In Review

F1 Belgian GP: preview, predictions, practice, qualifying, race start time, TV, betting odds

Will championship leader Lewis Hamilton continue his march to the title at Spa?

2019 Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix

  • What: race No.13 on the F1 2019 calendar  
  • When: 30 August to 1 September  
  • Where: Spa-Francorchamps, Stavelot, Belgium 
  • Race start time: 2.10pm on Sunday 1 September 
  • TV coverage: live on Sky Sports F1 and highlights on Channel 4 

The 2019 Formula 1 season resumes this weekend with the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps. 

Having built a 62-point lead at the top of the drivers’ standings, Mercedes ace Lewis Hamilton will look to continue his run towards a sixth world title. He has 250 points from 12 races so far this year.  

Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas, Ferrari duo Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc and Red Bull’s Max Verstappen will aim to stop the Briton’s domination at the front of the grid.

Last year at Spa Vettel won the race ahead of Hamilton and Verstappen and Ferrari will be hoping for a similar result on Sunday.

This weekend will also see Alexander Albon make his debut for Red Bull Racing. The 23-year-old was promoted during the summer break with Pierre Gasly demoted back to Toro Rosso.

Wolff: let’s keep on pushing

While Hamilton and Bottas are in the top two positions of the drivers’ standings Mercedes are also flying high at the top of the constructors’ championship.

Silver Arrows chief Toto Wolff has urged his team to keep on pushing in the second half of the season. He said: “We’re leading in both championships, but it doesn’t feel that way. 

“In the last few years, we saw teams perform very strongly after summer shutdown, so we now we need to keep pushing. 

“In that respect, we’re approaching the start to the second half of 2019 more like the start to a completely new season - once again we need to make sure that we leave no room for error and keep raising the bar. 

“We’re very excited for the upcoming months with historic races like Belgium and Italy followed by the Singapore night race and many other fantastic events. 

“The next stop takes us to Spa, one of the most iconic circuits on the calendar. Finding the right set-up is tricky because the track has a challenging mix of long straights, a wide range of corner speeds and also considerable elevation changes. 

“The weather can also be somewhat unpredictable in the Ardennes which can make the sessions very interesting. We’re looking forward to the fight.”

Spa-Francorchamps circuit Formula 1 Belgian Grand Prix F1

2019 F1 Belgian GP race guide 

  • Circuit name: Spa-Francorchamps 
  • First grand prix: 1950   
  • Number of laps: 44  
  • Circuit length: 7.004km  
  • Race distance: 308.052km  
  • Lap record: 1:46.286 by Valtteri Bottas in 2018 
  • 2018 podium: 1st Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari); 2nd Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes); 3rd Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing)
When are the practice sessions? 

There are three full practice (FP) sessions in Belgium. On Friday 30 August FP1 takes place from 10am to 11.30am and FP2 is at 2pm to 3.30pm. FP3 will be from 11am to 12pm on Saturday 31 August. All times UK.

When is qualifying? 

Qualifying for the F1 Belgian GP takes place from 2pm to 3pm on Saturday 31 August. 

What time does the race start? 

The 2019 F1 Belgian Grand Prix starts at 2.10pm (UK time) on Sunday 1 September.

Spa Fracorchamps Belgian Grand Prix

Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Belgian GP predictions

The Stats Zone: Hamilton to claim fourth Spa victory

“With the Red Bull Honda proving to be a closer match for the Mercedes power in the last few races we are, hopefully, in for another tight battle in Belgium. Spa should also see Ferrari back on form and in the mix. All the drivers and teams will be recharged after the summer break, and most will bring some new updates to their cars. With the peerless and supreme form Hamilton is displaying it is hard to side with anyone else this weekend. The prediction is for Hamilton to take the chequered flag and claim his fourth victory at Spa.”

The Daily Telegraph: Leclerc gets first GP win

“After a tough weekend at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Ferrari could - and should - be far more competitive in Spa, the longer straights helping them a bit more than the tortuous Hungaroring. Mercedes will likely be there or thereabouts and it will be interesting to see how Honda-powered Red Bull get on here, especially Alex Albon. I predict a slightly resurgent Ferrari, a slightly downbeat Lewis Hamilton and a beaten Valtteri Bottas. Charles Leclerc to get his first grand prix win after a couple of near-misses. Podium prediction: 1st Leclerc, 2nd Hamilton, 3rd Vettel.”

Charanjot Singh, SportsKeeda: Vettel will win the race

“It was at Spa last year where Sebastian Vettel just drove past Lewis Hamilton at the start of the race and won what has turned out to be his last win till date. Ferrari should be pretty confident heading to Spa. It’s a power circuit with top speed making a huge difference and if there is one area where the Ferrari car is leaps and bounds above everyone then it is in its straight-line speed. Being a multiple winner here and a slight calmness in Seb’s demeanour tilts the scales in his favour.”

Joseph Tyrrell, GPblog.com: McLaren to get a podium spot?

“McLaren have shown their supremacy in the midfield battle in recent races so if there’s any chaos up front expect them to be well placed for an outside shot at the podium.” 

Belgian GP betting odds

Prices according to Oddschecker

Belgian GP race winner odds
  • Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes): 7/4 
  • Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari): 11/4 
  • Charles Leclerc (Ferrari): 3/1  
  • Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes): 7/1  
  • Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing): 8/1   
  • Alexander Albon (Red Bull Racing): 80/1 
  • Full price list see Oddschecker

Belgian GP TV guide 

Sky Sports F1 will show live coverage of practice, qualifying and the GP from Spa. Channel 4 will show highlights of qualifying and the race.

Watch F1 on Now TV

Formula 1 fans can also watch the action live on Now TV. Viewers can subscribe to a Sky Sports Day Pass via Now TV for just £8.99, the most economical way of watching each race.

Sky Sports F1 coverage of the Belgian GP Thursday 29 August
  • 2pm: drivers’ press conference  
  • 5pm: Welcome to the Weekend 
Friday 30 August 
  • 9.45am: practice one build-up  
  • 10am: practice one live 
  • 1.45pm: practice two build-up  
  • 2pm: practice two live  
  • 4.30pm: The Story So Far 
Saturday 31 August
  • 10.45am: practice three build-up  
  • 11am: practice three live  
  • 12.10pm: Paddock Walkabout  
  • 1pm: qualifying build-up  
  • 2pm: Belgian GP qualifying live  
  • 4.45pm: The F1 Show 
Sunday 1 September 
  • 12.30pm: Pit Lane Live  
  • 1.30pm: On The Grid  
  • 2.10pm: F1 Belgian Grand Prix live  
  • 4pm: Paddock Live  
  • 5.25pm: Belgian GP best bits  
  • 6pm: Belgian GP race highlights
Channel 4 coverage of the Belgian GP
  • 6pm on Saturday 31 August: qualifying highlights
  • 7pm on Sunday 1 September: Belgian Grand Prix race highlights 

Circuit graphic: Formula1.com

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