Trackside at Spa Francorchamps – 2018 Belgian Grand Prix

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Your guide to getting the most out of your trip to Spa Francorchamps for the Belgian Formula 1 Grand Prix. The next race is on August 24-26, 2018.

All images © F1Destinations.com. 

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 F1 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 cost 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 23 from 16:00-18:00. Enter via the La Source gate. With larger attendances in recent years, 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.

 

2018 Belgian Grand Prix Timetable

As with most European rounds this year, the on-track schedule at Spa also features action from Formula 2, 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 some very close racing.

Friday, August 24

  • 09:30-10:15: GP3 practice
  • 11:00-12:30: Formula 1 free practice 1 (FP1)
  • 12:55-13:40: Formula 2 practice
  • 15:00-16:30: Formula 1 free practice 2 (FP2)
  • 16:55-17:25: Formula 2 qualifying
  • 17:50-18:20: GP3 qualifying
  • 18:45-19:30: Porsche Supercup practice

Saturday, August 25

  • 09:35-10:20: GP3 race (17 laps / 40 mins)
  • 10:45-11:15: Porsche Supercup qualifying
  • 12:00-13:00: Formula 1 free practice 3 (FP3)
  • 15:00-16:00: Formula 1 qualifying
  • 16:45-17:50: Formula 2 race (25 laps / 60 mins)
  • 18:00-19:00: F1 Fan Forum

Sunday, August 26

  • 09:35-10:10: GP3 sprint race (13 laps / 30 mins)
  • 10:50-11:40: Formula 2 sprint race (18 laps / 45 mins)
  • 12:05-12:40: Porsche Supercup race (11 laps / 30 mins)
  • 13:00-13:10: Jacky Ickx Laps
  • 13:30-14:00: F1 Drivers’ Track Parade
  • 14:00-14:15: Starting Grid Presentation
  • 15:10-17:10: 2018 Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix (44 laps / 120 mins)

Merchandise, Food, Drink & Facilities

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. (Information from our 2015 Belgian Grand Prix trip report)

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’.

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

August 20, 2018

Belgian Grand Prix Travel Quiz

Test your knowledge of Belgium, Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps and the Belgian Grand Prix in our new F1 travel quiz.

August 13, 2018

Trackside at Spa Francorchamps – 2018 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.

March 26, 2018

Tickets – 2018 Belgian Grand Prix, Spa Francorchamps

Your detailed guide to buying tickets and where to watch the action at Spa Francorchamps for the Belgian Formula 1 Grand Prix.

March 21, 2018

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.

February 8, 2018

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.

February 6, 2018

Travel Basics – Belgian Grand Prix

Start planning your trip to the Belgian Grand Prix at the Spa Francorchamps circuit.

January 16, 2018

Budget Planner – 2018 Belgian Grand Prix

How much will your weekend at the Belgian Grand Prix set you back? Read our budget planner to find out!

December 21, 2017

Getting There & Around – Belgian Grand Prix

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

November 22, 2017

Accommodation – 2018 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.

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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 (29)

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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

  10. Nicolás De Teresa says:

    Hello Andrew.

    What time would be good to get to Pouchon in order to get a good spot?

    How long is it walking from green area parking?

    Thanks a lot and best regards.

    Nicolás

    • Editor says:

      Hi Nicolás. I think it’s about 30 minutes walking from Green parking area. Probably you should be there as early as possible to get a good spot; before 8am would be best

  11. Donna critchley says:

    Hi which zone campsite do you recommend taking an 11 year old first time for us. We will have weekend GA tickets and will also do the pit lane Thursday. Thank you

  12. Javier says:

    Hello Andrew

    Could you tell me how much time walking distance between Green camping and track?

    I am planning to go there and leave the car there all the time.

    Also, would you think camping is a good choice for going with my girlfriend? I mean, showers are reasonably good and you can be peaceful during the night? Thanks!

    • Editor says:

      Hi Javier, the Green camping is quite close to the track entrance. But remember it’s a big track, so this area at the top of the circuit is some 30-60 minutes walking from Eau Rouge for example. The trackside camping is a bit loud and drunken. If you are travelling with your girlfriend, I recommend a permanent campsite near the track, like Elephant. More here.

  13. jluc morlet says:

    bonjour j ai des tickets bronze pour le vendredi mais je ne sais pas quelle parking je dois allez pouvez m aider je viens de liège en voiture merci d avance

  14. palleti says:

    I have read that a new non-covered grandstand Speed Corner is erected around turn 11, on the outside of the track. That must be opposite the general admission slope, Pouhon? Where are there tunnels that allow you to go from inside to outside?

  15. LondonF1 says:

    Hi Andrew,
    Thanks for your really useful post. I’m heading to Spa for my first F1 experience later this month. Do you know what ticket I need to go to the pitwalk on the Thursday? I bought a ticket for the full weekend from spagrandprix.com, which has a ticket for each day, but no mention of the Thursday?
    Thanks in advance

    • Editor says:

      Hi Mark, if you have a ticket for Friday-Sunday, then you can take part in the pit lane walk on Thursday. Bring along your weekend tickets for entry.

  16. Kim Nissen says:

    Thanks for really useful information.

    Do you know about shuttle buses and if there will be a bus going from Aachen, Friday and Saturday?

  17. Karyn du Sart says:

    Hello Andrew,

    Do you have know if there are any artists performing?

    Before/ after the race?

    • Editor says:

      Hi Karyn, they don’t have big-name concerts at Spa Francorchamps. They have a stage in the F1 Fanzone behind Eau Rouge, but I don’t know who will be playing.

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