World Champion Michael Schumacher, who made his debut at Spa in 1991 and won his first F1 race there in 1992, won his 52nd Grand Prix at Spa in 2001, surpassing Alain Prost’s all-time record of 51 wins. Schumacher also won his seventh World Drivers’ Championship title at Spa in 2004. There was no Belgian Grand Prix in 2003 because of the country’s tobacco advertising laws but it returned to the schedule again in 2004.
Another notable race was the 1998 Belgian Grand Prix which took place in torrential conditions. The race was originally stopped after a massive accident involving thirteen of the twenty-two runners at the first corner. The heavy rain caused low visibility, and Michael Schumacher ran into the back of David Coulthard, an event that angered Schumacher so much he stormed into the McLaren garage to confront Coulthard, claiming he had tried to kill him. Coulthard later admitted he had been at fault, due to his own inexperience (despite it being his fourth year of Formula One) Only eight drivers were classified finishers (two of whom were five laps behind, one of whom was Coulthard) and Damon Hill secured a memorable victory ahead of team mate Ralf Schumacher to record the previously underperforming Jordan team’s first Formula One win in its history, and a 1-2 to top it off.
In 2006, the FIA announced the Belgian Grand Prix would not be part of the 2006 Formula One season, since the local authorities had started major repair work in Spa-Francorchamps. The Belgian Grand Prix returned in 2007, when Kimi Räikkönen took pole position and his 3rd Belgian Grand Prix win in a row.
In 2008, McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton survived a frantic last two laps in a late shower of rain to win the Belgian Grand Prix. Hamilton lost the lead to Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen with an early spin but fought back in the closing laps to re-take the lead with two laps to go. In a dramatic climax on a soaking track, Hamilton passed Räikkönen, lost the lead again with a spin, re-took it and then saw Räikkönen crash. Ferrari’s Felipe Massa took second leaving him eight points behind Hamilton. However, the stewards decided after the race retrospectively to apply a drive-through penalty for Hamilton’s pass on Räikkönen (i.e. a 25-second penalty). This left Hamilton in third place behind Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and BMW Sauber’s Nick Heidfeld. The penalty cut Hamilton’s lead over Massa to just two points with five races remaining. McLaren appealed the decision but were turned down as it is not permissible to appeal drive-through penalties. The stewards’ decision was widely criticised, with former world champion Niki Lauda calling it "completely wrong", "stupid" and "bad for the sport".
Read more about the Belgian GP on Wikipedia
Circuit Name: Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps
Number of Laps: 44
Circuit Length: 7.004 km
Race Distance: 308.052 km
Lap Record: 1:47.263 [Sebastian Vettel, 2009]
Official Website: Click Here
Friday 23rd August 2013
Practice 1: 10:00 – 11:30
Practice 2: 14:00 – 15:30
Saturday 24th August 2013
Practice 3: 11:00 – 12:00
Sunday 25th August 2013
Last Time Out...
2013 Belgian Grand Prix
Grand Prix Debut
Drivers: Derek Warwick / Teo Fabi
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