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F1 - The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium

February 24th, 2007 / / Links: Google Earth, Google Maps, Yahoo! Maps, Virtual Earth / Nearest places

The Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps is the famous venue of the Formula One Belgian Grand Prix and the Spa 24 Hours endurance race. It is considered to be one of the most challenging race tracks in the world, mainly due to its fast, hilly and twisty nature. The circuit features one of the most famous and dangerous sections of any racing track in the world, the Eau Rouge complex. Spa is a favourite circuit of many racing drivers and fans.

Over the years, the Spa course has been modified several times and today it has been shortened to 6.9 km (4.3 miles) and is a fast and hilly route through the Ardennes where speeds in excess of 330 km/h can be reached. Since inception, the place has been famous for its unpredictable weather. Frequently drivers confront a part of the course that is clear and bright while another stretch is rainy and slippery.

Drivers and fans alike love races at Spa-Francorchamps. A dull race at Spa is very rare, and most drivers today say that the course is one of the two most challenging race tracks in the world (alongside Japan's Suzuka Circuit).

The circuit probably demonstrates the importance of driver skill more than any other in the world. This is largely due to the Eau Rouge and Blanchimont corners, both which need to be taken flat-out to achieve a fast run onto the straights after them, which aids a driver in both a fast lap and in over-taking.

Many of the modern great Formula 1 drivers have had memorable battles and victories at Spa, including Ayrton Senna, Michael Schumacher, Damon Hill, Mika Häkkinen and Kimi Räikkönen. A notable exclusion is current world champion Fernando Alonso.

[Source: Wikipedia]

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