The Belgian Grand Prix is set to return to the F1 calendar in 2007 after the new organisers of the event and Bernie Ecclestone signed a deal this week. Spa-Francorchamps was dropped from this year's schedule due to improvements to the circuit not...
The Belgian Grand Prix is set to return to the F1 calendar in 2007 after the new organisers of the event and Bernie Ecclestone signed a deal this week. Spa-Francorchamps was dropped from this year's schedule due to improvements to the circuit not being completed and there was the additional problem of the former promoters being declared bankrupt.
The race was included in the first draft of the 2007 calendar when the FIA released it in late August, with a September 16th date, although it was only a provisional slot subject to approval. Now the circuit upgrade has been confirmed new promoters Spa-Grand Prix and Ecclestone have sealed the contract, at least for next season.
Beyond 2007 Spa is uncertain but negotiations are ongoing in regard to the future of the GP. Reportedly the options are for Spa-Grand Prix to continue to promote the event, for Ecclestone to take over or for the regional government to cancel the race and pay Ecclestone compensation, suggested to be in the region of ?17 million.
Meanwhile, the possibility of a second race in Spain has not yet been dismissed. The Valencia circuit, which is often used for F1 testing, is apparently intending to upgrade its facilities in preparation for a bid to host a Grand Prix. The Spanish event is currently held at Barcelona's Circuit de Catalunya, which has the contract for the next five years.
There always seems to be another country eager to get on the F1 calendar and South Korea is next in line. Ecclestone visited Seoul early this month to sign a seven-year contract for the planned Korean International Circuit, with a first race pencilled in for 2010. The new track is to be built at Yeongnam, south of Seoul, and will be designed by Herman Tilke.