Famous Spa F1 layout to be shortened?

UPDATE (GMM) An official for the Spa-Francorchamps circuit on Monday played down reports that the much loved formula one layout may be shortened from its current 7km.

This rumor is downgraded to 'false.' Local reports in Belgium say historic Spa, the longest layout on the current F1 calendar, had – with Bernie Ecclestone's approval – proposed to connect the Pouhon corners with Blanchimont, thereby cutting out famous sections including the Fagnes chicane and Stavelot.

But circuit spokesman Luc Willems told the Dutch language f1today.nl: "Spa has always been an unique circuit and that is not going to change."

He said there is a difference between proposals and reality.

"Our circuit is as it is and is not going to change," Willems insisted.

Ralf Schumacher at Spa in 2005

09/01/08 (GMM) Spa-Francorchamps, the much loved but longest layout on the formula one calendar, may have to be shortened for future editions of the historic Belgian grand prix.

It is being reported in Belgium, including by f1-club.be, that a portion of the 7km circuit is proposed to be cut out.

The famous Eau Rouge section is safe, but the proposal for the new shortened circuit in the Ardennes is to connect the current Pouhon left-hand sweepers with Blanchimont.

Left out of the new layout, therefore, is the high speed Fagnes chicane and Stavelot, and the existing Pouhon and Blanchimont are likely to be altered.

The report said the modifications could take place prior to next year's Belgian grand prix, or in time for the 2010 race.

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton said last week that the disappearance of many of the more challenging 'driver tracks' is a shame.

"You really feel the history of those places whenever you race there; they have real character," the McLaren driver said.

"Each time they are refurbished, they lose a little more of their individuality – but they are made safer, so we can continue to race on them – so that's a good compromise."

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