rollercoaster”. The fastest lap record was once set by German Formula 1 driver Michael Schumacher back in 2002 and is still held by him.
Visiting the race track
Apart from the exciting Formula 1 races, there are also numerous other events taking place here each year. If you wish, you may also drive some laps with your own car on this fantastic race track or participate in a guided tour behind the scenes showing you around the speaker's booth, the podium or the pit lane.
The plan to build the race track
In 1920 the plan to build the race track was decided by Jules de Thier, director of the newspaper “La Meuse” and Henri Langlois van Ophen, chairman of the sports commission of the R.A.C.B. between Francorchamps, Stavelot and Malmedy to design a race track. The hilly Ardennes landscape seemed to be the perfect location for it as it contains straights, which are most suitable for high speed. In addition, the health resort “Spa” is not very far from there, which is internationally renowned and where there were races taking place for years.
Opening of the race track
The track was then actually built a year later with the first race to take place here in 1922. Two years later, in 1924, the famous 24-hour-race was held at Francorchamps. The first Grand Prix of Europe took place in 1925. In total, there were 7 cars competing. Antonio Ascari won the race in his Alfa Romeo.
Reconstructing the race track
The year 1970 was marked by a watershed moment affecting the development of the race track. Due to safety reasons, several drivers were reluctant to race on the then 8.7 mi (14 km) long track. The combination of technical advancement of the cars and with the track being a high speed one led to increasing danger at Francorchamps. As a consequence, the race track was subject to alterations. In 1979 the new 4.4 mi (7 km) long ring was inaugurated, including new features. It was now technically more challenging and curvier than the old one, but left spacious zones alongside the track.
- Formula 1 Race Track Spa-Francorchamps is among the 3 best rated Tourist Attractions in Belgium.
How to get there
The race track is located between Francorchamps and Stavelot. Leaving the E25 via Exit No. 45 or 48, you continue passing Spa or Stavelot in the direction of Francorchamps.
Coming from the direction of Brussels or Aachen (Aix-La-Chapelle), you change from the A3 onto the E42 and take either Exit No. 10 or 11. While Exit No. 10 takes you to Francorchamps via Ster, the latter leads to the race track via Burnenville.