Safety is probably the second most frequently discussed topic about the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps at the moment, only behind compensation for the spectators of the rain-stopped 2021 F1 race. Over the past year, the iconic Belgian circuit has had two massive pile-ups at the exit of Radillon during the Spa 24 Hours and an F1-supporting W Series race. Of course, it has also been two years since Anthoine Hubert lost his life in another multi-car incident at the same section.
Spa-Francorchamps revealed photos of the ongoing construction to improve safety around the circuit as well as improve facilities and infrastructure. The $90.6 million project’s initial goal was to receive approval from the FIM for the return of motorcycle racing to Spa-Francorchamps. A 24-hour round of the FIM Endurance World Championship is scheduled to occur at Spa next June. The improvements will improve safety for any category that races at the venue.
The run-off area is being expanded at La Source with a gravel trap installed in the new area. Also, the grandstand on the straight from La Source to Eau Rouge has been demolished to be replaced with more modern spectator seating.
The paved run-off area at Bruxelles is being removed to increase the existing gravel trap’s size.
The Armco barrier is being moved back to expand the run-off area outside Blanchimont.
With the exception of Bruxelles, it appears that run-off areas are being expanded across the circuits where possible and appropriate. However, instead of putting even more pavement down in the expanded areas, gravel traps are being installed. This method seems to be the best solution to allow out-of-control racing cars to leave the racing surface, scrub off some speed on the remaining paved run-off and then come to a halt in a gravel trap.
You might be wondering if there are any pictures of construction at Eau Rouge as it’s the track’s most famous corner and all the incidents that I mentioned at the start took place at the Eau Rouge-Raidillon complex. The circuit has yet to fully reveal the work being done at the section of the course. We should know the full extent of the track’s modifications by the start of Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps’ 2022 season in late April.