Big news if you are like many formula One fans and you consider the belgium Grand Prix at Spa Francorchamps a non-negotiable event ont he F1 calendar...the circuit has inked a new three-year deal that will see the series race until 2015!
Long considered one of the best circuits on the Formula 1 calendar, Spa Francorchamps has become hallowed ground for speed and terrific racing. Legends have been made there and it's one of the few circuit on the F1 schedule that actually feels like the drivers are going somewhere. Brian Redman said that Jackie Stewart may say the 'Green Hell' of the Nurburgring was the scariest circuit but for his money, Spa was the most terrifying in his days.
Walloon Minister of Finance, Jean-Claude Marcourt explained in the columns of L'Avenir.
"We have managed to negotiate an extension of the contract for the years 2013, 2014 and 2015 for the Grand Prix in Wallonia at Spa-Francorchamps, the Belgian Grand Prix", said Marcourt
"I wanted to reduce the amount of expenditure in the Walloon Region budget, and when we compare the obligations undertaken in the preceding contract and this new one, I'd say we've accomplished our mission Of course, there is still an outlay involved but it's smaller. What we're doing is reinforcing the attractiveness of Belgium".
I am most certainly biased as I consider the Spa Francorchamps circuit one of the crowning achievements of motorsport excitement and while the cars all take Eau Rouge flat these days, it is still a fantastic venue and as our own Mark Hallam points out, it is one of the few races that is still affordable to attend.
While Mr. Ecclestone may never discuss the finances of the deal publicly, if he had to take a bit of a haircut to keep Spa, I am very grateful for his kind consideration. You've just made F1 fans the world over very happy.