Spa to alternate F1 race with French GP return? UPDATE
(GMM) Organizers of the Belgian grand prix have admitted it is possible Spa-Francorchamps will in future only host a single F1 race every two years.
It has been rumored that the famous and much-loved Belgian venue might have to alternatively share a single annual calendar slot as the French grand prix vies to return.
Belgian promoter Etienne Davignon told the Belga news agency that a solution along those lines is indeed "under discussion" between Spa, Bernie Ecclestone and French officials.
"The competition among countries who are willing to hold grands prix on their territory is becoming stronger," he said.
"The alternating solution would be to perpetuate the Belgian grand prix on the championship calendar."
He suggested that Spa could use its 'off' year to organize activities that help to economically sustain the F1 race.
"The organization of the grand prix requires the Spa-Francorchamps circuit to close for three weeks. This period could be utilized for other activities," said Davignon.
He also said privatizing the circuit is "not an option", after Renault team owner Gerard Lopez reportedly said on Tuesday that it could be a way to make the track a source of profit.
Meanwhile, another Spa official indicated that Belgian driver Jerome d'Ambrosio's presence in F1 has led to slightly higher ticket sales ahead of the 2011 edition next month.
"The (d'Ambrosio) effect has been noticeable for some months," Andre Maes is quoted by the Flemish newspaper De Morgen, "and it will be even more in 2012, when Jerome is better known."06/06/11 (GMM) Spa-Francorchamps could be the key to France's return to the formula one calendar. The French Le Journal Du Dimanche newspaper reports the possibility of the famous Belgian race alternating annually with a circuit in France.
"I've been asked about it earlier this year by French officials," admitted Belgian GP promoter Andre Maes. "This may be interesting, so I am waiting for further news," he said.
The Belgian GP has admitted to worrying about being priced out of F1 due to rising race sanctioning fees. French grand prix host Magny-Cours dropped off the calendar after the 2008 season due to "economic problems".