The future of the Belgian Grand Prix has been secured by local government, which has signed a new three-year extension with Formula 1’s owners Liberty Media.
Belgian business newspaper L’Echo reports that the deal was signed this week, between Spa-Francorchamps’ regional Wallonian government and Liberty, extending the current deal (which runs out after the 2018 event) until 2021.
The race’s annual operating losses are paid by the local government, and offset by the economic benefits to the region. It reports 200,000 tickets have already been sold for this year’s event, of which 75,000 are for race day – boosted by Max Verstappen’s legion of fans in nearby Holland.
“It’s a good deal which ensures that the region of Wallonia retains an event which contributes to the promotion the region on the world stage,” Wallonia’s vice president and economy minister Pierre-Yves Jeholet told L’Echo.
“It’s also a new era because it’s the first time we’re negotiating with the directors of Liberty Media.
“The proceeds for the Wallonian economy were EUR20.5 million in 2017, an increase of 21 percent from 2016.”