Felipe Massa heading up Eau Rouge at Spa

Massa heading up the classic climb Eau Rouge at Spa, photo by Nic Redhead

Almost all F1 fans are likely to see it as great news that Spa-Francorchamps has just had  it confirmed that an agreement in principle is in place to see the race continue until at least 2015. The only people unlikely to be pleased by the news are those hoping to stage a French Grand Prix that had been expected to agree to alternate with the Belgian Grand Prix; the delays by the Belgian GP organisers delaying their decision may have been what scuppered plans to sign contracts for the French Grand Prix before the presidential elections, since which the new government have chosen to review the plans. It also seems the contract for the Belgium Grand Prix could even go beyond the 2015 season.

The Spa Franchorchamps circuit in the Ardennes mountains is seen as one of F1’s classic tracks and is often voted by fans and drivers as the best circuit on the calendar. Jean-Claude Marcourt the Economics minister for the Wallonia region has announced that the agreement in principle for the race to continue after 2012 into 2013, 2014 and 2015 has been made with Bernie Ecclestone, though no further details have yet been given it seems that the costs to the Walloon government of staging the race has been cut “what I wanted to do was to reduce the size of the expenditure budget for the Walloon region and I would say we have accomplished this mission” Mr Warcourt said told Belgian broadcaster RTBF.

 

Mr Marcourt confirmed that the potential agreement with the French Grand Prix had ended when a new administration came to power, some may extrapolate from this that the Belgians at least believe that it spells an end to the return of the French Grand Prix though others remain hopeful despite no recent developments.