F1

Spa future under threat

The future of the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps is uncertain as the promoter of the event is in financial difficulty. Poor tickets sales have contributed to the problem and this season the regional government lent the promoter a...

The future of the Belgian Grand Prix at Spa-Francorchamps is uncertain as the promoter of the event is in financial difficulty. Poor tickets sales have contributed to the problem and this season the regional government lent the promoter a reported €15million so the GP could go ahead. However, further funding is needed for future races.

Belgium approached neighbouring Luxembourg for financial assistance but has been turned down. Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker said in a statement that "the current budgetary situation does not allow Luxembourg's authorities to participate financially in this event."

The regional Walloon government, which is a major shareholder in the Spa circuit, will meet on November 8th to make a decision. Reportedly they are considering Bernie Ecclestone to take over if the race promoter cannot find the funding needed to host the event.

The Belgian GP was absent from the 2003 calendar due to anti-tobacco advertising laws but made a welcome return in 2004. Now is a bad time for Spa to be in doubt; although Ecclestone is keen on another 19 race season in 2006, the teams want less and a venue already uncertain could be dropped as a solution.

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