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Verstappen to battle Spa hoodoo but new record with Hamilton looms - Belgian GP stats

Verstappen to battle Spa hoodoo but new record with Hamilton looms - Belgian GP stats

F1 News

Verstappen to battle Spa hoodoo but new record with Hamilton looms - Belgian GP stats

Verstappen to battle Spa hoodoo but new record with Hamilton looms - Belgian GP stats
GPFans Staff & Sundaram Ramaswami

Following F1's summer break, the Belgian Grand Prix is the first of a rapid nine-race dash to the end-of-season chequered flag.

The Spa-Francorchamps circuit hosts one of the oldest events on the F1 calendar as it first featured on the schedule in the sport's inaugural season in 1950.

Only the British, Italian and Monaco races have featured on the calendar on more occasions, with this weekend's event the 67th official running.

But who do the stats favour heading into the weekend?

Verstappen versus history

Max Verstappen became the 28th different winner of the Belgian GP at last year's controversial rain-soaked event.

But it has been over a decade since a driver secured back-to-back wins, with Kimi Raikkonen last achieving the feat in 2005 and 2007 - the race was not on the calendar in 2006.

A near-record championship margin

Verstappen arrives in Belgium with an 80-point lead over title rival Charles Leclerc and can wrap up the championship as early as the Singapore GP in four races' time.

This gap is the second largest enjoyed by a driver ahead of the Spa race, with Sebastian Vettel the record holder with an 85-point lead over Mark Webber in 2011.

Pole crucial to top-three goals

Since 2007, the pole sitter at Spa has always finished on the podium.

With plentiful overtaking opportunities around the season's longest track at 7.004km, this is quite a surprise.

Highlighting this ability to pass, the venue has seen an average of 34 overtakes per race in the hybrid era. This is significantly higher than the average of 22 set last year.

Despite this podium conversion, only 38 per cent of F1 races at Spa have been won by the driver starting from pole but on the last seven occasions, the winner has started from the front row.

Hamilton-Verstappen target new F1 record

Lewis Hamilton and Verstappen scored their 31st one-two finish at the Hungarian Grand Prix before the summer shutdown.

If the pair finish in these positions in Belgium, it will surpass the record currently shared by the Hamilton-Nico Rosberg combination.

Hamilton's podium streak

Hamilton has featured on every podium at Spa Francorchamps since 2015 and has taken three wins in this period.

His only other victory in Belgium was scored with McLaren in 2010.

Spa qualifying a struggle for Ferrari

Ferrari may have secured pole position on eight occasions this season but it has topped the qualifying order just five times in the last 45 runnings of the Belgian GP.

Schumacher the Spa king

Michael Schumacher is associated with Spa Francorchamps perhaps more than any other circuit.

Schumacher's 1991 debut with Jordan, his maiden win with Benetton one year later and the victory that broke Alain Prost's win record in 2001, all took place at Spa. Even his seventh and final title was secured at the iconic venue.

In terms of race wins, his six put him one clear of Ayrton Senna.

Safety Car certainty

The safety car has made an appearance at every Belgian Grand Prix since 2016.

A Spanish curse at Spa

Fernando Alonso and Carlos Sainz could rightly consider Spa to be a bogey track, with the former last featuring in Q3 at the venue in 2014.

Sainz has never finished higher than 10th and has scored just 1.5 points across seven outings.

Gasly the centurion

Pierre Gasly will make his 100th F1 start this weekend. He will be the 11th Frenchman to reach this mark.

Sundaram Ramaswami -Twitter/Instagram - @f1statsguru

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