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Spa-Francorchamps secures F1 future with 3-year contract


By Berthold Bouman

Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps secured its Formula One future today by signing a three-year deal for 2013 to 2015, Walloon Minister of Economy Jean-Claude Marcourt today announced the good news. The circuit, situated in the Belgian Ardennes, according to many (including yours truly) the most beautiful and most challenging Grand Prix track on the planet, had encountered financial problems the past few years and the Walloon Government decided to support the circuit for another three years.

Jean-Claude Marcourt

Marcourt said one of the conditions for the state support was that the costs for the Walloon Government should be substantially lower than before, and although he refused to reveal any details, it is understood the circuit paid a reduced fee.

“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”, Marcourt told L’Avenir magazine today.

“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.”

Walloon Minister of Tourism Paul Furlan said the new contract is also good for the local economy, according to a study conducted by Ciriec (International Centre of Research and Information on the Public, Social and Cooperative Economy), the financial benefits could add up to 43 million Euro.

Circuit officials also announced they found a solution for the 5,600 tickets ordered via  Dutch online ticket vendor ‘The Ticket Enterprise’, who ran into financial problems two weeks ago and are now effectively out of business.

People who ordered a ticket but didn’t receive one, can rest assured and travel to Spa-Francorchamps next weekend, if they can prove they paid for a ticket, they can collect one at the circuit entrance. The circuit will then later try to get the money back from the Dutch company.

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