Trackside at Spa Francorchamps – 2017 Belgian Grand Prix

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Here’s your guide to getting the most out of your experience at the historic Spa Francorchamps circuit for the Belgian Formula 1 Grand Prix. This year’s race is on August 25-27, 2017.

All images © F1Destinations.com. The Editor attended the 2015 Belgian Grand Prix. Update: most ticket categories, including General Admission, are sold out for 2017, mainly thanks to the “Max Verstappen factor”. A special demo has been added to the pre-race program on race day to celebrate 25 years since Michael Shumacher’s first win at Spa Francorchamps. His 18-year old son Mick Shumacher will be taking to the track in his father’s 1994 title-winning Benetton at 12:05 on race day.

Despite being the longest current F1 circuit at 7.004 kilometers (4.352 miles), Spa has a fairly low spectator capacity of 70,000 fans. Most grandstands are located close to the pit straight and opening Eau Rouge corner, with the rest of the circuit given over to General Admission viewing areas.

Whatever ticket you buy, be ready to cover lots of ground on foot, especially when entering and exiting the circuit. Comfortable, hard wearing shoes are a must to tackle the hills and dirt paths through the mountains at Spa. A decent level of fitness is also needed to get the most out of General Admission; the best spots also tend to get busier over the course of the weekend, so you need to get there early on race day to secure your spot. The weather is notoriously fickle in the Ardennes area. It’s often warm and sunny when the race is held in late summer, but rain is never too far away. Pack for all conditions ahead of your trip, irrespective of the forecast.

Access & Orientation

There are four access gates to the circuit. The La Source and Ster entrances , which are close to each other, are best for most grandstands and also convenient for access to the ‘fanzone’ near Eau Rouge. Check the best entrance gate for your ticket type:

  • La Source: Gold 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9 – Silver 1,2 & Bronze (General Admission)
  • Ster: Gold 1,2,3,4,6,7,8,9 – Silver 1,2  & Bronze
  • Combes: Bronze and Silver 4
  • Blanchimont: “17-27” and Bronze
Parking at Spa Francorchamps
You’ll need to buy a parking pass if you are planning to drive to the circuit. There are three offical parking zones: Yellow is close to La Source and best for most grandstands, Green is close to Les Combes and Red is next to Blanchimot. Tickets costs 16 EUR per day from the circuit website. More details in Getting There & Around.

What can you bring into Spa Francorchamps?

The security checks upon entering Spa never used to be the most thorough, but have been stepped up in recent years due to the increase in terror attacks in Western Europe.

  • Allowed: food for personal use, alcohol (but no glass bottles), foldable chairs, strollers, walkers and wheelchairs
  • Not Allowed: ladders/stepladders, large parasols, barbecues, glass items, firearms, knives etc, electrical equipment that requires a generator, animals (except guide & service dogs), bicycles & motorbikes
Thursday pitlane walk for 3-day ticket holders
The pitlane walk for 3-day ticket holders takes place on Thursday, August 24 from 16:00-18:00. Enter via the La Source gate. With a near sell-out crowd this year, we recommend getting there early as the queue will be substantial. Please also be aware that the pitlane area is quite narrow and can get very congested.

2017 Belgian GP Timetable

As with most European rounds this year, the 2017 on-track schedule at Spa also features action from Formula 2 (ex-GP2), GP3 and Porsche Supercup. F1’s two main feeder series both feature two races over the course of the weekend (a longer feature race on Saturday afternoon and a sprint race on Sunday morning), as well as practice and qualifying. The Formula 2 races in particular are worth catching for close racing and a strong likelihood of thrills and spills. Click here to download the 2017 timetable.

Friday, August 25

  • 08:30-09:15: GP3 practice
  • 10:00-11:30: Formula 1 free practice 1 (FP1)
  • 11:55-12:40: Formula 2 practice
  • 14:00-15:30: Formula 1 free practice 2 (FP2)
  • 16:20-16:50: Formula 2 qualifying
  • 17:10-17:40: GP3 qualifying
  • 18:00-18:45: Porsche Supercup practice

Saturday, August 26

  • 08:30-09:15: Formula 1 teams pitstop practice
  • 09:45-10:15: Porsche Supercup qualifying
  • 11:00-12:00: Formula 1 free practice 3 (FP3)
  • 14:00-15:00: Formula 1 qualifying
  • 16:00-17:05: Formula 2 race (25 laps / 60 mins)
  • 17:35-18:20: GP3 race (17 laps / 40 mins)
  • 18:30-19:10: Porsche Supercup first race (11 laps / 30 mins)

Sunday, August 27

  • 09:00-09:35: GP3 sprint race (13 laps / 30 mins)
  • 10:25-11:15: Formula 2 sprint race (18 laps / 45 mins)
  • 11:35-12:10: Porsche Supercup race 2 (11 laps / 30 mins)
  • 12:05-12:15: F1 Benetton: Michael Schumacher 25th anniversary
  • 12:30-12:45: F1 Driver’s Track Parade
  • 14:00-16:00: 2017 Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix (44 laps / 120 mins)
Spa Francorchamps: good to know

  • Bring along a portable radio to tune into Radio Grand Prix on 99.1 FM and 104.5 FM
  • Check out our Spa GP Tickets guide for the best places to watch the action in General Admission
  • Bring your own food and drinks if you are on a budget.
  • There’s a handful of permanent and temporary toilet blocks costing €0.70 to use or free ‘porta potties’.

Merchandise, Food, Drink & Facilities

From our 2015 Belgian Grand Prix trip report:

The biggest concentration of merchandise stalls, plus food and drink, can be found on the outside of the circuit near Eau Rouge. There is also good catering close to Pouchon, plus smaller food and drink stalls dotted around the circuit. The prices for trackside F1 merchandise is uniformly expensive around the world; at Spa, you’ll pay €30 for a team hat, €40 for a t-shirt and €80 EUR for a shirt. Food and drink was disappointingly overpriced at Spa; water was €3 and a half-liter beer cost €5. Fries with mayonnaise were €4, hamburgers/hotdogs cost €6-7, and fish and chips or doner kebabs were €10.

Been to Spa Francorchamps? Leave a comment with your trackside tips!

August 13, 2017

Trackside at Spa Francorchamps – 2017 Belgian Grand Prix

Your guide to getting the most out of your trackside experience at the historic Spa Francorchamps circuit for the Belgian Formula 1 Grand Prix.

August 10, 2017

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August 3, 2017

Race Facts – Belgian Grand Prix

One of F1’s most historic tracks, Spa Francorchamps was first used to host Grand Prix racing events as far back as 1925.

March 31, 2017

Budget Planner – 2017 Belgian Grand Prix

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December 27, 2016

Accommodation – 2017 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa

From trackside camping to luxury hotels, here’s our pick of the best places to stay for the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps.

December 27, 2016

Getting There & Around – Belgian Grand Prix

The best ways to get to Spa Francorchamps for the Belgian Formula 1 Grand Prix.

December 21, 2016

Off-Track Activities – Belgian Grand Prix

Off to Spa Francorchamps for the Belgian Grand Prix? Here’s your guide to off-track activities in this beautiful part of Europe. The next race takes place on August 25-27, 2017.

October 31, 2016

Tickets – 2017 Belgian Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps

Your detailed guide on buying tickets and watching the action at the Spa Francorchamps circuit for the 2017 Belgian Formula 1 Grand Prix on August 25-27.

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About the Author ()

Andrew Balfour is the Founder and Editor of F1Destinations.com. He originally hails from Adelaide, where he went to his first F1 race way back in 1987. He's been resident in Europe for almost 15 years and travels regularly to F1 races around the world.

Comments (16)

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  1. Cara says:

    Thank you for the great info. This is a real service to the F1 fan community.
    My husband and I are familiar with the Montreal track and sit in the grandstand at turn 1 every year.
    This year we also bought GA tickets for Spa, driving up from Southern Germany for the race and staying in Aachen.
    Where should we position ourselves on the grass? It seems like Fagnes could be interesting.
    Thanks again!

    • Editor says:

      Hi Cara, thanks for the compliment! General Admission at Spa is awesome, just don’t forget to take some comfortable shoes (or hiking boots!) I walked around the whole of Spa in 2015, and I think for the race, the most comfortable place to watch in GA is Pouchon. There’s lots of elevation and plenty of room, plus great atmosphere and good places for food/drink. Fagnes has no elevation, so not such a great place to watch. Finger’s crossed for sunny skies this year. Rain at Spa only looks good on TV!

  2. Matt Gallacher says:

    Hi
    Would you know whether you can enter and exit the track during the day to return to your car to pick up supplies? We will be parked in the Yellow Zone if that makes a difference?

  3. Alvaro Capilla says:

    Hi Matt, where can i park my car if i go to the thursday pitlane walk? I already have parking tickets for the whole weekend on the red area (17-27 Zone), but i don`t find information about thursday.

    Thank you for the info!

    • Editor says:

      Who’s Matt?!!! I just replied to another comment about this. Best parking for the Thursday pitlane walk is the Yellow zone, close to La Source. It’s free to park there on Thursday.

  4. Olivier says:

    Hello thank you for your site, a lot of information very practical! Just a question, on Sunday in the Bronze Zone (GA) what time is it better to come to have a good place? Like this year the affluence will be very strong I am a little worried about this. thank you

    • Editor says:

      Hi Olivier, as early as you can. The General Admission areas will be really busy this year. If you are travelling as a group, best to try and get your vantage spot reserved by 10am if you can. Otherwise you will be struggling to find a good spot for the race.

  5. Capilla says:

    Hi,

    Where can i park my car for thursday pitlane walk? I already have parking for the weekend, but ai dont find the info for thursday

    • Editor says:

      Hi Capilla, you can park in the Yellow parking zone, check the map. It’s free on Thursday. It’s about a 10-15 minute walk from the La Source entry to the circuit, which is where you enter for the Pitlane walk on Thursday. I suggest getting there early, it’s going to be really busy this year!

  6. Ludwig K says:

    Hi, do you know where the officials will start letting people in on the track after the race on Sunday? This is my first live F1 race, but from what I’ve seen on TV they will invite people from the stands onto the track to cheer the drivers on the podium.

    • Editor says:

      Hi Ludwig, it’s normally around 2-3 minutes after the race finishes, once the last car has returned to the pits. I’m not 100% sure where they let fans on to the track at Spa, but probably at either end of the start/finish straight; near the bus stop chicane, and at La Source. Enjoy!

  7. Jacob Julin says:

    Hello. Does anyone know if there is a shuttle bus between Spa-Géroneire and Circuit Spa-Francorchamp? thanks

  8. Penelope Jacobs says:

    I hear that toilets are an issue. What are they like for women in the general admission bronze zone?

  9. keith bowe says:

    Andrew, great info, which campsite is closest to the track and with best elevation to view the race please?

    Keith

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