It’s been four long weeks, but Formula One is back in action with the Belgian Grand Prix next on the calendar. Spa hosts one of the highlights of the season, a favourite with many of the drivers, thanks to an impressive and challenging circuit mixed with changeable conditions.

With teams coming back from their enforced two week shutdown, they’ll be keen to get back to work and implementing their last few updates before attention turns to next year’s car. Drivers will also be relaxed and refreshed after their beach holidays, and ready to start challenging Vettel for the lead. Maybe.

Event Schedule

Sebastian Vettel maintains a healthy lead on the championship, but behind him, three drivers have an intriguing battle for second place – Mark Webber, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso are all within touching distance of each other. Vettel had been succumbing to some bad luck before the break, only winning one of the last five races. Will the summer holiday have kept the momentum against him, or will he be back for a fresh start?

Further back, there are rumours that Nick Heidfeld will be replaced by Bruno Senna this weekend, with Renault turning an eye on to their future driver line-ups. Sauber have the continuity of knowing they will keep their drivers through next year as well, whilst Lotus have to deal with their boss’ new found attention on football.

Session Timetable
Date Day Session Time (GMT+1)
26 Aug Friday Free Practice 1 09:00
Free Practice 2 13:00
27 Aug Saturday Free Practice 3 10:00
Qualifying 13:00
28 Aug Sunday Grand Prix 13:00

The Weather

Early forecasts look to suggest that there won’t be rain on race day, which seems like a completely crazy idea. No rain at Spa? There would be something up with the universe. However, there is precipitation predicted for the previous two days, so changeable conditions will likely be the name of the game.

Friday, 26 August

  • 21℃
  • Low: 11℃
  • Humidity: 87%
  • Rain and thunder

Saturday, 27 August

  • 15℃
  • Low: 10℃
  • Humidity: 75%
  • Rain showers
Sunday, 28 August

  • 17℃
  • Low: 9℃
  • Humidity: 68%
  • Sunny intervals

Circuit Map

Spa-Francorchamps Map

Credit: FIA

The Circuit

Circuit Data
Name Spa-Francorchamps
Location Belgium
Timezone GMT +0200
First Race 1950
Laps 44
Length 4.352 km
Distance 308.052 km
Start / Finish Offset 0.124 km

Spa offers plenty of challenges for drivers, not least because it’s the longest track on the calendar, at just over 7km. Spa is the best example of a circuit where it can be raining at one side but completely dry on the other, which will mean tyre strategy coming into play once more.

There are plenty of long straights along the way, but punctuated by high speed corners with high G forces involved. Top speeds can reach over 320kph, whilst the pitlane loss is somewhere around 18 seconds.

2010 Results
Session Driver Team Time
Free Practice 1 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 2:00.797
Free Practice 2 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:49.032
Free Practice 3 Mark Webber Red Bull 1:46.106
Qualifying Mark Webber Red Bull 1:45.778
Grand Prix Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:29:04.268
Fastest Lap Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:49.069

Tyre Compounds

Super-soft (option) and soft (prime) compounds

Super soft and Soft compounds