• Belgian Grand Prix

Belgian GP organiser seizes on French uncertainty

ESPN Staff
July 3, 2012 « Pirelli to test new compound during Friday practice | Maldonado eyes Barcelona repeat »
The Belgian Grand Prix contract expires in 2013 © Getty Images

The organiser of the Belgian Grand Prix has seized on uncertainty following the election of Francois Hollande as France's new president to launch a bid to keep the race until 2016.

Before the election it seemed likely that Spa would alternate with a revived French Grand Prix but those plans have been put on hold as Hollande's advisors questioned using central funding to support a Formula One event in a time of financial difficulty. Into the void has stepped Andre Maes, the chief executive of Spa.

"The election has changed things," Maes said. "It's become clear to us the French are no longer interested in alternating so we have put a proposal to Bernie Ecclestone." He declined to go into more detail but it is speculated that a reduced hosting fee is part of the package.

Maes said that advance sales for this year's Belgian Grand Prix on September 2 were good. "We've already sold 35,000 tickets which is about 6,000 more than at this time last year. If this increase is maintained we expect to sell about 60,000 tickets this year."