Wallonian Grand Prix uncertainty nears end
3 January 2006, BRUSSELS — An end to uncertainty around the Belgian Formula 1 Grand Prix appears to be just days away with most of the contentious issues now resolved.
3 January 2006
BRUSSELS — An end to uncertainty around the Belgian Formula 1 Grand Prix appears to be just days away with most of the contentious issues now resolved.
One of the main issues was the maintenance works needed to bring the Wallonian circuit in line with international standards.
These works had to fall within the EUR 15 million limit imposed by the Wallonian regional government, newspaper 'La Libre Belgique' reported on Tuesday.
And the Belgian representative of F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has since revised the planned works to the barest minimum.
Additionally, Ecclestone is no longer opposed to a three-year contract with Wallonian authorities over the Spa-Francorchamps Grand Prix.
The operating funding or EUR 6 million — EUR 4 million as a direct financial contribution and EUR 2 million in sponsorship funding — also appears to have won the support of Ecclestone.
New discussions are planned for next week between the F1 boss and representatives of the Wallonian government.
However, according to La Libre Belgique, a meeting in London later this week cannot be ruled out either.
An end to the uncertainty will come as a relief to the Wallonian government, which is trying to renegotiate the much-criticised contract aimed at keeping the Grand Prix in Francorchamps.
In October 2003, the race circuit's promotion company, a government authority, signed the controversial contract with Ecclestone. It committed the government to paying EUR 14-17 million each year until 2010 to host the race.
But the Wallonian government's financial backing of the Grand Prix is under fire at a time when the region's economy is stagnating.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news