The FIA confirmed on February 8th that the Belgian Grand Prix has been withdrawn from the 2006 calendar. The reason given by the Belgian National Sporting Authority is to allow time for the Spa-Francorchamps circuit to be upgraded, which could not...
The FIA confirmed on February 8th that the Belgian Grand Prix has been withdrawn from the 2006 calendar. The reason given by the Belgian National Sporting Authority is to allow time for the Spa-Francorchamps circuit to be upgraded, which could not be done in time for this year's September 17th date.
The race has been in doubt for some time, initially due to problems in regard to the promotion of the event after the previous promoter was declared bankrupt late last year. There were reports in the Belgian media not long ago that said the race would be cancelled but at the time the FIA dismissed the claims.
Bernie Ecclestone was in discussions to give assistance in promoting the event but it seems his involvement is a moot point as far as this season is concerned. The Belgian GP will hopefully return to the schedule in 2007.
"The Belgian National Sporting Authority, the RACB, has written to notify the FIA of the withdrawal of the 2006 Belgian Grand Prix from the FIA Formula One World Championship," said a statement from the FIA.
"The withdrawal has been made in order to allow the completion of extensive improvement work to facilities at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit. The FIA hopes that the event will be included once again in the Formula One World Championship calendar from 2007 onwards."
This means that the 2006 calendar will drop from 19 to 18 races, which some teams will probably be happy about as the lengthy schedule has been attracting some criticism. However, Spa is considered to be one of the world's best circuits and its absence will missed.
The track is a favourite with drivers and fans alike and Red Bull's David Coulthard told the BBC he was disappointed about the decision to withdraw it. "It's a shame because it's one of the great circuits. But it's a business and you've got to get on with it."
The Belgian National Sporting Authority has yet to confirm that the season finale for the GP2 Series will also be canceled, which was on the same date with the Formula One event.