We posed the question to our 15k+ community: If we could make a guide on one corner in the world, which one would it be?
We had suggestions ranging from the Nürburgring Nordschleife's Karussel to Monaco's swimming pool chicane but the poll had one clear winner: Spa Francorchamps' legendary Eau Rouge.
Check out our first in-depth corner guide below to understand the key things to watch out for if you want to take Eau Rouge and Raidillon flat out. Moreover, we compare F1 and GT lines and explain why you should alter your approach depending on the available grip-levels of your car.
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In this case, we used Assetto Corsa as our sim of choice to compare a high-downforce car (Lotus Exos 125 S1) and a GT car (BMW Z4 GT3) on the exact same track to really understand the detailed differences between different types of cars.
How to take Eau Rouge: Full script of our guide
Eau Rouge: one of the most legendary corners in the world but actually we are talking about two separate corners here - the first left-hand kink; that is Eau Rouge followed by the uphill, the juicy bit of this corner combination, called Raidillon.
We're going to be talking about how to tackle this corner right and specifically about how your line should actually differ depending on the type of car you're in.
What we need to understand in order to define our line and technique through Eau Rouge and Raidillon is what comes after and as you can see on the map, what comes after is a super long straight, specifically the famous Kemmel straight known for some of the best overtakes around here.
It's also quite steeply uphill which means if you lose a bit of time on the exit of Eau Rouge-Raidillon, you keep losing throughout the entire straight after.
So let's check out what that looks like from the inside of a high-downforce car, in this case in Assetto Corsa. We're running down the hill, turning in smoothly, then smoothly changing direction. It's quite fast around here so it's all about scrubbing off as little speed as possible.
Since that was quite fast, let's slow the whole thing down and analyse step by step what we're actually trying to do.
We're coming out of La Source, the slow hairpin. We're accelerating down through the gears downhill so your car accelerates quite quickly. Go all the way over to the right; smooth turn-in as you want to minimise your steering input. Take the kerb on the inside, avoid the right-hand kerb; maximum on the white line, otherwise you'll spin. Take plenty of kerb once you're up on top of the hill and then straighten up the wheel to carry that all-important speed onto the following straight
Let's look at that from above and visualise that nicely.
Early turn in, smooth change of direction; it's all about keeping that speed going. Use the downforce to your advantage, keep the car stable and straighten up the exit.
However that line is actually slightly different if you're in a GT or a road car so let's check this out.
We take more kerb on the entry into Eau Rouge and we stay over on the left-hand side. We then cut back across the track, thereby getting a later apex and by doing that, we straighten up the all-important exit. We did say the exit is key so take a bit more kerb on top of the hill as you want to get all the speed you can on top of the hill as you enter the Kemmel straight. This is where you need the wheel straight.
In an F1 car, you have enough downforce to support you up there so you can even have a bit of turning input whereas in GT, or even worse, road cars, you're just lacking that front-end grip at such high speeds.
Let's take a look at that in action. Same track, same sim again: Assetto Corsa; just in a GT3 car this time. We're going down the hill, later turn-in, taking way more kerb, then cutting back across, avoiding the kerb and straightening up the exit as much as we can.
Let's do that one more time in slow-motion. Let's remember the four points we talked about: Later turn-in and more kerb as we enter Eau Rouge. We then cut back across the track to get a later apex and what we do is that we get a straighter exit. Take more kerb on top of the hill. By straightening up the exit, we keep the speed where we need it; on top of the hill as we go on to the Kemmel straight.
And that is it; you now know how to master one of the most famous corner combinations in the world, namely Eau Rouge and Raidillon in Spa, Belgium.
Let's remember the three key takeaways that we talked about
First of all, take lots of inside kerb as you enter Eau Rouge, that's the kerb on the left-hand side at the bottom of the hill.
Secondly, by all means, avoid the right kerb on the inside of Raidillon as you go uphill. It's a nasty kerb that changes its elevation as you hit more of it so please do stay away from it as otherwise, you will go into a spin.
Last but not least, as we saw from the line comparison, change your line depending on the car you're in. If you're lacking front-end grip as you are on top of the hill where you need the speed, simply sacrifice your entry a bit, take a wider line and keep the speed going as you enter the following long straight.