Track changes at Eau Rouge and Raidillon, Spa-Francorchamps, 2022

‘A shame’, ‘just about money’: F1 drivers fear Spa’s next grand prix will be its last

2022 Belgian Grand Prix

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While the 2023 Formula 1 calendar has not yet been officially confirmed, many drivers have already expressed disappointment over the widely-expected loss of the Belgian Grand Prix.

This year’s race at Spa-Francorchamps will be the first after F1’s summer break, by which point the event’s future may already be known. Excitement for this year’s race, following the one-lap washout of the 2021 edition, is coupled with uncertainty over whether it could be the last to be held at Spa for the foreseeable future.

When Lando Norris – who has Belgian heritage on his mother’s side – was asked at the French Grand Prix if he would prefer to keep the Belgian or French round at Paul Ricard on the 2023 calendar, it was an easy call for the McLaren driver.

“Spa, easy,” he said. “My mum’s from Belgium, so I’m 50% Flemish. It’s as much a home race for me as it in Silverstone in a way.

“I personally have a lot more connections to it, of course, and I love the track and so on, I grew up a lot of the time or I grew up for many years going to Belgium and spending a lot of time there with my family.”

The seven-kilometre circuit has undergone extensive work to improve safety following multiple serious and fatal accidents at the venue, most notably at the famous sequence spanning the ultra-fast Eau Rouge and Raidillon corners. Several iconic corners such as Raidillon have been reprofiled, with gravel traps returned to various places around the circuit. Norris said he was “excited” to have the opportunity to race at the revised track.

“Some changes, some bits have been resurfaced and so on,” he said. “Nice, new grandstand on Raidillon. I always look forward to Spa, it’s one of the coolest circuits of the whole season.

“I’ll be sad [to lose Spa]. A lot of things are just about money nowadays, which is the issue. It’s a business.”

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Norris questions why a circuit so historically significant to Formula 1 as Spa has its place on the calendar under threat, while other venues with just as strong a heritage do not appear to be in question.

Track changes at Speaker's Corner, Spa-Francorchamps, 2022
First pictures: New-look Spa-Francorchamps for 2022 revealed after £20 million renovation
“It’s a shame,” he continued. “But it’s a historic race for F1. Same as Monaco – for what I know, they don’t even pay and it’s still on the calendar – same with like Monza and stuff. So I feel like it should always be on for as long as Formula 1’s around.”

Sergio Perez said it would be a “big shame” to lose Spa from the calendar, while Sebastian Vettel agreed, describing the undulating track in the Ardennes mountains as “amazing.”

At the Hungarian Grand Prix, AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly expressed hope the race’s absence of the calendar will prove only temporary.

“I don’t personally think this has anything to relate with the changes or to improve safety,” he said of the reason behind its potential F1 exit.

“But I can’t believe Spa is going to be out of the calendar for years. It definitely deserves its place on the calendar.

“Personally, it’s probably my favourite track. It’s just an amazing track to race on, an amazing track to drive on. We’ll see what happens, but I believe it’s going to stay and we’re going to still go there for quite a few more years.”

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2022 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Author information

Ida Wood
Often found in junior single-seater paddocks around Europe doing journalism and television commentary, or dabbling in teaching Photography back in the UK. Currently based...
Claire Cottingham
Claire has worked in motorsport for much of her career, covering a broad mix of championships including Formula One, Formula E, the BTCC, British...

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105 comments on “‘A shame’, ‘just about money’: F1 drivers fear Spa’s next grand prix will be its last”

  1. That’s what happens when an american media company is allowed to run a sport with arabs running FIA. Spa is a classic that must be on the calendar .

    1. Not specific to those circumstances at all.
      It’s about greed – the pursuit of money for personal gain – not about who comes from where.

      1. Ecclestone was as greedy as it gets, and yet Spa was never under threat

        1. @alfa145 apart from the early 2000s when it was constantly under threat and didn’t even appear on the calendar twice

          1. It was not held in 2003 and 2006 but other than that it has been held every year since 1971 and for many years before that. To say it has been constantly under threat is just wrong. For much of that time it had multi year contracts in place. Yes, those were hard fought for, but that is true of most all circuits. I have been every year since 2010 (not counting 2020 for obvious reasons) and I will be gutted if it goes. The atmosphere is second to none and it makes for a great break at the end of summer. I guess we will just go to Zandvoort instead, but it won’t be the same.

        2. Ummm, you might wanna check that

        3. Maybe Ecclestone had read the story about geese and valuable metals.

        4. As the others above mention @alfa145 Spa was under threat more often than not when Bernie was running the sport.

      2. Yeah that’s the point. American corporations are greedy and the Saudis understand greed as well as anyone. Have you seen their palaces? Trashy displays of affluence at the cost of the well-being of an entire country.

        1. So?
          All Americans are greedy, are they? And All Saudi’s have palaces?
          And everyone else around the world is humble and poor?

          There are minority groups in every corner of the world who follow the exact same principles.

    2. If this only happens when “an american media company is allowed to run a sport” then why did it happen in 2003 and 2006?

      1. @sjaakfoo in 2006, there was the problem that the promoter for the Belgian GP had declared bankruptcy in late 2005 – which meant the legal entity previously responsible for running the event no longer existed. Because the promoter was bankrupt, it also meant that the upgrade works that Spa had committed to undertaking to support the Belgian GP, particularly the realignment of the pit lane entry, were delayed to the start of 2007.

        The cancellation of the race in 2006 doesn’t serve your point particularly well – FOM didn’t particularly want to drop the Belgian GP, and the decision to drop the race from the calendar for that particular year was driven by a series of unplanned events.

        2003 has some analogies, in that the cancellation was due to a dispute over Belgium’s introduction of a ban on tobacco advertising and, given multiple teams were still heavily dependent on tobacco advertising revenues, the teams preferred to temporarily drop the race. However, again there was still a desire to go back to racing at Spa in that case once that dispute was settled, with the race restored to the calendar in 2004 when an agreement was reached with the Belgian government.

        Reply moderated
    3. so, was it better with bernie? Didn’t he get into business with all of those oil countries?

      Why don’t you just admit that you a racist? That american company is doing much better job than old bernie I would say, because many people was sleeping during 2009-2019 races, and they came and it became live again.

      But from that all, I didn’t know that Masi has arabic roots.

      1. Masi is an ex-race director, he is talking about the FIA head
        Plus: tell me who was sleeping during the 2012 season, as you say

        1. Dude Everybody.
          2012 was a great season. But nobody cared.

      2. This is all Bernie’s legacy. He was the guy who started bleeding the sport dry by taking 80% of the profits while the teams and the tracks got stuck with all the costs.
        When F1 was sold, the price was based on the obscene profits Bernie was extracting. LM took out a loan to buy at that price (as did the previous suckers who bought the rights from Bernie) and are now stuck with paying off that loan. Which means that unlike Bernie, they have little flexibility in the amount of money they need to take from F1.

        Not that that exonerates LM from the charge if greed. They paid the price they did because they thought they could continue gouging the tracks and teams just as Bernie did. They found out the Bernie’s model was unsustainable (which is probably why he sold when he did) too late. Probably because they were too greedy to do proper due diligence. So LM will continue Bernie’s destructive policies, and we’ll see more and more greater tracks lost, to be replaced by bland characterless cookie-cutters in nasty, brutal dictatorships.

        The only hope is for the teams to walk away and start a new series, in which the profits all go to the teams and tracks – you know, the actual F1 – instead of a bunch of vampires who contribute nothing F1 needs. Unfortunately, the FIA would probably refuse to sanction it and threaten any tracks which participated. Both LM and the FIA are the problem, and I don’t see a solution.

        The NASCARifcation of F1 will probably continue until it becomes entirely unrecognizable as the sport it once was, or as sport at all (as opposed to trashy scripted entertainment).

    4. These are the types of comments that happen when one is ill-informed and emotional

    5. I love when multi-millionaire drivers say it’s just about the money. These soulless clowns have no idea.

  2. I wonder if the drivers would be willing to put public pressure on their teams to further reduce the budget cap, even volunteer to lower team costs by taking substantial pay cuts, thereby lowering the ‘need’ for such large prize money and commercial payments…. That money needs to come from somewhere, after all.

    Of course they won’t. And even if a few did, it wouldn’t come to anything.
    The teams enter F1 for the same reason F1 selects which circuits/events to go to – money. More is better to all of them.

    1. “A lot of things are just about money nowadays, which is the issue. It’s a business.”

      Of course, it’s only a problem when other people benefit from it.

    2. Why should the teams take a paycut when LM runs away with up to 90% of the profit?

      LM like Bernie is starting to alienate fans for what they deem to be preferred profitability.

      They only care about the fans that easily part with alot of money over perceived luxury’s that come at a low cost/high profit for LM.
      Thats how you end up with fake yachts on blue painted concrete and it’s called a bit of fun…

      Reply moderated
      1. Why should the teams take a paycut when LM runs away with up to 90% of the profit?

        I don’t think you understood what I’m saying….
        Lower budget -> lower team expenses -> less need for prize money. Everyone can still make exactly the same amount of profit.

        Thats how you end up with fake yachts on blue painted concrete and it’s called a bit of fun…

        Who cares about some ‘fake’ scenery?
        You should have been watching what was on the track, not beside it.

    3. You think the budget cap is in any way related to the TV prize money?

      Really?

      1. You think it isn’t?
        Really….?

  3. If classic tracks can’t guarantee a place on the calendar – we’re doing it wrong.

    1. Problem is that if classic tracks are given immunity on the calendar, F1 becomes financially unsustainable.

      1. Not when they still have to pay a certain amount to host a race. I think it’s 20 million for Zandvoort so expect a amount around 20 M per race so tickets of € 200 you need 100k people atleast to get even.

        1. That’s just F1’s hosting fee, which doesn’t include the costs of actually creating, running and cleaning up after the event….
          20 million is recoverable for most events – 30 million+ isn’t such an easy task, when F1 takes so much of the income stream for themselves.

      2. Not sure F1 becomes financially unsustainable because we are talking a couple of races here. It might become a little less profitable, but that’s about it.

        The fundamental issue F1 has a fair chunk of public money that comes its way because governments often fund/subsidise hosting fees. This has helped artificially inflate the cost of hosting an F1 grand Prix beyond what the market rate probably would be otherwise. This makes it difficult for purely private ventures and/or races with low government funding to host races.

        its funny that people will say Silverstone etc… is greedy for the prices it charges, but fail to recognise that the cost of hosting an F1 race has been inflated beyond the probable normal market rate.

        1. I’d say it’s gone the other way, Alan.
          The public money has become necessary for most events because other countries are paying more money from private funding. Money is how to buy a place on the calendar.
          And no venue will gain a long history in F1 to ensure a safe place on the calendar if they can’t keep coughing up cash every year.

          Silverstone is a different proposition to most events. It’s based in F1’s manufacturing heartland, which pretty much guarantees huge ticket sales to recover the costs of hosting the event.
          And personally, I don’t expect it to be free of government funding for too many more years.

          The real problem is that, both inside and outside of F1, the global stockpile of money is in too few people’s hands.
          Those who have it have too much of it, and can easily just buy a place on the F1 calendar and write the cost of the event off as nothing. They don’t need ticket sales, because money isn’t their problem.

          1. Not sure that’s entirely accurate. Silverstone had to trigger their break clause in 2017.

            Once government started subsidising Grand Prix hosting fees sky rocketed. It isn’t private entities that have caused this because it’s basic economics.

            If the entire calendar was free from government subsidy hosting fees would collapse over night.

          2. Once government started subsidising Grand Prix hosting fees sky rocketed. It isn’t private entities that have caused this because it’s basic economics.

            If wealthy private investors and corporations weren’t funding their own GP’s for their own private reasons, without even needing an audience to attend, then there wouldn’t have been any competition either.
            You can’t have one without the other – competition requires at least two entities.

            If the entire calendar was free from government subsidy hosting fees would collapse over night.

            It would shrink, for sure – but then the market would equally rapidly devalue itself and prices would drop.
            F1 calendar spots, like most other economies, works on supply and demand.
            Instantly, Liberty would be asking a lot less just to have enough events.
            Have you forgotten the 2020 season already? Every country and their dog was lining up to host a free (or very cheap) GP.

          3. I know what competition is. I am making the point that once you introduce states/governments you get an inflationary effect on hosting fees. They aren’t as strict with budgetary limitations. They aren’t limited to the simple concept of “the GP costs this amount to host and we can sell this amount of tickets and on-track sponsorship (which tracks can’t now I understand)”. The states tend to introduce rather opaque notions of “bringing x amount of millions into the local economy” to justify the spend.

            We will lose places like Spa (and nearly Silverstone) because hosting F1 costs a lot more than the pure market rate would set the price at.

            private tracks, or tracks will less state subsidy can’t compete when whole countries are bidding for races.

  4. Probably the best track on the calendar. A shame Stoffel couldn’t make it in F1, probably the outcome of this GP would have been different.

    1. junge junge, Stoffel had his chance, he is not good enough for F1. You need to be a hot-head to win races in F1, that’s what Hulkenberg was missing as well.

    2. Or Landa and Max uses their name to get sponsors to put up the asked money.

  5. Perhaps the drivers and teams can contribute to
    Paying for the track since they feel soo connected to it. With the current spike in fan turnout at races they should be making their money back in no time. Its also 1 way of the drivers amd teams starting to take ownership in a sense.

    1. The average Formula 1 race fee is said to be about 50 million USD. Should be easy enough to find near the sharp end of the grid among the drivers and their equally rich team bosses. However, it seems a safe bet that the F1 folks complaining about “the money” would rather race in a Miami parking lot than Spa-Francorchamps if it meant they got to keep some of that money for themselves.

      But no matter, there’s plenty of great racing at Spa-Francorchamps with or without F1.

      1. From a business point of view, if I’m a driver or a team owner/manager, I won’t sponsor a GP (assuming I’m capable) where LM and F1 takes 90% of the profit. as for LM, they probably took loans and forked out huge amount of money to buy F1.

        A new and sustainable agreement has to be reached for teams or drivers with any attachment to any track will host a GP so they can put their money where their mouth is… Sport is also business

  6. Of course its all about money – that’s why the sport has been pay-walled for many years already.

    1. F1 (liberty media) doesn’t make money holding races in places like Spa like they do in corrupt countries like Saudis Arabia, China, etc. The fees these countries pay to whitewash their reputations are massive and are the only thing keeping Liberty Media profitable. I’m shocked no one talks about this. F1 can only exist in its current form with the blood money. It’s not that they want to hold more races all over the world, but they want more sportswashing events because that’s what is going to increase their stock price in the short term. Races were added in the US because it will expand the market there, but that is not the reason races are added in Saudi Arabia, UAE, or Vietnam for example. 24 events doesn’t make enough space to fill the coffers from propaganda races, especially after the addition of two events in the US, so cut the classic tracks and say it’s because the tracks are bad for racing or the poor attendance.

  7. It would be a great shame to lose Spa – the longest circuit on the calendar, fast, undulating, hard to predict weather across the circuit… and such a long return to the pits if they get it wrong! And that first corner!

  8. Hey everyone stop worrying I’ve heard that Liberty is negotiating with Euro Disney to hold a race in their car park, it will be called the Micky Mouse Grand Prix.
    It’s not true that the drivers will have to wear costumes of their favourite Disney characters.

    1. @johnrkh – be very carefull what you say otherwise it could become true….

  9. The Spa/Monza back to back has long been my favourite part of the season which I anticipate most. It would be incredibly sad to lose Spa from the calendar. It’s just such a fantastic circuit and probably showcases the performance of F1 cars better than any other circuit. Incredibly fast corners, amazing changes of direction, gradients and heavy braking zones. What more could you want? And is there a better camera shot on the calendar than the helicopter losing the cars through Eau Rouge only to pop over the crest of Raidillon a fraction of a second later through what appears to be an almost vertical incline! I can’t get enough of Spa.

    1. No kidding, this is the race that got me into F1 back in the mid 2000s.
      I specifically remember watching the cars going through Eau Rouge and thinking it was impossible to go that quickly through there.

    2. “The Spa/Monza back to back has long been my favourite part of the season which I anticipate most … ” Very much so, sir. Did that sequence in ’07. Lotsa bang fer your buck from Phoenix.

    3. I agree that the spa – monza sequence is the most interesting of the year and what I looked forward to most.
      I am afraid after a few more years under the current owners F1 will have little in common with what it was when it was taken over in 2016.

  10. They keep adding street circuits, where show is solely caos-driven.
    I don’t think that it’s just a coincidence that the worst races in this season were 1) Miami 2) Monaco 3) Baku 4) Australia, while we saw great action in Bahrain, Spain, Silverstone, Austria, France and even Hungary.

    1. Miami had its first go.
      Monaco is always boring.
      Baku doesn’t work so well with these cars (but that’s the cars fault, not the circuit).
      Melbourne is also consistently dull, and made worse this year by making the wrong changes to the track.

      Bahrain is usually pretty good.
      Spain was an anomaly, better than usual because of factors not related to the circuit.
      Silverstone is usually pretty decent anyway.
      Austria too, for the same basic reasons as Silverstone.
      France was all about Leclerc falling off the road.
      And Hungary was out of the ordinary, but not track related. That was a strategy race, which could happen anywhere.

      1. I agree with you…

  11. Instead of agreeing on its heritage and the amazing track we could ask ourselves the question “Why isn’t Spa profitable enough to hold a race?”

    1. Ruben, I think all of the traditional circuits have trouble attracting financial backing, whereas street circuits no matter how crappy get substantial support from local and state governments.
      I have not seen the costings comparing the setting up of a temporary street circuit compared to a permanent track.

      1. While I would normally agree with you, in this day and age, attendance is the best it has ever been. So being able to turn a profit on the race weekend shouldn’t be an issue with proper management. For Spa especially, given the race track is closer by or as close to a lot of Dutch people as Zandvoort is, they should have no issue filling the stands and then some and make some good money from that crowd.

        But this is something Spa has always struggled with, for a while Schumacher saved them (as with Max, he just drew a ton of people to the tracks, especially in Europe) and even then they somehow couldn’t make it work.

        They need to take a serious look at how other tracks monetise their crowds during a race weekend, perhaps visit Zandvoort this year. And then make some changes accordingly.

      2. @johnrkh I haven’t seen those cost comparisons either, but it’s not as if Spa didn’t receive substantial (tax payer) financial backing over the years.

        1. they did and that is the problem i think no move to generate money for the track itself…

    2. A lot of the classic races struggle to make a profit, Partly because as the newer state backed venues began to come in they started throwing more & more money at Bernie/CVC & now Liberty which started to see the amount they asked races to pay to host a race increasing to a point where it’s difficult for the races without state funding to be able to afford it.

      At the same time circuits lost the income they used to make from trackside advertising. Circuits used to be able to do there own deals for trackside sponsorship which is why you used to see different trackside ad’s at different circuits. But that is now something that circuits can’t do as all the trackside advertising are F1 deals that F1 gets paid for with nothing going to the circuits.

      Basically the only income circuits get from an F1 weekend is part of the ticket revenue which they also have to split with F1. That was a part of the reason ticket prices started to go up.

      There is also additional pressure now as Liberty are pushing for every race weekend to be a big event with loads of additional activities (See Miami as an example) & that is all stuff that has to be paid for & organised by the circuit. And circuits that can’t afford that stuff or just don’t want to are immediately seen as been less attractive to Liberty.

    3. Spa-Francorchamps has to balance ticket prices with their F1 related costs. As it is, they can’t attract large enough crowds at the prices they should be charging. That’s a problem, because that is the only way they’re independently getting money. They could ask the regional government for money to make up the difference, which they have plenty of times, but that (rightly) comes with various strings attached.

      F1 could of course let tracks sell the track side advertising to generate additional independent revenue, but then F1 won’t be able to paste their own partner’s banners all over the world, and the poor people in F1 would make only tens of millions a year instead of dozens!

    4. It’s because there are other countries that have been very naughty that are willing to spend tens of millions of dollars to F1 to hold an event. Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi alone probably bring more money in than all of the European races put together. Welcome to the new F1.

  12. I understand it all being about money, but sometimes you need a loss leader so to speak. Even if Spa isn’t profitable it adds to the cachet of the sport and to lose it to cram in yet another Middle Eastern dust flat or an American city circuit number 2 would be a real blow to the sport.

    Yes money must be made, but it IS being made. Some tracks have value to the entire popularity and vintage of the sport that perhaps cannot just be summed up in monetary value alone.

    To put it another way, if F1 literally ditched every circuit and decided to go to a whole new raft of tracks, most of them in the US, then it really wouldn’t look or feel like F1 to most of the fans anymore.

    1. F1 is making money – Spa Circuit, however, is a separate entity.
      Spa, as a venue, would likely be financially healthier without F1.

    2. then it really wouldn’t look or feel like F1 to most of the fans anymore.

      That doesn’t really matter though. Ecclestone’s biggest success was to create a new group of F1 fans, separate from motorsport fans. These are the people that only ever watch F1, and they want to watch F1 because it’s F1. If F1 is Kyalami and Buenos Aires and McLaren vs. Williams, people will watch that. If F1 is Singapore and Miami, and Red Bull vs. Mercedes, people will watch that too.

      While it’s common in F1 circles to mockingly speak of the WWE, F1 is not too dissimilar. People are WWE fans because of the “WWE Universe” with all its storylines, and the meta-drama around it (who gets fired/hired!?), and they don’t necessarily care that there are other wrestling series or other non-scripted martial arts. So too in F1. Most races in F1 are fairly dull, and there are really only two to four guys with a genuine shot at any given race win. The rest is largely irrelevant, but something like the Alpine driver saga is part of the “F1 Universe”, to borrow the WWE term – and people love it.

      Which is totally fair, by the way. F1 as an entertainment product is a very well run show.

      1. Nicely said.
        Indeed, many F1 fans can’t (or won’t) see F1 for what it really is.
        It doesn’t exist to make viewers feel good, it exists to extract their money.

    3. And that last point is exactly it for me. Taking Spa out would dilute further the passion of mine that has been dwindling very slowly over the last few years. Racing at some really dull tracks that I have no desire to visit. I’ve been thinking of going back to Spa to get that buzz again and now it’s on the way out!
      Leaving me…Zandfoort (give me a break, yawnfest) France? Spain is a rubbish circuit to visit imho.
      So, Silverstone is a given and thankfully Monza.
      Tinker with these legendary circuits at their peril…

  13. I’m going to duck for cover here, but as far as I can remember, Spa hasn’t held a decent F1 race since 2008. It’s a terrible F1 circuit.

    1. @ecwdanselby I wouldn’t agree with that, I think Spa has pretty consistently produced decent racing over the years. I can’t actually think of a race at Spa that I would call bad, Some haven’t been great but I don’t think any have been outright bad that I can remember.

      I think the only problem with the racing at Spa over the past 11 years has been the DRS zone on the kemmel straight which is always far too powerful & doesn’t really need to be there since it was always a place we saw good racing & overtaking without DRS.

      1. Yup, I don’t consider those proper overtakes. No one defends them, they’re a total given. It produces no excitement for me as a viewer. DRS should be to replicate the slipstream effect, not a slamdunk. The Kemmel DRS should have halved.

    2. A bit harsh, but not entirely wrong. Spa-Francorchamps, perhaps more than any other track, has been hit hard by the incomprehensible decision to put overly long DRS areas on what was already the prime overtaking spot of the track. All the excitement and tension about who would have a good La Source exit, and a good line through Radillion to have a chance at overtaking into Les Combes has been pushed aside by turning the entire Kemmel Straight into a passing lane.

    3. Davethechicken
      6th August 2022, 10:22

      You don’t remember the classic Spa race of 2021 then? (sarcasm)
      For me Spa should refund last years tickets before they have another race there. It is a wet part of the world and if they can’t race in the rain there, drop the track.
      With the current aversion to racing in the wet, that seems to underlie f1 currently, it is silly to go there. I mean if it needs the full wets on the cars, i am expecting a safety car and red flag these days.
      Who in their right mind would pay hundreds if not thousands of euro to attend a race weekend there after last year’s debacle??

  14. David Croft referenced this on commentary last weekend but one thing that’s going around is that Liberty have offered Spa an April date which Spa feel is not a good date in terms of the weather.

    I gather the plan in terms of grouping races is bringing up a lot of concerns from circuits over local climate conditions at the times of year they are been offered.

    I have also heard a suggestion that circuits are intentionally been offered dates a bit out of season as there is a feeling that going to circuits when they may be cooler or wetter will be a nice way to ‘naturally’ spice up the racing, Especially if the ban on tire warmers goes ahead.

    1. I have also heard a suggestion that circuits are intentionally been offered dates a bit out of season as there is a feeling that going to circuits when they may be cooler or wetter will be a nice way to ‘naturally’ spice up the racing, Especially if the ban on tire warmers goes ahead.

      Bring. It. On.

      1. April is usually cold and rain showers/ mist/ fog can cause black ice on the surface of the track not exposed to the sun ( if sunny). Yey! Bring it on!

      2. A case of be careful what you wish for because holding races more out of season will bring negatives and other unforseen consequences.

        If theres more chance of rain thn do we see more interuptions with safety cars and red flags due to rain.

        Will it affect attendance as the main reason they try to put races to get better conditions is that races or events in general that are placed in colder/wetter times of year tend to draw smaller crowds.

        And then you have infrastructure. Took at Silverstone been moved to April in 2000 for instance. The amount of rain wasn’t abnormal for that time of year but the infrastructure around the circuit wasn’t designed around that amount of people been there for the sort of weather at that time of year.

        And then with temperature you could look at the 1992 Indy 500 as an example of how bad trying to hold a race in very cold conditions can be.

        1. A case of be careful what you wish for

          Who says I don’t actually want the consequences?

          If theres more chance of rain thn do we see more interuptions with safety cars and red flags due to rain.

          Rain is always interesting and SC’s are good for racing.

          Will it affect attendance

          Yeah, maybe. Could be to the positive too – not just negative.

          And then you have infrastructure.

          I’m sure someone could make a decent profit charging $5 to tow people’s cars out of the car park.
          It’s all part of the experience. Everyone loves an adventure.

          And then with temperature

          You make it sound like drivers are unable to drive to the conditions. If cars are falling off the road, it’s nobody’s else’s fault.
          And who doesn’t enjoy some drama at their racing event? Leclerc fell off the road in France, and everyone was interested…
          They could always use inters or wets in such cold conditions, if they can’t get slicks working.

          1. Davethechicken
            6th August 2022, 10:24

            But S, they don’t race in the rain anymore. They pull a sc and red flag. Full wets are redundant as when is to bad for inters they usually cull the race.

          2. That’s true a lot of the time – it’s something they need to fix.
            Get rid of a bunch of the downforce – particularly that which comes from under the car – and there will be substantially less spray to deal with.

    2. No european race likes April. Generally it is a last ditch date.

  15. I’d be astounded if they drop Spa. It’s way to integral to F1 and is an outstanding track.
    Couple that with it being a guaranteed sell out full of Max fans and it would seem farcical to drop it from the calendar.

    Still it’s F1 – anything, particularly anything unlikely, is bound to happen.

    If it’s dropped, it’ll be one more reason to drop my subscription. Somehow, after decades of following F1, my passion has been eroded to the point of seriously considering no longer watching.

    1. If there’s any decision that has the potential to make some people stop watching, then dropping spa could be it.

  16. There are more motorsport series than I have time to watch. For me, that’s WEC, IMSA and a choice between F1 or Indycar. Currently, F1 wins that choice. I am not saying that losing Spa is automatically going to make me switch to Indycar but it would be the biggest push so far in that direction. Additionally, even if I commit to F1 for the start of a season I am now much more likely to switch to Indycar half way through if one driver is dominating.

    I wonder if this might also have other impacts. I am tempted by the F1 22 game and the new management game. I fancy doing complete seasons of both. But if the full season of F1 23 means Las Vegas rather than Spa then why not just stick with F1 22?

  17. If its Las Vegas that replaces Spa then the sport really will be on a downward trend. I understand trying to make the most of the rise of viewership in the states, but surely it would make more sense to replace a GP that isnt at one of the greatest racetracks ever built, and that nearly always provides a good race, even in the dry. Its all about greed. why not replace Baku, or Paul Ricard, Barcelona, Sochi, Jedda or Yas Marina. (or preferably all of the above) Such a shame. Went to Spa in ’09 and ’13 and both times it was a magical experience. The place is overflowing with history and atmosphere and the views from general admission are probably better than any track. Trying all the different Belgian beers at the small pub in the village of Ster next to the Elephant Campsite. The walk through the Ardennes to get to the track, coming out of the trees and the first thing you can see is Radillion looming above you. Seeing the cars go through there for the first time literally takes your breath away. Great times

  18. There’s plenty of money around in F1. I think it’s a bit rich for people to complain that the drivers who are raising the issue, should cough up money themselves. All Liberty needs to do is to make sure those who are willing to pay big bucks to hold a race pay enough to cover the less profitable races. If the new circuits complain, then don’t select them.

    If Liberty are concerned about growing the number of viewers then one of the answers is also simple. Move away from pay TV contracts. Make it more free to air. I know this means less money but viewers would definitely grow.

    The drivers nearly always come down on the side of keeping traditional circuits and having less races. But Liberty and those who know better like and Brawn and Domenicali, refuse to listen. Profit is their main aim it seems. No different from the Ecclestone days.

    1. I think it’s a bit rich for people to complain that the drivers who are raising the issue, should cough up money themselves.

      I think it’s a bit rich that drivers complain when someone else (the promoter) isn’t paying enough to stay on the calendar, but those drivers (collectively, and some individually) have more money and won’t put anything at all in themselves. They even get paid huge wads of cash to attend…. Money that comes from that exact event, no less…

      Liberty is a business. It was a business before it bought F1’s commercial rights and it will remain so when it sells them.
      If the drivers want to buy those rights – they probably could, between themselves and their connections.
      And they’d probably soon come to the same realisation – that more profit is better.

      1. So more profit always better is it? It’s a sport in case you didn’t notice. It should not just be about profit. We all know where Liberty are coming from but they should have more respect for the history of the sport rather than flogging off races to the highest bidder on boring circuits.

        You seem to have a very cynical attitude to all of this. I am not sure this sport is the right thing for you.

        1. So more profit always better is it?

          Not to me personally – but then I’m not an investor, shareholder or stakeholder.

          It’s a sport in case you didn’t notice.

          It’s really hard to tell a lot of the time.

          It should not just be about profit.

          Amen to that. But in reality, it is about profit.

          We all know where Liberty are coming from but they should have more respect for the history of the sport rather than flogging off races to the highest bidder on boring circuits.

          They paid for the privilege of doing pretty much anything they want with it. That’s capitalism for you.
          I don’t like it at all, but this is the world we live in.
          Don’t forget that the teams are going along with them, because they are benefiting from it too.

          You seem to have a very cynical attitude to all of this. I am not sure this sport is the right thing for you.

          Of course I’m cynical about it. I’ve been watching F1 for too long to not be cynical about it.
          And sport? I’m not sure it is a lot of the time. That’s certainly not F1’s primary function.
          It’s a marketing business, in case you didn’t notice.

          Back to the point – if the F1 drivers want something that can be bought, they need to buy it. That’s what everyone else is doing.

          1. “That’s capitalism for you”

            I am not sure relying upon vast sums of state subsidy to generate ‘profit’ via hosting fees is truly capitalism.

          2. Capitalism can take many forms.
            It’s all about money – not about the product or the customer.

  19. I like to think Spa will find its way into (or back into) the calendar, because it always does. It’s been a long, long time (early 2000s?) since I’ve thought of the Belgian GP as ‘safe’ and a definite long-term race, but somehow it always gets itself back in there.

    But this time I’m a little more worried. Ecclestone chased the worldwide pennies, but I don’t think F1 has ever been quite so determined to get itself into new locations as it is now. Add in the presence of Zandvoort on the calendar, which was never a factor before, and Spa’s future looks even bleaker.

    I’ll still live in hope, but not as much hope as I used to have.

  20. Spa is my favorite circuit bar none, with one caveat. -My favorite to watch on television. Having attended the Grand Prix on multiple occasions I feel that the overall experience is subpar when compared to most other venues new or old. Parking is horrible. Amenities are few and far between. Restroom access is terrible. Even when attending via Paddock club, it pales in comparison. Brussels is too far to use as an off track base of operation for night life activities. All of these reasons are preventing them from charging higher prices.

    1. Agree with a lot of what you say, Spencer. Facilities would be better now I guess, than when I first attended in 1989.

      Regarding Brussels, that was my base for the visits from 1998 to 2007 – a long journey time with an optimistic 2 hours each way suggested by the tour operator. After the race, there would nearly always be an incident on the motorway and most years the coach couldn’t even leave the coach park for several hours and didn’t pull up outside the hotel until around 10pm. With the present-day session/race times, that arrival would probably be even later.

      I would be sad for sure if 2022 is the last Belgian Grand Prix for a while (or ever)

  21. Let the venue rotate with Zandvoort then. Spa is a terrific track for drivers and is set in beautiful scenery, sometimes it’s quite hard for me to see the ruining of nature by pouring concrete in totally unnecessary places. But in 19 years watching F1, I can recall only one memorable Grand Prix, 2008 thriller between Hamilton and Räikkonen. Most of the time it creates too big gaps in performance and the DRS era completely killed racing there. So if Spa is lost, it will be a shame but I’m certain it will return in the future, and the circumstances might be more favourable for it.

  22. Of course F1 is about money and sure that what happened last year in Spa had a big impact in the finances of the circuit.

  23. Shame, but would drivers take 5% pay cut to keep race at spa? Some would…

  24. Echoing what a lot of people are saying, Spa is probably my favorite track and I’ll be really disappointed if it really is dropped.

  25. Would be a real shame if it’s dropped, it’s a unique track when you think about eau rouge for example, or its incredible length for nowadays’ calendar, with only 44 laps to make up for it, and how it attracts long periods of rain, if they had been able to race last year (visibility was too bad from what I recall) it’d have been a classic, and there’s been plenty of races like that in spa, like 1995, 1997, 1998, and even in the last few years I remember races packed of passes in spa on the dry.

  26. As F1 goes global, I’d like to have an European Formula series, a bit like indycar. I’d watch it.

    1. 650kg cars with V8s-V12s and open development would be very popular

    2. I’ve often thought this. It would have to be equivalent of F1 though. Or maybe they could have a championship within a championship.

      1. If someone had a £100m in the bank I think it’s more than conceivable to set up a single-seater race car series with a set of enforceable technical regulations. The only issue comes with whether you gain FIA approval to run such a series. Running outside of the FIA, with regard to car racing, is very complicated.

        If the cars had V8-V12s and were light (and for fun run on sustainable fuels)… there’s be no question that this would be an issue for F1. With a bold marketing plan you could really take it to F1.

  27. Sergey Martyn
    6th August 2022, 8:43

    Did someone started a petition on change.org to keep this legendary venue forever on calendar?
    Hands off Spa you greedy businessmen!
    Full throttle in Eau Rouge!

  28. This news is like a stab in the heart.

  29. Keep Spa.

    Drop Monaco.

  30. Steve (@machinesteve)
    7th August 2022, 18:56

    Slowly but surely, the attitude of mind that created Football’s European Super League and the Dan Whealdon killing Texas Speedway deadly-circus is taking over F1

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