Spa still in with slim chance

Spa-Francorchamps is holding out hopes of returning to the Formula One championship calendar, perhaps even for this season. The Belgian race was axed after the country's government bought forward the ban on tobacco advertising to August this ...

Spa-Francorchamps is holding out hopes of returning to the Formula One championship calendar, perhaps even for this season. The Belgian race was axed after the country's government bought forward the ban on tobacco advertising to August this year.

After a meeting with FIA president Max Mosley and Bernie Ecclestone yesterday, Serge Kubla, the deputy head of Spa's regional government, said hosting a race at Spa in 2003 was not completely ruled out.

"Discussions centred around the possibility of organising a Formula One grand prix at Francorchamps in 2004, indeed in 2003," Kubla reported of the meeting. "As far as 2003 goes, the organisation of a grand prix has not been completely ruled out, even if the chance is slim after the vote in parliament and all the delay."

Ecclestone recently said that Spa returning to F1 in 2004 was possible but races in the EU are being cut in order to make way for new venues such as Bahrain and China. Mosley has also warned that the future of F1 in the EU is under threat from the banning of tobacco advertising ahead of the originally agreed upon date of 2006.

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Bernie Ecclestone