The most beautiful circuit in the world

A century-old history, a shared passion

The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps has been a privileged witness to the evolution of motor sports since 1921. It welcomes you to a history rich in success, memories and passion. Follow in the footsteps of motor racing legends and feel the passion emanating from its iconic track. In short, you'll enjoy an immersive experience at the heart of the history of motor sports, which is still being written every day. 

A Circuit nestled in the heart of the Belgian Ardennes and its verdant surroundings, recognisable the world over thanks to, among other things, its legendary Raidillon (de l'Eau rouge). The biggest national and international motor sport championships are held here, and a host of sporting events round off a rich and varied calendar every year.


Three roads to create a circuit

After World War 1, Jules de Thier, director of the newspaper "La Meuse", wanted to relaunch the "La Meuse Cup". During a meeting at Francorchamps with Baron Joseph de Crawhez and the racing driver Henri Langlois van Ophem, it was decided that the road triangle linking Spa-Francorchamps to Malmedy and Stavelot would be an ideal circuit.


The first race

The first car race was scheduled for August 1921 on a 15.820 km track. Unfortunately, only one driver signed up. The event was therefore replaced by a race involving 23 motorbikes, won by Hassal's Norton 500cc at an average speed of 90 kph.


The RACB's first Belgian GP

A year later, the Royal Automobile Club of Belgium organised its "Belgian GP" at Francorchamps, an endurance race for sports cars won by Tornaco-Bruyère’s Impéria-Abadal at an average speed of 88.900 kph.


Birth of the Francorchamps 24 Hours

After building a timing booth, a scoreboard and a press box, the RACB organised the first edition of the Francorchamps 24 Hours.


The European GP at Spa

Antonio Ascari on Alfa Romeo wins the European GP.


Tarmacking the track

The dirt track is tarmacked to prevent stones from being thrown up.


The corners are numbered

Wooden panels are placed 50 cm above the ground in line with car headlights.


Spectators and the track

The main grandstand, only two years old, was rebuilt and the Burnenville hill widened.


Creation of the Raidillon

The former Cusoms (ancienne douane) disappeared and the legendaty Raidillon was born after the construction of a spectacular acceleration ramp, known to strangers as the Eau Rouge Corner. This rapid and steep {17% gradient} curve became inseparable from the renowned Circuit of Spa-Francorchamps.


The Second World War turns Europe upside down


Wimille, the first post-war winner

After a seven-year break due to the global conflict, racing resumed with the European Formula International GP won by Jean-Pierre Wimille's Alfa Romeo.


Creation of the Track Association


30 “permanent” pits are built.

There are 30 of them, including 10 with grandstands, and they measure 3 metres by 2.50 metres. These are the beginnings of pitlanes.


Fangio wins the 1st Belgian F1 GP on a modified track

The existing track was widened to 8 metres, the tarmac was resurfaced and the Stavelot corner was created to eliminate the Chefosse hairpin.


One year to make the Circuit safe

The track was expanded to 10 metres, softening the curves at Malmedy, the quarries and Blanchimont. A 1.1 metre wall was built to protect the public. In the winter of 1956/57, the race management benefitted from modern facilities with the construction of the Englebert Tower, located at the heart of the paved pit stands, and becoming an area for the mechanics.


The Circuit is resurfaced after the Stavelot corner

The installation of safety rails is being taken into account in order to reinforce safety measures, and the beginnings of discussions for the creation of a permanent Circuit are being initiated...


Revival of the Francorchamps 24 Hours for Touring Cars

It's more than just a race, it's also a huge popular festival which is back on the Spa-Francorchamps calendar: funfair, concerts, parades, the public is at the centre of the organisers' attention.


New works

A large part of the Circuit is resurfaced and landscaped to better channel run-off water. Boxes are also installed above the pits in the Englebert Tower.


Creation of the track association "Association intercommunale pour l'exploitation du Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps"


Rodriguez wins last F1 GP on the big track

Mexico's Pedro Rodriguez won the 29th and last F1 Belgian GP to be held on the Grand Prix circuit at an average speed of 241 kph. At the instigation of champion Jackie Stewart, the F1 drivers' association then declared Francorchamps too dangerous and impractical.


Pescarolo's official record on the old track, Jacky Ickx's unofficial one

During the 1000 km free practice sessions at Francorchamps, Frenchman Henri Pescarolo established a speed record on the circuit with an average speed of 262.461 km/hr at the wheel of his Matra prototype. The qualification record of Jacky Ickx, established the previous evening at 263.41 km/hr, remains the official record, but he remains the driver with the fastest lap on the old track.


Inauguration of the new 6.9 km circuit

1979 saw the creation of what is still known today as the "new section" between Les Combes and the new Paul Frère corner. The length of the new circuit has been reduced to 6.947 km.


F1 returns to Spa-Francorchamps

On its return to Francorchamps, the Belgian GP was won by Renault with Frenchman Alain Prost and Belgium represented by Thierry Boutsen.


Amateur sport at its best

The 2CV 24 hour race arrives at Spa-Francorchamps with an atypical route: the new section is used in both directions via the service track and the Raidillon downhill. They use the standard track again in the 90s.


Finish line of stage 3 of the Tour de France.

The riders complete two and a half laps of the Circuit and a sprint as they climb towards La Source corner.


Moto GP abandon Francorchamps

For safety reasons, the FIM decides to stop organising Moto GP races at Francorchamps.


Semi-permanent circuit

Closed to traffic from March to October, the Circuit becomes semi-permanent. Then very quickly becomes permanent with 220 days of annual operation. This year also marks the creation of the "Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps” ltd company


Creation of new stands

2007 saw the creation of a new infrastructure, with new stands meeting the new FIA standards and a new chicane replacing the “bus stop”. After a year's absence, F1 returns to Francorchamps.


Création de la s.a. de droit public « Le Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps ».

This public limited company merges the 2 entities, "Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps" and the track association "Association intercommunale"


Work on and off the track

The winter break of 2021-2022 was witness to major works at the Circuit of Spa-Francorchamps: renovation of the track in order to be granted the FIA and FIM Grade C, ratifications and to improve the safety and attractiveness of the circuit. Reception facilities for the public were also improved with the construction of a new 4,600-place grandstand at the top of the Raidillon.


New grandstands and terraces in the descent of La Source

The winter of 2022-2023 was devoted to continuing to improve spectator facilities and modernise the infrastructure: the construction of new terraces and grandstands in the downhill section of La Source corner to accommodate an additional 7,300 spectators.


The Circuit is expanding its range of tourist attractions

The Circuitsp'Adventure and the Centenary Walk are free walks open to the public, offering a chance to discover the history of the site and its rich flora and fauna, as well as having fun with games and sports modules.

A track surrounded by nature

The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, nestled in the heart of the magnificent Ardennes region, stands out not only for its legendary mark on the world of motor sport, but also for the splendour of its natural surroundings. Immersed in breathtaking greenery. This iconic venue offers much more than thrilling motor racing.

Located close to the Fagnes mountains, famous for their unspoilt landscapes, the circuit blends harmoniously into this exceptionally beautiful natural setting. The rolling hills and dense forests add a whole new dimension to this area otherwise given over to speed and adrenalin.

photo (1)

Lush countryside perfect for excursions

Although often hailed as the most beautiful circuit in the world for its winding curves and electric atmosphere during races, Spa-Francorchamps is, for many, a great location for its not as well known lush natural surroundings. The flora and fauna in this forested region offer a diverse and well-preserved ecosystem, testifying to the natural wealth that coexists with the hustle and bustle of motoring events.

The circuit is an ideal place for excursions into the heart of nature. Visitors can step away from the grandstands and pits to immerse themselves in a lesser-known but equally captivating aspect of this iconic site.

The winding paths that meander through the surrounding area invite you to take peaceful strolls, offering nature lovers the chance to explore the mysteries of the site. Observing the local fauna and contemplating the botanical diversity are just some of the experiences that transform the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps into an incredible place for walking, where the beauty of nature rivals the renown of the world of motor sports.


The Circuit also has unlikely history with red water

Eau Rouge (red water), la Source, Pouhon - there are many references to water on the track at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, and not by coincidence. 

L'Eau Rouge  isa stream that runs under the track at the foot of the Raidillon and then meanders through the site, between the paddocks and the entrance to Blanchimont. English speakers refer to Eau Rouge with inference to the Raidillon without always saying it. This stream is a tributary of the Amblève, which served as a border between the Roman and German empires, and later between Belgium and Germany. 

The river owes its name to the rusty colour of the many ferruginous carbogas seeps, or pouhons, that line its course. This river also has numerous tributaries, one of which is the Rohon. It enters the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps site at the La Source corner, then disappears under the track to cross the paddock underground and flows into the Eau Rouge.


The Eau Rouge, a major tributary of the Amblève, is a non-navigable stream located on the right bank of the Amblève, in the municipalities of Malmedy and Stavelot. Its total length is around 15.5 kilometres. Its source is at the "Croix Delvoie" (612 metres above sea level) and meanders its way to its confluence at "Challe", 278 metres above sea level. 

The Eau Rouge flows mainly over Revinian phyllites, quartzites and quartzophyllites. At the end of its course, and for a short distance, it passes over Paleozoic schistose-cemented puddingstone.

The other corner whose name will chime with motor sports fans is the Double Gauche du Pouhon. As everyone knows, this is a  major hard point on the circuit. After a downhill straight, the Pouhon needs to be negotiated at breakneck speeds. And etymologically speaking, Pouhon is a naturally sparkling ferruginous mineral spring for which Spa is famous. The word means the place where water is drawn from. One of these springs can be found on the edge of the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps site. 

The Source corner,, is the first difficulty tackled after the start. Designed in a U-shape, this is the slowest corner on the circuit. The place takes its name from the various springs in the region, particularly in the Spa area.

Also worth



Track Experiences


Schooling & Car Hire

Sightseeing tours

Behind-the-scenes guided tour

The Region