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Loss-making Spa-Francorchamps evaluating race-share with Nürburgring

The Belgian Grand Prix - arguably the most popular event on the annual F1 calendar, held as it is around the legendary Spa-Francorchamps circuit - may in future have to alternate with the Nürburgring due to persistent financial losses...
The unanimously popular Belgian Grand Prix may become a fixture on the F1 calendar only every other year, it seems, with the boss of Spa-Francorchamps conceding that the track is still 'running too high a deficit' and as such is considering a race-share deal with the nearby Nürburgring in order to 'accommodate' that.

The notion of such an agreement was first mooted this time last year, with the Belgian Grand Prix persistently making a loss – estimated at €3 million for the 2010 edition alone – and whilst nothing is decided as of yet, Spa president Etienne Davignon has again hinted that the circuit that the majority of drivers rank as their favourite may no longer be able to welcome F1 every year.

“We have already been congratulated by Bernie Ecclestone,” he told hln.be. “The facilities we have here are perfect. I have said in previous years, though, that we will look at the figures and examine them year-on-year. We have certain overall targets in terms of income and expenditure. I don't want to give exact figures now, although ticket sales on Tuesday and Wednesday [before the race] were generally on-course.

“What will happen in the future, we don't know. We are playing with the idea of alternating with a circuit nearby (the Nürburgring). That is the current state-of-play. However, we are not at that stage yet.”

“The discussion with Ecclestone is based on the fact that we believe we are running too high a deficit and that we have to try to accommodate that,” he added in a separate interview with Reuters. “We can't say that it is because of the [economic] crisis and so on. We know that with what we can attract at the prices we have to take because of what the race costs, we cannot reach the figures that we require.

“There are two elements of reality – 2012 is under contract and 2011 is on the schedule. What we do in relation to how we organise after 2012 – or not – is part of the whole discussion. Presently, though, there are a number of uncertainties.”



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Sebastien Bourdais (FRA), Toro Rosso STRO3, Belgian F1 Grand Prix, Spa Francorchamps, 5-7th, September, 2008
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Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Pirelli 2017 tyre test [Credit: Pirelli]
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PaulW - Unregistered

September 01, 2010 1:33 PM

Spa should never be off the calendar. You'd think Bernie and F1 could take one loss for the benefit of the fans. To lose the Belgium Grand Prix, even every other year, is a clear statement as to how much F1 respects its fans and its traditions. Oh well, with the economic implosion on the horizon there probably won't be any F1 by 2013. It'll be no surprise if it isn't missed.

rbr46

September 01, 2010 1:38 PM

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