As the F1 circus sweeps through Europe fans will be checking the calendar and looking at the dates for their favorite races.

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The European leg of the championships treats fans to some of the fastest tracks in the competition and the end-of-August race at Belgium’s Spa Francorchamps is one of those. Details of the track and the events it hosts can be found at the website.

The history of the track is long and chequered. It dates back to the early 1920s when, after the success of the 24 hours Le Mans inauguration race led to a similar race taking place at Spa, involving super-fast public roads. In 1925 the first Belgian Grand Prix took place on a massive nine-mile circuit. The lack of slow corners or barriers made for a dangerous race, and sadly that proved to be a problem which dogged the race, with a mounting list of casualties.


Organisers reacted by shortening the course and altering it to include chicanes and banked corners.

After the Second World War the Formula One World Championship was introduced and in 1950 the race was won by the legendary Alfa Romeo driver Juan Manuel Fangio.

Driver deaths continued, however, and in 1969 World Champion Jackie Stewart was persuaded to visit the track and speak to the organizers on behalf of the Grand Prix Drivers Association. He demanded changes and improvements to the track.

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The organizers were reluctant to spend money, and the teams voted with their feet boycotting the race, and eventually, Spa lost its slot on the calendar after 1970. It took thirteen years for the Belgian Grand Prix to return to a drastically re-modeled Spa. The circuit was shortened to 4.3 miles.


Fans visiting this year are sure to see a great race as Spa has regained its popularity with the drivers. A great way to watch the spectacle is through the F1 Paddock Club in Belgium organized by a company such as as

Sebastian Vettel holds the current track record but expects that to fall this year as drivers chase Michael Schumacher’s record six wins. History tells us there are sure to be thrills and spills at Spa. In 1986 Schumacher and Nigel Mansell had a race-long battle won by the Briton. Expect today’s leaders Vettel and Hamilton to put on a show.

Published by Sunil Pandey