Spa to return in 2004

According to Serge Kubla, economy minister of the Wallonia region, Spa-Francorchamps will be back on the Formula One calendar in 2004. Spa was dropped due to tobacco advertising bans but last week the Belgium government declared an exemption on...

According to Serge Kubla, economy minister of the Wallonia region, Spa-Francorchamps will be back on the Formula One calendar in 2004. Spa was dropped due to tobacco advertising bans but last week the Belgium government declared an exemption on the ban.

Kubla is at Hockenheim this weekend and reportedly had talks with Bernie Ecclestone: "I can formally confirm that the grand prix in Francorchamps will take place in 2004," he told Belgian radio.

Meanwhile, it's been reported that Donington Park is considering a bid to host the British Grand Prix. The future of the event at Silverstone has been uncertain for some time and Ecclestone has been public in his criticism of the facilities.

Donington last hosted a Grand Prix in 1993 but the circuit would need an overhaul to meet the requirements of F1 today. Owner Tom Wheatcroft is believed to have promised a £50 million revamp of the facilities if Donington was given the GP but demands the entrance fee be drastically cut.

Ecclestone and FIA president Max Mosley have visited Donington to inspect the circuit according to the BBC. Wheatcroft has already lodged planning permission for a new pits and paddock, as well improvements to the track, such as run off areas and spectator grandstands.

However, Donington officials claim the planning applications were a long term plan and initially submitted two years ago. The circuit already hosts such events as MotoGP and German Touring Cars (DTM) but would probably have to be lengthened to suit F1 requirements.

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