The weekend the formula one season continues with the Belgian Grand Prix held at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, with 44 laps of pure exhilaration.
The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps also hosts The Spa 24 Hours endurance race and 1000 km Spa endurance events jointly between the towns of Spa, Malmedy and Stavelot. The modern day circuit is actually located at Stavelot in the east of Belgium, in the province of Liège in the Ardennes valley.
Watching Formula One, both in person and on television, is a truly wonderful experience. While there are plenty of other car racing events that take place all over the world, Formula One is the pinnacle of motor sports. Americans may be more used to Nascar or IndyCar racing, but neither of these sports can hold a candle to the speed, attrition, and difficulty of driving a Formula One car around those race tracks. The Belgian Grand Prix will be held at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. This is one of the oldest and most historic Formula One races on the current calendar.
The Spa-Francorchamps circuit is definitely a favourite among drivers. The sport's most success ever driver, Michael Schumacher, rates Spa as his favourite race track and so do many other drivers. It is a challenging circuit with fast straights being combined by weaving and demanding corners. It is as demanding on the car as it is on the driver, with breaks and tires tested to their limit. While a regular lap around a Formula One track is between 1 min 15 seconds to 1 min 30 seconds, the race track at Spa consists of a roughly 2 minute lap. This makes it even harder for drivers to maintain speed and concentration during the qualifying portion of the race.
The circuit at Spa was first created in 1921 and became a part of the F1 calendar shortly afterwards. The track was around 13 kilometers, the longest in Formula One. While the track was redeveloped and shortened in 1983, most of Spa's unique high speed corners and straights have been retained. Today the circuit is 7.004 km long and the actual race will cover some 308km in total. The lap record at Spa is held by Kimi Raikkonen, who clocked in at 1:45.108 and was set in 2004 in his McLaren Mercedes. The weather always plays a role at Spa and the length of the race track makes it all the more interesting.
This season's race cannot be more exciting and more than half of the Formula One season has already passed, with Fernando Alonso of team Ferrari leading the driver's championship with an impressive 164 points after winning at the Malaysian, European and German Grand Prix races this season. Team Red Bull are trailing in second and third place on the drivers table, with Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel on 124 and 122 points respectively. British spectators will be cheering on the McLaren-Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button who are 4th and 7th place respectively with 117 and 76 points.
Belgium will be a fascinating race and will set us up for the remaining eight races of the season after it including Monza on 9 September, Singapore on 23 September and the Japanese Grand Prix on 7 October.