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Spa concerned about F1 future

ESPNF1 Staff
August 13, 2010 « Patrick would struggle in F1 - Liuzzi | »
The famous Spa Francorchamps circuit is coming under pressure to compete financially © Getty Images

The Belgian Grand Prix is once again in danger of losing its place on the Formula One calendar after 2012.

That is the view of the race organisers, who worry that the famous Spa Francorchamps circuit is coming under increasing pressure from the more modern international venues with higher annual promotion fees.

Although a substantial amount of tickets have been sold for this year's event, officials are concerned about the venue's potential to compete in the future.

"The ticket sales for this year are relatively good," said spokesman Christian Lahaye. "We hope to reach the figure of 2007, with 65,000 tickets sold, to allow us to achieve a balanced financial position."

Spa's future could also depend on the new Concorde Agreement expanding the annual calendar to up to 25 races after 2012, according to Flemish newspaper De Morgen.

"There is no shortage of candidates [for grands prix]," circuit boss Andre Maes told the Belga news agency. "Even France doesn't have a grand prix."

Elsewhere, the Hockenheim circuit avoided recording a financial loss after also expressing concern that it could no longer afford to host Formula One.

F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone last year agreed a new deal to help absorb some of the financial risk and the venue made a rare surplus of €140,000. According to Local mayor Dieter Gummer, the 2010 event would have resulted in a €7.2 million loss under the old contract.