Belgian race facing cancellation?

Belgian race facing cancellation?

According to reports in the country's media, the Belgian Grand Prix could be taken off the 2006 calendar because of a delay in improvements to the Spa-Francorchamps circuit. The promoters of the race were declared bankrupt last year and Bernie ...

According to reports in the country's media, the Belgian Grand Prix could be taken off the 2006 calendar because of a delay in improvements to the Spa-Francorchamps circuit. The promoters of the race were declared bankrupt last year and Bernie Ecclestone was in talks to provide assistance, but former minister Serge Kubla claims that Ecclestone's company has confirmed the race is cancelled.

Welcome to Spa-Francorchamps.
Photo by Honda F1 Press Office.

It's not clear if Ecclestone has withdrawn from the negotiations to help promote the event but it seems the main reason the Grand Prix is under threat is because improvements to the pit and paddock area at Spa won't be finished in time for the September 17th race.

Elio di Rupo, minister president for the Walloon region which is home to the track, has been quoted as saying that it would be "difficult if not impossible" to host the race. However, so far neither the FIA nor Ecclestone have officially confirmed the cancellation or commented on the situation.

Should Spa be dropped the schedule would be down to 18 races, which some would be grateful for as there have been concerns that the calendar of 19 events is too long. But Spa is widely considered to be one of the world's best circuits and no doubt there would be complaints if it was absent.

Ecclestone is keen to see some of the older circuits revamped to come up to the standard of new tracks such as Bahrain and China. In order to stay on the calendar in the future Imola is planning to upgrade its pit complex in time for 2007, which is likely to see the Variante Bassa chicane remodelled or removed.

Meanwhile, the German GP, another event which is under threat due to financial problems, should go ahead this year as scheduled. Hockenheim officials said the race was secure in order to calm worries that it would be cancelled, which in turn could lead to poor ticket sales.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Bernie Ecclestone