F1 Belgian GP guide: practice, qualifying, race start time, odds and TV
Can Vettel make up ground on leader Hamilton as racing returns after a busy summer break?
Formula 1 returns from its summer break this weekend with the Belgian GP.
It was a far from tranquil holiday for the sport, with driver moves dominating the headlines in August.
All eyes will be on Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull in Belgium after he announced he would be leaving the team at the end of the season for Renault. He will be replaced by Torro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly.
The other shock news came from McLaren driver Fernando Alonso, who revealed he would quit the sport at the end of the season. His replacement Carlos Sainz, currently with Renault, will also be under scrutiny.
However, it is Mercedes and Ferrari who are expected to dominate once again at the famous Spa circuit and the focus will be back on the battle between Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. The British Mercedes driver holds a 24-point advantage over the Ferrari man with just nine races left in the season.
It is a hard race to call says F1.com. Hamilton has had “mixed fortunes” at Spa. He has four retirements, the most of any circuit, and three victories at Spa.
“Should he triumph for a fourth time this weekend, he’ll equal the Spa record of Jim Clark and current Ferrari rival Kimi Raikkonen,” says the website.
“Raikkonen’s team mate Vettel will be desperate to bounce back from his disappointing end to part one of the season, but the German hasn’t had the best of times when racing here. In fact, he’s won just twice at Spa, taken just one pole and has only led three laps in Belgium during the turbo hybrid era - all last year.”
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff echoed those sentiments this week saying that the race was hard to call.
And to make things even more exciting rain is forecast for the weekend.
F1 Belgian Grand Prix guide
- When: Sunday 26 August
- Where: Spa-Francorchamps, Stavelot, Belgium
- Race start time: 2.10pm on Sunday
- Last year’s podium: 1st Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes); 2nd Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari); 3rd Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull)
Spa-Francorchamps circuit guide
- First grand prix: 1950
- Number of laps: 44
- Circuit length: 7.004km
- Race distance: 308.05km
- Lap record: 1:46.577 by Sebastian Vettel (2017)
- More details: f1.com
Belgian GP on-track schedule
When is practice for the Belgian GP?
Friday will see two practice sessions in Belgium. Practice one runs from 10am until 11.30pm UK time and practice two is from 2pm until 3.30pm. Saturday’s practice three session starts at 11am and ends at midday.
When is Belgian GP qualifying?
Qualifying for the Belgian GP begins at 2pm on Saturday.
When is the race and what time does it start?
The 2018 F1 Belgian Grand Prix takes place on Sunday 26 August and starts at 2.10pm (UK time).
Belgian GP betting odds
Latest prices according to Oddschecker (as of 23 August).
To win at Spa-Francorchamps:
- Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari): 6/4
- Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes): 6/4
- Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari): 9/1
- Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes): 9/1
- Max Verstappen (Red Bull Racing): 16/1
- Daniel Ricciardo (Red Bull Racing): 18/2
- Kevin Magnussen (Haas F1): 1,000/1
- Carlos Sainz (Renault): 1,500/1
How to watch the Belgian GP on TV
Belgian GP TV schedule (all times UK)
Saturday, 25 July
Sky Sports F1
- 10.45am: Belgian GP practice three build-up
- 11am: Belgian GP practice three live
- 1pm: Belgian GP qualifying build-up
- 2pm: Belgian GP qualifying live
- 5pm: The F1 Show
- 10.55am: Belgian GP practice three
- 12.55pm: Belgian GP qualifying
Sunday, 29 July
Sky Sports F1
- 12.30pm: Belgian GP Pit Lane live
- 1.30pm: Belgian GP On The Grid live
- 2.10pm: F1 Belgian Grand Prix live
- 4.30pm: Belgian GP paddock live
- 6.35pm: Belgian GP race replay
- 1pm: Belgian GP live