The Belgian Grand Prix has long been one of the major events of the Formula One championship. Its fast corners, heavy braking zones, and the iconic Eau Rouge-Radillon sequence make this circuit, set amidst the Ardennes forest, truly unique. With its 7.004 km of asphalt, the Belgian track is the longest on the entire Formula 1 calendar. It features 19 corners, of which 9 are right turns. There are two DRS zones: the first is located on the main straight, while the second is on the slight uphill Kemmel straight. Teams opt for a medium-low downforce setup due to the long straights and few corners. Now, let’s explore the track analysis to uncover the characteristics that make Spa-Francorchamps so distinctive.
The first sector starts with a slight uphill climb leading to La Source, the first turn that generates 4.2 G of braking force. It is crucial to have good traction from this corner’s hairpin to approach Eau Rouge-Radillon as quickly as possible. These two iconic corners are highly demanding on the cars, generating significant compression forces. After conquering this uphill section, drivers continue down the Kemmel straight, an excellent overtaking spot where they reach their highest speeds.
The second sector begins after Kemmel with the track’s most significant braking zone, causing a minimum deceleration of 4.3 G. From here, drivers enter Les Combes, a right-left-right sequence that emphasizes the importance of the front axle. Descending towards Bruxelles, a fast right-hand turn, a well-balanced car is required to avoid understeer. Continuing downhill, drivers face Pouhon, an extremely fast right-hander generating 5 G of lateral acceleration. Executing this turn is challenging, as it demands a car with substantial aerodynamic downforce while maintaining smooth weight transfer.
After Pouhon, drivers enter the Campus Stavelot section, a right-left-right sequence requiring a rear end capable of mirroring the front. This highly technical segment concludes the second sector and leads into the ultra-fast third sector.
Show your support for Scuderia Ferrari with official merchandise collection! Click here to enter the F1 online Store and shop securely! And also get your F1 tickets for every race with VIP hospitality and unparalleled insider access. Click here for the best offers to support Charles and Carlos from the track!
The last sector opens with the Courbe Paul Frere, where staying within the track limits is crucial to avoid penalties. After this right-hand turn, drivers approach Blanchimont, a double left-hander taken at full throttle, leading to the final chicane (formerly Bus Stop). In this last section, drivers reach speeds of over 300 km/h and experience 4.3 G of deceleration to negotiate the final chicane. After passing this chicane, they return to the main straight, relying on traction to exit as quickly as possible and complete the lap.
Pirelli Tires for Spa-Francorchamps
For next weekend’s Belgian Grand Prix, Formula 1 official tyre supplier Pirelli has selected the C2, C3, and C4 compounds, the same as in 2022. This choice is due to the considerable stress the tires endure, especially in the compression section of Eau Rouge and the Radillon climb. According to the official infographic provided by Pirelli, the rear tires experience significant strain.