Mosley stands firm on Spa decision

FIA president Max Mosley has re-affirmed that the Belgian Grand Prix is off the Formula One calendar after reports that Belgian politicians were hoping for a reprieve. Dropped due to tobacco legislation, the Spa-Francorchamps race cannot be...

FIA president Max Mosley has re-affirmed that the Belgian Grand Prix is off the Formula One calendar after reports that Belgian politicians were hoping for a reprieve. Dropped due to tobacco legislation, the Spa-Francorchamps race cannot be included in the schedule until 2004 according to Mosley; and only then if the tobacco advertising problem has been resolved.

"The decision was just that: a decision. It was not an attempt to open negotiations," Mosley told the BBC. "The politicians have known about the problem for more than a year. They could have solved it easily for 2003 by moving the date of implementation by just four weeks: from 1 August to 1 September. They should concentrate now on trying to get things sorted out for 2004, 2005 and 2006."

Many are disappointed at the removal of Spa from the calendar as the circuit has long been considered one of the best but Mosley said the decision was the country's own fault. Politicians knew that tobacco sponsorship was a major financial input and if they didn't want it, they should have offered to replace the tobacco money. Race organizers do not have any say in what sponsorship teams decide to run.

"What the Belgian politicians have done will not reduce tobacco publicity, not even in Belgium, where everybody can go on seeing tobacco sponsorship on television from outside the country," Mosley commented. "All they have achieved is to damage the local Belgian economy and deprive Formula One fans of a good circuit."

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1