2014 Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix
Formula One returns after its mid-season break to one of the all-time classic grand prix circuits. Through many iterations Spa-Francorchamps has remained a favourite for drivers and fans alike, the charismatic appeal roaring through the Ardennes forest thrilling fans since the 1920s.
The re-profiled Blanchimont and Eau Rouge aren’t quite so fearsome as they once were but as cars evolve so Spa provides new challenges: today Pouhon is as demanding a corner as F1 will face all year.
Spa’s reputation is built on speed – and it certainly delivers that with the longest full-throttle section of any current circuit – but it’s the undulating middle sector where time is made and lost. And then there’s the wonderfully unpredictable, wholly infamous weather. Spa can provide rain, fog and brilliant sunshine, all within the confines of a single lap.
It’s a special place for the team: in 1968 Bruce McLaren won his final grand prix at this circuit and did so for the first time in a car carrying his own name. The McLaren marque now has a dozen victories at this most famous of race tracks, the latest of which was a scintillating win from pole for Jenson Button in 2012.