Spa-Francorchamps in the Ardennes forest is a pilgrimage for Formula 1 fans across the world every year as they travel to Belgium to admire Formula 1 cars through the iconic high speed corners Eau Rouge, Pouhon and Blanchimont. Its mix of fast and slow corners and undulating surfaces make it one of the most challenging tracks in the world. Sudden rain showers have contributed to some very memorable Grand Prix moments. Its size, spread out across seven kilometres, means that it can be dry in the pits but pouring with rain at the other end of the circuit. With its fair share of incidents, the 1998 GP was the most spectacular in recent times. Thirteen of the twenty-two starters were wiped out only a few hundred yards in to the race due to heavy rain and a collision between Michael Schumacher and David Coulthard. Damon Hill won the race for the Jordan team. Kimi Räikkönen has won the race four times and Sebastian Vettel twice.
Circuit length 7.004 km
Race distance 308.052 km
2013 winner Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull)
Race Strategy Briefing
Spa is one of F1's classic tracks and a great spectacle. It's a long lap at 110 seconds and strategy is important, especially rapid decision making in the event of a rain shower as much time can be lost. One of the key issues for teams to decide in their strategy planning was whether to go for a low downforce set up, with less wing, to help straight line speed in sectors one and three, or whether to go for more downforce to help with sector two. It's a very tough circuit on engines and with only 5 per driver for the season, teams will want to try to use a new one here, if they have one available. Fuel consumption is also quite high here and this year Pirelli is bringing soft and medium tyres, which will make for more aggressive strategies.
In collaboration with James Allen
Race Strategy Report
The race history chart and accompanying text recap of the key moments of the race, are together designed to offer a unique review and insight into the strategic who, what, why and how that decided the latest race result.
The graph illustrates the relative performances on each stint of the cars and the gaps between each driver on a lap by lap basis. Use the control to show/hide different drivers and click on the pins for more details of race incidents.
The ‘as it happened’ key talking points, provide a more in-depth accompanying commentary and analysis of the key decisions on the pit wall and in the cockpit decisions that again ultimately helped determine the final race outcome.
Pit stop league table
The league table shows the order of the pit crews based on their best total time in the pit lane in the recent 2014 FORMULA 1 SHELL BELGIAN GRAND PRIX. Please note that this table shows the total pit lane duration, whereas the season best pit stop referenced in the latest race strategy briefing considers the stationery time of the car only during the pit stop.
01. McLaren (22.414s)
02. Red Bull (22.675s)
03. Williams (22.769s)
04. Ferrari (22.819s)
05. Lotus (22.838s)
06. Sauber (22.898s)
07. Mercedes (22.936s)
08. Force India (22.977s)
09. Toro Rosso (23.202s)
10. Marussia (23.734s)
11. Caterham (24.083s)
Start league table – after Round 12, Belgium
Starts are a critical part of the race and strategy can be badly compromised by a poor start, while good starts can make strategists change their plans in the hope of a good result.
The below table illustrates whether drivers have gained (+) or lost (-) places off the start line this season on an aggregate basis. Please note that where a driver has been eliminated on a first lap this has been noted and removed from the sample as it skews the table and therefore serves as a guide of trends, rather than a definitive list
As far as 2014 start performance is concerned drivers have gained (+) or lost (-) places off the start line this season, on aggregate as follows; ie taking places lots away from places gained.
+15 Bottas, Ericsson
+14 Hulkenberg, Kobayashi
+13 Räikkönen, Chilton
+10 Hamilton, Massa
+4 Alonso, Lotterer
-1 Rosberg, Vettel
Melbourne notes: Kobayashi, Massa eliminated in a first corner accident; Perez, Gutierrez pitted at the end of lap 1; Bianchi, Grosjean started from pit lane
Malaysia notes: Perez started from pit lane, Bianchi pitted at the end of lap 1
Bahrain notes: Vergne pitted at the end of lap 1 after contact
China notes: Sutil lost power at start and dropped 8 places, retiring soon after
Monaco notes: Maldonado did not start, Ericsson started from pit lane, Perez crashed on lap 1
Canada notes: Gutierrez started from pit lane; Bianchi and Chilton crashed on lap 1; Ericsson pitted on lap 1
Austria notes: Grosjean started from pit lane
Silverstone notes: Räikkönen and Massa eliminated after accident on lap 1
Germany notes: Massa eliminated in lap 1 after accident, Magnussen and Ricciardo also dropped back as a result
Hungary notes: Hamilton, Magnussen, Kvyat started from pit lane
Belgium notes: Grosjean and Bianchi collided on lap one, Kobayashi absent and replaced by Lotterer