The top of Eau Rouge at Spa, photo by Nic Redhead

The top of Eau Rouge at Spa, photo by Nic Redhead

It isn’t just the fact that it often rains here in Belgium but with the changes in altitude and mountains surrounding Spa-Francorchamps the rain will often be coming down on one part of the track or one corner but no where else and rain can equally stop and star; one such race was 1985 when Mansell won from Senna.

 

The circuit has three or four good overtaking places for spectators to choose from when buying Belgian Grand Prix tickets; one of these is at Turn 1 though, cars going for the inside here often find themselves drifting wider than they had planned. As a driver it is sometimes better to take a different line for a better drive up Eau Rouge, especially if your car is better setup.

 

At Turn 5 there is another overtaking opportunity at the Les Combes chicane, where a good run up the straight and the inside line should see you get the line into the corner and then into turn 7. The Bus Stop chicane at the end of the lap  is perhaps the best overtaking position though, especially with a area of tarmac to go over if you get it wrong, you may not even lose anytime if you keep straight on and are able to rejoin on to the start finish straight. Of course some people, not least Sebastian Vettel, have perhaps been a little too confident into the chicane in the past.

 

Many remember the 1998 race at Spa for the massive pile up at the start in the wet, the wet restarted race though was a fantastic one to watch with Damon Hill bringing Jordan their first victory.

 

Another wet race at Spa in 2007 is also remembered for the wrong reasons, a great battle between Hamilton and Raikkonen and other great battles throughout the field were overshadowed by Hamilton’s disqualification after the race.

 

Senna heading to victory at Spa in 1988

Senna heading to victory at Spa in 1988, Photo by Mick Dodsworth, all rights reserved

1992 was Michael Schumacher’s first victory where he showed his ability in mixed conditions. 1987 was when Mansell and Senna at a second start to the race collided on the first lap and Prost came through to win. Then for one of the all time best battles in Formula One there is the 1979 Belgian Grand Prix where the best drivers of the day including Scheckter, Jones, Depailler and Laffite battled for victory with Scheckter coming out on top.