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Belgium 2011 - Race information // F1 returns from its summer break with the much-loved Spa-Francorchamps

Published by Christine

It's been four long weeks, but Formula One is back in action with the Belgian Grand Prix next on the calendar. Spa hosts one of the highlights of the season, a favourite with many of the drivers, thanks to an impressive and challenging circuit mixed with changeable conditions.

With teams coming back from their enforced two week shutdown, they'll be keen to get back to work and implementing their last few updates before attention turns to next year's car. Drivers will also be relaxed and refreshed after their beach holidays, and ready to start challenging Vettel for the lead. Maybe.

Event schedule

Sebastian Vettel maintains a healthy lead on the championship, but behind him, three drivers have an intriguing battle for second place - Mark Webber, Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso are all within touching distance of each other. Vettel had been succumbing to some bad luck before the break, only winning one of the last five races. Will the summer holiday have kept the momentum against him, or will he be back for a fresh start?

Further back, there are rumours that Nick Heidfeld will be replaced by Bruno Senna this weekend, with Renault turning an eye on to their future driver line-ups. Sauber have the continuity of knowing they will keep their drivers through next year as well, whilst Lotus have to deal with their boss' new found attention on football.

Session Timetable
DateDaySessionTime (GMT+1)Time (Local)
26 AugFridayFree Practice 109:0010:00
Free Practice 213:0014:00
27 AugSaturdayFree Practice 310:0011:00
Qualifying13:0014:00
28 AugSundayGrand Prix13:0014:00

Support racing for this event includes GP2, GP3, and the Porsche Mobil 1 Supercup.

The weather

Early forecasts look to suggest that there won't be rain on race day, which seems like a completely crazy idea. No rain at Spa? There would be something up with the universe. However, there is precipitation predicted for the previous two days, so changeable conditions will likely be the name of the game.

rain

Spa-Francorchamps, Friday

21℃

  • Low 11℃
  • Humidity 87%

Rain and thunder

rain

Spa-Francorchamps, Saturday

15℃

  • Low 10℃
  • Humidity 75%

Rain showers

moderate

Spa-Francorchamps, Sunday

17℃

  • Low 9℃
  • Humidity 68%

Sunny intervals

Circuit map

Spa-Francorchamps Map
Spa-Francorchamps MapCredit: FIA

The circuit

Circuit Data
NameSpa-Francorchamps
LocationBelgium
TimezoneGMT +0200
First Race1950
Laps44
Length4.352 km
Distance308.052 km
Start / Finish Offset0.124 km

Spa offers plenty of challenges for drivers, not least because it's the longest track on the calendar, at just over 7km. Spa is the best example of a circuit where it can be raining at one side but completely dry on the other, which will mean tyre strategy coming into play once more.

There are plenty of long straights along the way, but punctuated by high speed corners with high G forces involved. Top speeds can reach over 320kph, whilst the pitlane loss is somewhere around 18 seconds.

2010 Results
SessionDriverTeamTimeLinks
Free Practice 1Fernando AlonsoFerrari2:00.797Live / Results
Free Practice 2Fernando AlonsoFerrari1:49.032Live / Results
Free Practice 3Mark WebberRed Bull1:46.106Live / Results
QualifyingMark WebberRed Bull1:45.778Live / Results
Grand PrixLewis HamiltonMcLaren1:29:04.268Live / Results
Fastest LapLewis HamiltonMcLaren1:49.069

Tyre compounds

Soft (option) and Medium (prime) compounds
Soft (option) and Medium (prime) compounds

Press conference schedule

Official press conferences are organised by the FIA and happen four times during the weekend. The qualifying and post race press conferences will take place after the television unilateral interviews.

Press Conference Schedule
DayTime (Local)AttendeeRepresenting
Thursday15:00Sébastien BuemiToro Rosso
Jérôme D'AmbrosioVirgin Racing
Vitaly PetrovRenault
Michael SchumacherMercedes
Bruno SennaRenault
Sebastian VettelRed Bull
Friday16:00Ross BrawnMercedes
Andrew GreenForce India
Paul HemberyPirelli
Christian HornerRed Bull
Paddy LoweMcLaren
Luca MarmoriniFerrari
SaturdayPost qualifyingThree fastest drivers
SundayPost raceFirst three finishing drivers

Race stewards

The FIA stewarding process was changed last year to include a former F1 driver to give added insight. These are the stewards overseeing this weekend's action.

F1 Stewards
NamePosition
Nigel Mansell1992 F1 World Champion and 1993 Champ Car Champion
Paul GutjahrPresident of the FIA Hill Climb Commision and President of Auto Sport Suisse Sarl
Paolo LongoniMember of the Italian Motor Sport Commission and Automobile Club of Milan

All content in the series Belgium 2011