AT&T Williams F1 - Spa Francorchamps preview

29.08.2008: AT&T Williams F1 - Spa Francorchamps preview


The penultimate European round of the season takes Formula One to the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit on Sunday 7 September. The Belgian Grand Prix is one of the oldest on the calendar, having debuted as a World Championship venue in 1950 and hosted 52 Grands Prix at its three race tracks, Spa, Nivelles and Zolder.

Winding through the Ardennes forest, Spa is renowned for its long, sweeping straights and technically challenging, yet fast turns, which have provided the stage for some of the sport’s most epic battles over the years.

Corners such as Eau Rouge, Blanchimont and La Source are some of the most evocative in motor racing and combine to make one of the most favoured tracks amongst drivers, teams and fans alike. With just six races outstanding, Spa will provide the perfect stage for another compelling Grand Prix.


Nico Rosberg

We had a great race at Spa last year. I finished sixth, which was one of my best results of the season. The important thing for the team at the moment is that we’ve identified where improvements can be made with the FW30 and are making the necessary adjustments to take us into the final few races.

The work everyone at the factory is putting in should help us out in Spa. We’re not going to make a huge jump, but we’ll definitely be heading in the right direction.

I’m really looking forward to the Belgian Grand Prix because Spa is an amazing race track. It will be difficult to score points there, but you can never predict what will happen somewhere like Spa, so we’ll have to wait and see.


Kazuki Nakajima

It’s going to be the first time I’ve driven a Formula One car around Spa, so my first priority will be to learn the circuit and to find out how the car behaves on this track.

I have, of course, driven Spa while racing in GP2 so know what a great racing track it is. In fact, it’s probably one of the greatest tracks on the calendar so I’m really looking forward to taking my FW30 out and doing that first lap!


Sam Michael, Technical Director, Williams F1

Spa is one of the greatest tracks we visit. The circuit is steeped in history, with one of its most prolific characteristics being its fantastic corners, created by some significant undulations over the course of the lap. It’s a real challenge for the drivers to put in a perfect lap, on what is the longest on the calendar at seven kilometres.

Spa is a fairly fluid track, with the corners flowing smoothly from one to another.

As they are either medium or high speed, good car stability is a pre-requisite, and mistakes made in the early part of the lap are difficult to recover from. A car that can withstand some kerb-riding is also important to get through the Bus Stop chicane quickly. 

Weather is at its most unpredictable in Spa. The mountains in the area create their own micro-climate and small bursts of rain can appear on one part of the circuit and not on the others, which makes tyre choice an additional challenge! Strategists usually adopt a one or two stop approach for Belgium and Bridgestone will take the medium and hard tyre compounds.


Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium

Located between Liege and Brussels in the Ardennes forest, at seven kilometers Spa-Francorchamps is the longest circuit on the calendar. Despite some significant modifications over the years from its original 14.9km layout, the current circuit is still predominantly run on narrow, public roads while following the natural landscape. The track boasts an exhilarating sequence of 19 sweeping medium and high speed corners connected by even faster straights.

Of the nine left and nine right turns, the most technically challenging for any driver is undoubtedly Eau Rouge. Approached at over 300km/h after a plunging exit out of turn two, the drivers experience up to -3.5 of vertical G (the only circuit at which drivers experience negative G forces).

A medium downforce track, with medium tyre and brake wear, it’s the engines that experience the greatest demands at Spa with the average lap speed circulating the 237kph mark and top speeds reaching 320kph. As such, 66% of the lap is driven at full throttle with the longest period lasting a full 23 seconds from the exit of La Source through to the culmination of Eau Rouge.

Stretching across such a broad area, it’s little surprise that different parts of the circuit can experience different weather conditions at one time. With rain not uncommon to the region, it’s often the case that one part of the track will be wet while another completely dry.

It might make for some great action for the fans, but such unpredictable weather conditions can wreak havoc with car set-up which must be carefully considered at this race track.

Online this week at The AT&T Williams European GP podcast, the Belgian GP Flyby, Nico Rosberg’s European GP Column, Kazuki’s GP Blogs, iWitness, a new Meet the Team feature and an exclusive new video, "Unsung Heroes: The Williams F1 Test Team." 



7.004kms / 4.352 miles. 44 laps = 308.052kms / 191.410 miles

RACE START TIME Local: 14.00, BST: 13.00

2007 FASTEST LAP F Massa, Ferrari 1:48.036

2007 POLE SITTER K Raikkonen, Ferrari 1:45.994

2007 RACE WINNER K Raikkonen, Ferrari



1 stop: Laps 23 – 29

2 stops: Laps 15 – 20, 27 – 33

3 stops: Laps 9 – 12, 18- 22, 29 - 34


- Liam Clogger, Claire Williams, Sylvia Hofer -


29.08.2008 / MaP

More News

La F1 à Francorchamps
Entre la Formule 1 et Francorchamps, c’est une longue histoire d’amour parfois tourmentée. Le Grand Prix eut lieu presque toutes les années entre 1950 et 1970 . Il revint à Spa en 1983 après que la longueur de la piste fut ramenée de 14 à 7 km. Mises à part quelques infidélités, notamment en 2003 et en 2006, le grand prix s’ more >>
Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes F1 : Spa Francorchamps race review
Sunday 16th September 2007 Fernando Alonso MP4-22 06 Lewis Hamilton MP4-22 01 T-car MP4-22 03 2007 BELGIAN GRAND PRIX Vodafone McLaren Mercedes drivers Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton finished the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps in third and fourth positions respectively. After 44 laps, 308.176 km and a total race time of more >>
AT&T Williams F1 - Belgian Grand Prix review
Nico Rosberg finished in sixth place in today's Belgian Grand Prix, contributing three valuable points for the second weekend in succession to the tightly contested mid-field in the Constructor's Championship. This has extended the team's lead over Red Bull and closing the gap to third-placed Renault. Alex Wurz by contrast suffered a difficult race with a fuel pressure p more >>
Pansonic Toyota Racing F1 - European Exodus
Panasonic Toyota Racing left Spa-Francorchamps disappointed today after Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli finished 10th and 11th respectively in the Belgian Grand Prix, the final European race of the season. Both drivers started in the top 10, with Jarno in 8th, two places in front of Ralf, but the order changed on the run to the first corner.  Jarno lost places in th more >>
Two more points for Mark Webber
DAVID COULTHARD, (Finish Position DNF, Start Position: 11th) "I had to stop due to a hydraulic related issue, I lost throttle control and power steering. On Friday the car failed in Eau Rouge, which is never good, but fortunately this time it happened on a straight, so I had more room to manoeuvre my car out of the way of the others. There's no way you can get it b more >>
Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 - 2007 BELGIAN GRAND PRIX
CHOCOLATE STEERING Sebastian's steering system appears to have been made of chocolate today, so have a nice Belgian chocolate with our compliments   Tonio Liuzzi (STR2-03) Pos. 12th "I feel I drove a good race, with some nice passing moves. This weekend started on Friday with several problems, but qualifying went more >>
Etihad Aldar Spyker F1 - Belgian GP review
2007 Belgian Grand Prix Race Adrian Sutil (car 20, F8-VII/03): 14th 1:21:15.180 (+1 lap) Fastest lap: 1:50.902 Sakon Yamamoto (car 21, F8-VII/04): 17th : 1:21:58.817 (+1 lap) Fastest lap: 1:51.648 The Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team has secured its most competitive finish yet in today's 44 lap Belgian Gran more >>
ING Belgian Grand Prix results
2007 FORMULA 1™   1 6 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari Winner 2 5 Felipe Massa Ferrari +4.6 secs 3 1 Fernando Alonso McLaren-Mercedes +14.3 secs 4 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes +23.6 secs 5 9 Nick Heidfeld BMW +51.8 secs 6 16 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota +76.8 secs 7 15 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault +80.6 more >>
Spa Friday Practice Results
2007 FORMULA 1™ ING Belgian Grand Prix 1 1 Fernando Alonso McLaren-Mercedes 1:46.654 29 2 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:46.765 0.111 29 3 5 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:46.953 0.299 27 4 6 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:47.166 0.512 26 5 12 Jarno Trulli Toyota 1:47.491 0.837 33 6 11 Ralf Schumacher Toyota 1:47.946 1.292 34 more >>
Spa Friday morning free practice results
2007 FORMULA 1™ ING Belgian Grand   1 6 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:47.339 16 2 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:47.881 0.542 19 3 1 Fernando Alonso McLaren-Mercedes 1:47.994 0.655 17 4 9 Nick Heidfeld BMW 1:48.052 0.713 20 5 16 Nico Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:48.372 1.033 18 6 10 Robert Kubica BMW 1:48.605 1 more >>
Etihad Aldar Spyker F1 - Belgian Grand Prix Preview
14 - 16 September 2007 Just one week after the Italian Grand Prix the Etihad Aldar Spyker Formula One Team will be back on track for the last European race of the season, the Belgian Grand Prix. After one year's absence from the calendar, the Spa-Francorchamps circuit makes a popular return to the 2007 championship. The track is a favourite with drivers for more >>
Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes: Belgian Grand Prix preview
The next stop for the 2007 Formula 1 World Championship sees the sport return to the much celebrated and dramatic Spa Francorchamps for the Belgian Grand Prix. Following a sabbatical year due to construction and improvement works, the longest track of the season returns for the final race in Europe, prior to the remaining three fly-aways of Japan, China and Brazil. Vodaf more >>
Red Bull Racing F1 - Belgian Grand-Prix prixview
We are all supposed to be very excited about being back in Spa-Francorchamps for the Belgian Grand Prix for the first time since 2005. Why however remains a mystery. After all, the fact that the circuit is fantastique is only relevant for the 22 guys who actually get to drive around it. For the rest of the team members, the best thing about having a race in the Ar more >>
AT&T Williams F1 - Spa preview
The Belgian Grand Prix on Sunday not only completes the Monza – Spa back to back, but also marks the end of the European season for 2007. Europe's finale will be hosted by the classic Spa-Francorchamps circuit, which is making a welcome return to the calendar following a season's absence. Nestled in the Ardennes forest, Spa evokes a sense of romanticism for many having provided t more >>
Panasonic Toyota Racing F1 - Spa-Francorchamps preview
After a disappointing Italian Grand Prix at Monza, Panasonic Toyota Racing heads to another historic venue for the Belgian Grand Prix this weekend. Spa-Francorchamps is back on the Formula 1 calendar after a one-year absence while improvements were carried out to the track and the infrastructure. Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli had the chance to sample the resurfaced track and t more >>
Vodafone McLaren Mercedes F1 - Test Spa-Francorchamps, day three
Date: Thursday 12th July 2007 Driver: Fernando Alonso Location: Spa Francorchamps, Belgium Track Length: 7.004km Weather: Changeable all day: Track temperature, 33.9°C / Ambient temperature, 18.1°C Laps Run: 75 Kilometres Covered: 525km approx. Best Lap Time: 1m47.645 at 16:31 Programme: Despite the continued mixed weather more >>
AT&T Williams F1 - Spa-Francorchamps Test, day3
DAY 3 OF 3 Spa-Francorchamps 6.976km Weather: Damp in the morning, drier in the afternoon. Air temperature: 23°C   1 K Raikkonen Ferrari 1:47.042 69 2 R Kubica BMW-Sauber 1:47.265 78 3 F Alonso McLaren Mercedes 1:47.645 75 4 M Webber Red Bull 1:47.699 44 5 G Fisichella Renault F1 1:47.724 76 more >>
Scuderia Toro Rosso F1 Spa-Francorchamps Test, Day 3
Sebastien Bourdais 1:48.585 91 laps chassis STR2-02 Circuit length: 7.004 km   An almost dry day is about as good as it gets in the Ardennes forest and that was what faced the teams on this final day of the Spa test. The track was damp at first, but by the end of the morning, Sebastien was able to fit dry weather tyres and from then on there wa more >>
Red Bull Racing F1 - Spa-Francorchamps Test, Day 3
Mark Webber 1:47.699 44 laps (fastest lap K. Raikkonen, 1.47.042) Circuit length: 7.004 km  Mark Webber's return to Spa was not a straightforward one as a close encounter with a white line on dry weather tyres on a damp track saw the Australian spin, doing some damage to front and rear wings on the RB3. Once repaired, he was back out again on a more >>
Panasonic Toyota Racing F1 - Spa Test day3
Spa-Francorchamps Test Day 3 Thursday July 12, 2007 Location: Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium Driver: Jarno Trulli Track Length: 7.004km   STANDARD DAMP Panasonic Toyota Racing today completed its week's testing with a solid day of running at Belgium's Spa-Francorchamps. Following yesterday's ra more >>
Vodafone McLaren-Mercedes F1 - Spa-Francorchamps test day2
Date: Wednesday 11th July 2007 Driver: Fernando Alonso Location: Spa Francorchamps, Belgium Track Length: 7.004km Weather: Wet to start, drying out during the morning. Rain during the afternoon: Track temperature, 26.1°C / Ambient temperature, 14.3°C Laps Run: 68 Kilometres Covered: 476km approx. Best Lap Time: 1m47.012 at 11:47 P more >>
AT&T Williams F1 SPA TEST - Day2
Dickie Stanford, Test Team Manager, Williams F1: "The whole session was severely hampered by rain today. We spent most of the day carrying out our usual set-up preparations just waiting for dry spells and the opportunity to send the car out. As a result, we lost a lot of track time. Alex will take over from Nico tomorrow so we will spend the evening converting the more >>

more >>


2001-2022 full copyright