The Formula 1 circus travels to the iconic Spa-Francorchamps track for the Belgian Grand Prix, the third Sprint weekend of the 2023 season. This race is not just the final contest before the long-awaited summer vacation, but it is also a chance for drivers and teams to complete the first half of the season on a high note. Here’s a detailed look at what to expect, the schedule, and how to keep up with every exciting moment.
F1 Drivers and Teams to Watch
The Dutch sensation, Max Verstappen, is on a winning streak. He has the potential to become the second driver in F1 history, behind Sebastian Vettel, to win eight consecutive races. Verstappen now leads the F1 world championship standings by 110 points over teammate Sergio Perez, who won the Hungarian GP. This victory extended Red Bull’s winning streak to 13 races, breaking the previous record for the most consecutive wins in a season.
However, McLaren isn’t far behind. They aim to continue their upward trajectory and remain Red Bull’s closest challengers at the Spa circuit. Additionally, Lewis Hamilton is within striking distance of overtaking Fernando Alonso for the third position in the Drivers’ Championship.
Packed Schedule for the Weekend and Start Time
The Belgian GP Sprint weekend promises to keep fans on the edge of their seats with a jam-packed schedule. The action starts on Friday at 4 p.m. with F1 qualifying. Saturday begins with the Sprint Shootout at 11 a.m., followed by the Sprint at 3:30 p.m.
The main event, the Belgian Grand Prix, gets underway on Sunday. The build-up begins at 12:30 pm, leading to the thrilling race starting at 2 pm. But the weekend is not just about F1 – a full roster of Formula 2 and Formula 3 sessions are lined up, offering fans a complete motorsport experience.
How to Watch? Broadcasting and Streaming Details
Fans may keep up with the action in a variety of ways. Sky Sports F1 will broadcast the Belgian Grand Prix live in the United Kingdom. The pre-race build-up begins at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday and concludes with the live race broadcast at 2 p.m. In the UK, NOW also provides live streaming services for fans who prefer a digital viewing experience.
Sky Sports F1 is part of the Sky Sports channels package, available for £24 per month for new customers. NOW offers a one-off day payment option of £11.98p or a monthly membership at £34.99p.
For those who might miss the live action or prefer to watch highlights, Channel 4 will be broadcasting the highlights of the qualifying, sprint race, and the main grand prix on Saturday and Sunday nights.
Additionally, for radio listeners, BBC Radio 5 Live and the BBC Sounds app offer live coverage starting at 2:00 pm BST on race day.
Weather Forecast and Records to Beat
Weather at Spa-Francorchamps can be unpredictable, making the race all the more exciting. Mild and mixed conditions are expected throughout the race weekend, with a chance of rain on Friday and Saturday. However, highs of 20 degrees Celsius, cloudy skies, and a slight probability of showers are forecast for Sunday.
The drivers will be aware of the existing records as they prepare for the Belgian GP. Michael Schumacher has six Belgian Grand Prix victories, while Ayrton Senna has five. Lewis Hamilton, Jim Clark, and Kimi Raikkonen have all won four races.