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The Belgian Grand Prix: Spa-Francorchamps

Described by two-time F1 champion Lewis Hamilton as a ‘circuit that should never leave the F1 calendar’, the vaunted Circuit De Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the season.

So with the race for the Formula One championship between Hamilton and his Mercedes rival Nico Rosberg reaching full throttle, it seems only apt that the F1 motorcade is soon to be on its way to the iconic venue for another weekend of world-class racing.

Spa, Liège and Brussels

Image of Spa Francorchamps Circuit via Wikimedia

 

The challenging 7km track (the longest of the Formula One season) is situated a little over 8km from the town of Spa. The charismatic town as of yet doesn’t have its own airport, so we recommend chartering your private jet to nearby Liège (just a forty minute drive away) or to Brussels (a straight-forward two hour drive).

With plenty to see and do in both cities, you’d be well advised to use your time in either of these by paying a visit to one of the many excellent restaurants and bars available to you. Dine in style at Le Selys in Liège, a highly-acclaimed restaurant directed by Michelin Star rated Chef Samuel Blanc, or pick from the world-record 2,000 beers on offer at the live-wire bar Delirium in Brussels.

Image of the infamous Eau Rouge corner via Shutterstock

Europe’s classic racing challenge

Twisting and turning into the heart of Belgium’s Ardennes forest, the Circuit De Spa-Francorchamps long straights, high-speed corners and constant elevation changes make it a genuine challenge for today’s drivers. During the 1970s the track was regarded as too dangerous for racers, with the Belgian Grand Prix held at alternative venues until drastic alterations were made to ensure the safety of all involved.

With those changes made, iconic corners like Pouhon, Eau Rouge, Blanchimont and La Source have all become fully ingrained into racing culture. You’ll get a full view of the aforementioned La Source by booking a corner suite at the Hotel De La Source , a modern design hotel ideally placed for those who want to be based close to the action.

Watch out for the Microclimate

While Spa is known the world over for its spring water, it’s the kind that falls from clouds that we recommend taking into account if you’re planning a visit. Don’t let the same unpredictable weather that scuppered Michael Schumacher’s chance of victory in the memorable 1998 Grand Prix mess up your weekend by ensuring you’ve got your raincoat to hand at all times during the race weekend.

Overtaking action via Shutterstock

The VIP experience

For anyone looking for a real VIP experience of the race, try the exclusive Formula One Paddock Club. Describing itself as ‘the most prestigious of the hospitality packages’ available to fans, you’ll enjoy privileged access to the pit lane where you’ll see up close where the team engineers work their magic. You’ll also be treated to a delicious gourmet lunch served with a selection of fine local wines, entry to the support race paddock, access to the private pit roof and Chill Out Lounge (a regular haunt of celebs, F1 drivers and team leaders), as well as prime viewing position of the unmissable action on the track itself.

The Belgian Grand Prix takes place of the weekend of the 21st-23rd August 2015. You can buy tickets from F1’s official ticket store.

Main image of Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes F1 races on training session on January 31 , 2014, in Jerez de la Frontera , Spain Circuit via Shutterstock

 


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