How to get to Belgian Formula 1 Grand Prix?*

* If you don’t go there by a car.

Despite that I enjoy fast cars and rallies (if not participating, then at least watching in real action), and that I even have a dream to drive as crazy, leaving dust behind my wheels…, since childhood Formula 1 for me has been something 1) really boring being translated for at least 2h in TV, 2) seems to be taking all the weekend and 3) associates with Michael Schumacher in red and Ferrari with a horse.     

View to Belgium Formula 1 Spa-Francorchamps circuit – Eau Rouge

Few years ago, when living in France, I had an opportunity to go to F1 Monaco Grand Prix, but the tickets, a few days before the race, were either sold out (General Admission) or so expensive I couldn’t afford. After many years I finally got there – to see Formula 1 in one of the most historical and iconic circuits – Spa-Francorchamps, Belgium – with its amazing surroundings.

View to Belgium Formula 1 Spa-Francorchamps circuit – Speed corner

Spa-Francorchamps circuit is one of the longest tracks on the Formula 1 calendar, being almost 7km long. Mix of long straights and challenging fast corners makes it as one of the most loved tracks among Formula 1 drivers. Niki Lauda has said: "The track is an old-style circuit and is still a great challenge to the drivers, and the surrounding area hasn’t been built all over and is still very beautiful. I enjoy coming here.”

So, here are my tips, how to get there and enjoy the rawrrr-rawrrrr-rawrrrrr in real action, and receive many messages from Formula 1 lovers, saying how jealous they are that you are there!

  1. First of all, get your tickets very timely through the official Formula 1 web page. I got my tickets already 9 months before the race.
  2. Secondly, as soon as possible, start planning your flights and look for accommodation. Believe me – accommodation is very crucial if you don’t want to spend millions, because nearby places get taken very quickly! Liège was our option, because 1) nearby places were already super expensive, 2) Liège is a nice city to visit and 3) logistics (airplanes, trains, busses etc.). In case you are coming by your own helicopter, no worries – there is a landing place, where you might be able even to park your flying object.
  3. In order to get to Spa-Francorchamps from Liège, most convenient option is TRAIN to Verviers + SHUTTLE (or BUS) to Francorchamps:
    • TRAIN: Liège – Verviers
      • As the race is during the weekend, get week-end tickets for train.
      • Trains circulating according to the timetables.
      • Tickets can be purchased from the vending machines located in the train station.
      • Price: 5.40EUR/person for one return journey.
      • Journey duration, depending on the train type: 20-40min.
    • SHUTTLE: Verviers – Francorchamps
      • There is a shuttle organized from Verviers train station and goes directly to the circuit. However, we didn’t find this information anywhere (but found about it on the spot). 
      • Tickets can be purchased in the bus next to the train station. 
      • Shuttle is circulating in the mornings and in the evenings.
      • Price: 10EUR/person for the whole weekend (Friday-Sunday), for all return journeys.
      • Journey duration, depending on the traffic: 40-60min.
    • BUS: Verviers – Francorchamps
      • Local TEC bus No.294
      • Tickets can be purchased from the kiosk in the Train station. 
      • Busses are circulating according to the timetables.
      • 13.60EUR Multiflex journey tickets (up to 12 tickets, can be used for multiple passengers; valid in all TEC busses).
      • Journey duration, depending on the traffic: 40-60min(?).
  4. Shuttle/Bus will not deliver you to the very heart of the circuit so you will have to walk (~2km) before you get to the entrance. Once you are in Spa-Francorchamps track, enjoy it – sound, picture, atmosphere! It’s totally awesome!
  5. Additional things to mention:
    • If you have General Admission tickets (General Admission) – find the spot, from which you can enjoy the race the best (in your opinion).
      • Sacrifice the first day to walk around the whole circuit and finding the place where you want to be during the race day.
      • Be very early in the race day. We were there almost 6h before the race. Believe me – the best spots can be already taken already then.
    • If you are smart, take your own foldable chair, piepūšamu dīvānu (lielākam komfortam), spilvenus (jo gaidīšana var būt ilga), segas (gadījumā, ja ir auksts), saulessargus/lietussargus (gadījumā, ja ir pārāk saulains vai lietains), lietusmēteļus (gadījumā, ja līst, bet neesi paņēmis lietussargu). Tāpat mēs pamanījām, ka cilvēki ņem līdzi ledus-somas as savu alu un milzu somas ar ēdienu…  Ņem vērā, ka stikla pudeles ienest ir aizliegts!
    • Within the territory of the circuit, money is not used for purchasing food and drinks. Instead, it can exchanged to ‘tickets’. However, in case it’s cold and rainy, and you don’t want to have beer, “I doubt that you will find any tea in the whole territory of the circuit. It’s only coffee.” So, be ready for that and take your own thermos with hot tea, if you don’t drink coffee.
  6. Be ready that after the finish, you might have a chance to get onto the track road and cross the finish-line. If you are fast enough, you might get a chance to see the cars in the pits. Maybe… Nevertheless – enjoy!
  7. You will not be bored the whole day, because there are other races going on on the circuit all the time – without Formula 1 practice sessions, qualification rides and race itself, there are other races for Formula 2, Formula 3 and also Porsche races that are all fast, dynamic and worth your excitement.
View to Belgium Formula 1 Spa-Francorchamps circuit – Chicane

The circuit is amazing and it is worth walking around it and seeing it from different angles. Enjoy the constantly building motor noise, when start is given and each car – one by one – takes off, and enjoy the constant ‘rawrrr’!

Belgium Formula 1 Grand Prix 2019 awarding

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *