From gear changes to corner speeds, and tips for our gaming community, our track guide is the home of your F1 tech lowdown.
|Track length||7.004km/4.352 miles (longest track of the year – shortest: Monaco)|
|2016 pole position||Nico Rosberg, 1m46.744s|
|2016 fastest lap||Lewis Hamilton, 1m51.583s (lap 40)|
|Lap record||1:47.263s (Sebastian Vettel, 2009)|
|Distance to Turn One||265m/0.165 miles (longest of season: Barcelona 730m/0.454 miles)|
|Longest straight||2.015km/1.252 miles, from La Source to Les Combes (longest of the season: Baku, 2.1km/1.305 miles)|
|Top speed||360km/h/224mph, on the approach to Turn Five (fastest of season: Monza, 370km/h/230mph)|
|Full throttle||70 per cent (highest of the season: Monza, 75 per cent)|
|Fuel consumption||2.27kg per lap, which is high|
|ERS demands||Low. It’s a long lap and there are plenty of opportunities to harvest braking energy|
|Gear changes||48 per lap/2112 per race|
Spa is made up of fast corners and long straights, so high-speed stability and top speeds are crucial. With the extra drag produced by the 2017-spec cars, the circuit is likely to become a low downforce track this year as teams seek to maximise straight-line speeds.
How to tell when a driver's really on it
He’ll keep the throttle nailed for the bulk of Sectors One and Three. Eau Rouge and Blanchimont have been ‘easy-flat’ for a number of years, but Turn 10 – Pouhon – might be flat this year and a driver who’s on it will need to use all of the exit kerb.
Trickiest bits for the driver
The final element of the three-corner sequence at Turns Five, Six and Seven. It’s important for a driver to hit all three apices through here, and particularly Turn Seven because he needs to get back on the throttle as early as possible as a short straight follows.
Low downforce. Sectors One and Three are spent largely at full throttle, so end-of-straight speed at these points on the lap is crucial. Due to the wider cars this year, teams will shave off some downforce to maintain top speeds.
Medium. The asphalt is smooth and grippy, and at high speed the cars produce lots of downforce. There are three heavy braking areas, where it’s important to have good braking stability as the speed and downforce comes off the car.
Purple Ultrasoft, red Supersoft and yellow Soft – the sixth time this combination has been used in 2017.
Low. There are nine braking events around the lap, but only three of them are heavy.
Tips if you're a gamer
With the cars running less downforce this year, they will be more skittish through the medium-speed corners in Sector Two. Gamers need to be wary through Turns Five, Six, Seven and Eight, and then 12, 13 and 14, where it will be easy to make a mistake. The cars will also feel relatively unstable under braking for the Bus Stop chicane, which is the hardest braking point on the lap.