Belgian Grand Prix Betting

The very first official running of the Belgian Grand Prix was conducted in Spa, Belgium in 1950. Ever since then, the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps has been the primary venue for Formula One racing in Belgium, hosting 46 editions of the Grand Prix.

The historic Spa-Francorchamps circuit includes narrow public roads that have been used for non-championship racing since 1924. The original course measured an amazing 14.9 kilometres long, and it was as notorious as it was popular, with spectacular crashes punctuating the earliest events. The lap distance was gradually reduced to 14 kilometres and some of the corners were eased to make the going safer. The last time the “old” circuit was used was for the 1970 Grand Prix, when the fastest average lap speed was just under 245 km/h.

Among the great champions of that pioneering era were the inaugural winner, Juan Manuel Fangio of Argentina, and his Italian rivals, Giuseppe Farina, who ran first in 1951, and two-time World Champion Driver Alberto Ascari. They were followed by a host of top-notch pilots from Great Britain, including Peter Collins, Tony Brooks, John Surtees and four-time Belgian Grand Prix Champion Jim Clark, who dominated the course from 1962 through 1965. An Australian and a New Zealander also won on the old circuit—Jack Brabham and Bruce McLaren—along with a pair of Americans—Phil Hill and Dan Gurney.

In the 1970s and early 80s the location of the Belgian Grand Prix shifted temporarily, first to the Nivelles-Baulers track in Nivelles and then to Circuit Zolder in Heusden-Zolder. A dozen iterations of the race were conducted during that period, crowning such illustrious winners as Brazil’s Emerson Fittipaldi, Austria’s Niki Lauda, Great Britain’s Jackie Stewart and John Watson, as well as America’s Mario Andretti.

When racing returned to Spa-Francorchamps in 1983, it was a greatly revised circuit. Although two thirds of the lap retained the original layout, including the legendary Eau Rouge corner with its demanding rise in elevation, the total distance had been reduced to just under seven kilometers. It was on this track that Alain Prost of France and Ayrton Senna of Brazil fought their famous duels, with Prost victorious in 1983 and 1987, but Senna dominating the competition with five wins in 1985 and 1988~91. Only Great Britain’s Nigel Mansell managed to interrupt their rivalry with a win of his own in 1986.

The next decade saw Germany’s Michael Schumacher rise to prominence at Spa-Francorchamps, taking the checkered flag six times between 1992 and 2002. During that period, Damon Hill of Great Britain also gained fame with three wins coming in 1993~94 and 1998, while his compatriot David Coulthard stood at the top of the podium in 1999. Then dominance of the course shift to Finland as the new millennium opened, with Mika Häkkinen victorious in 2000 and Kimi Räikkönen triumphant in 2004~5, 2007 and 2009.

After 30 years, the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps remains the longest circuit on the F1 Grand Prix calendar, measuring exactly 7.004 kilometres. Drivers must endure 44 laps, including a mix of long straights and challenging fast corners. However, the picturesque setting in the Belgian countryside makes this one of the favourite Grand Prix tracks among drivers and spectators alike.

In 2009, Sebastian Vettel set the record for the fastest lap time at 1:47.263. Although the German phenomenon lost the race that year, he came back to win in 2011 and 2013, making him the new man to beat on this track. The 2014 edition has been scheduled in the 14th position on the Formula One calendar, with practice starting on 22 August and raceway on Sunday, 24 August.

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