Andy Franklin's photo diary of the Belgian Grand Prix

Published: 02 September 2011

CAR's art director Andy Franklin popped over to Spa at the weekend for a pilgrimage to one of the great F1 venues. This was under his own steam, so read on for a fan's eye view of how to watch the Beglian grand prix

The Hotel Limburgia, Kanne where Team Franklin stayed on Friday and Saturday night. It's 40 minutes from the track, a doddle in CAR's VW Touareg after our efficient P&O dash from Dover-Calais

Don't book parking - local farmers open up their fields. We spent 50 euros on day one at an official parking slot, then went off piste here for 10 euros on race day. Within walking distance of Spa

One of the old stands on the way to Eau Rouge. Historic place, this

A lot of mud. It was a rainy weekend - this photo gives you an idea of how rural Spa is. You walk through the forests lots 

This is how close you can get as a punter. Remember - we had no media access

View of Eau Rouge during Saturday's damp practice and quali

Looking across from the other side of the track to the pits and the last corner

Practice on Saturday, the main straight. Rain did little to dampen fans' enthusiasm

Mark Webber on the back straight in practice

Crazy fans. Very loyal fans - passionate about racing (and ponchos)

Up close to fence. Stand in the right place and you could just about wash your hair in the rooster sprays

Directions around the track. Which way's Brussels?

Circuit map. We got round most of it after a full weekend on site

Just two feet of concrete separate you from 800bhp of contemporary F1 at this underpass

Drying up on Saturday

Spa is very hilly - you great elevation to look down on corners

Canvassing opinion by the fence

The hairpin at Spa. Just look at that backdrop 

Lewis Hamilton in qualifying, day before his crash

Michael Schumacher's crash in qualifying... on the first lap

Part of the old track - you can still drive around it, which brings back memories

The GP2 race which serves as a relief from the F1

I'll smote your umbrella and clonk you with my shark's head

Andrew Franklin's own personal consumption on Saturday morning

Roman Grojans winning the GP2 championship at Spa last weekend. Here he celebrates on the big screen

The skid marks where Adrian Sutil went off in qualifying

If you go down to the woods today...

CAR's friendly F1 correspondent had a word - and we managed one hour backstage in the paddock. This is the Red Bull Power Station, their hospitality area. The bottom bit is the canteen, the middle layer is for the race team and the top level is purely for VIP Red Bull owners...

Ben Barry's dream supply of tyres. This is Red Bull's stocks of F1 rubber on race morning

The McLaren motor home...

... versus HRT's pop-up. Go figure

More crazy fans in the woods

The last corner - a good vantage point for lots of overtaking. Notice the postbox for sticking cameras through 

Right at the back of the track. More trees

You can get very close to one of the fastest sections of the track at Spa

Trucks lined up to transport the various teams to the next race in Monza. Keep on truckin'

Superheroes gather for a summit ahead of their next emergency on track

One novel way of getting around the track

Porsche Super Cup, watched by some patriotic Brits. Plenty of English fans to be found across the Spa weekend

The driver's parade, Sunday morning

Where Lewis Hamilton hit the barrier when he went off at Spa 2011. Kerrrunncchhh

Fans storm the track after the race

Detritus left after race day. Do the Belgians have Wombles?

The race finished and 10 minutes later - literally - the cranes are out to remove the advertising. A stark reminder of the cash poured into F1 these days